It was reported on January 9, 2008 that the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Blank, had his eyes on college football coach, Pete Carroll.
Yes, that is the same Pete Carroll that has dominated College Football for the better part of the last six years. Carroll has turned his team, The University of Southern California (USC), into a perennial powerhouse. There is virtually nothing that any college football program can boast about in regards to its comparison USC football.
Pete Carroll is 76-14 at USC. He is also 12-2 against the school’s long time rivals, Notre Dame and UCLA. He has won six consecutive Pac-10 Championships (some of them ties). And he has five BCS bowl series victories to his credit, with the lone loss coming at the hands of VY & Co.
Therefore, by my estimation, Carroll has the cushiest job on earth. He has one of the only 120 head coaching positions available in Division-1A football. He has established a program that has taken on the likes of the 90’s Seminoles, Hurricanes and Nittany Lions. He completely dominates recruiting in California, and on the rare occasions when he leaves the state, he always comes back with the top-ranked players in the nation. He lives in Southern California for God’s sake. I mean, how many properties in Malibu, Orange County or San Diego do you think he has? He is living the life. Why would he want to leave all of that?
Well, the reason is that he is like one of Michael Vick’s dawgs right now. He got a taste of something, and even though he was eventually pulled away from it, sooner or later you knew the scent of his past would reignite the fervor for one more taste.
Pete Carroll was 33-31 as a head coach in the NFL. Obviously, that’s not too bad in your first four seasons as an NFL head coach. Not to mention, he even went to playoffs twice and actually won a playoff game. How many coaches do you think coach their last game long before they ever get to their 4th season? And of those who do, how few have a record above .500?
That little bit of success, coupled with the fact that it was taken away from him, for reasons he believed to be beyond his own control, is the taste in Carroll’s mouth. Because while Carroll’s current job is a pressureless as big-time college football coach position can be, it’s only a 1 in 120 position. The NFL head coaching position is a 1 in 32 position. The pressure is far greater but so is the reward.
But it will have to be a pretty package that the Falcons and Arthur Blank put in front of Carroll to get him to leave that cushy set-up he has going on in Los Angeles. And I’m not even talking about money, I’m talking about administrative control of the entire organization, so that Carroll knows that this time he can shop for the groceries that he has to cook with. So Blank better be ready to do some good recruiting, minus the tricks. Because he is dealing with one of the best recruiters in the land, and believe me, he knows all the tricks of the game.