If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em
Okay, so it didn’t happen exactly the way the saying goes. It was more like: If you can’t beat them, try and get them on your side. The USC Trojans offered their vacant defensive coordinator job to none other than Nick Allioti. Lane Kiffin must have been feeling like Kevin Heffernan, “Landfill”, in Beerfest when he said: “We should put him on our team then.” Oregon learned of the loss of Chip Kelly on Wednesday, along with the loss of defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro and several graduate assistants on Thursday. Nick Allioti wasn’t going to abandon the Ducks even if several of his colleagues already had. Allioti has been the defensive coordinator at Oregon since 1999 and he wasn’t ready to leave his ducklings in the pond for a program drawing serious heat at the moment. On top of Trojans’ playing below expectations under Lane Kiffin and the sanctions that currently loom over the program, USC players even got into a skirmish in the locker room following their Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. I wouldn’t leave for a team like that either no matter how “prestigious” the program is.
An obvious candidate for our available head-coaching job, Allioti (along with offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich) seems to be the most qualified if the university decides to make an in house hire. He has been calling his own plays and running the Duck’s defense for thirteen years. He is largely to thank for national media finally respecting Oregon’s defense along with its potent offense.
Back to the Trojans, who have been embarrassed the last two meetings against Oregon in their own house — did they REALLY think a Ducks coach would leave for the Crimson and Gold? The obvious answer is yes, they did. I for one am glad Nick Allioti stayed, if not for the sole reason of letting those self-righteous LA fans think they can pick someone from our program and make them theirs. Tyree and Tyrell Robinson, two players committed to the Ducks for the 2013 recruiting class, have decided to visit USC this weekend according to multiple recruiting sites. I know I am going to “roll on the floor laughing” when those two players leave the Trojans campus and are still committed to the Ducks. They can’t get our coaches. They won’t get our players. Nice try, Trojans.