Jay-Z said it best, “I guess I got my swagger back” on “All I Need” off of The Blueprint; it appears that’s the theme song for the USC Trojans football team in 2011. Lane Kiffin’s boys have had quite the week so far since beating Notre Dame 31-17, and its only Wednesday. Upholding the nickname “University of Spoiled Children”, Linebacker, Chris Gallipo and potential Heisman candidate Matt Barkley caused stirs in the “politically correct” sports media world. Claiming that Notre Dame “quit” in the fourth quarter during saturday night’s contest.
Kiffin and Gallipo were quick apologize to fans and Notre Dame for their comments in an effort to save face. What ever happened to the days of speaking your mind and standing by it?
It just wouldn’t be USC football, without some kind of disciplinary problem. Highly touted, yet, controversial sophomore running back, Dillon Baxter was announced by Kiffin Tuesday, as no longer be a member of the team, however, he will remain enrolled as a student. Kiffin did not feel the need to discuss the Baxter situation, and kept focus on players still on the team.
“We’re done talking about it. … This is all about no distractions, so it’s why we’re not answering questions. We don’t want our players or our coaches dealing with it. Our team has had great focus over the last couple of weeks on the road, and the last thing we want to do is get distracted.”
It’s clear that Kiffin’s finally playing the role of “good coach trying to improve a program” rather than “instigator who will say anything to get some press”. It’s actually surprising to see Kiffin remove a notorious indivdual from a team, as Kiffin may just be the most infamous NCAA Football coach today, yet he did leave some room for a Baxter return.
Its common talk that teams with past glory like the Penn State Nittany Lions and University of Miami Hurricanes need their “swagger back”, but in the meantime USC is showing, that even without a Bowl game this year, they will be talked about. They’re providing Swagger on a hundred thousand trillion.