As we transition into another new year, it’s time once again to purify our cardinal and gold soul and resolve to accomplish a new GK portfolio of 2020 New Year’s resolutions, and a WeAreSC Happy New Year to all.
* I resolve not to lament what the Trojans’ football program would be like today if former USC athletic director Pat Haden had named Ed Orgeron the Trojans head coach for the 2014 season.
* I resolve not to lament what the USC football program would be like today if the Trojans’ hadn’t named – in succession – Pat Haden and Lynn Swann as athletic directors.
* I resolve not to obsess with how the Trojans could beat every team in the Pac-12 South in 2019 and not go to the Pac-12 Championship Game.
* I resolve not to go to the Freedom of Information Act in order to get viewing access regarding Clay Helton and Mike Bohn’s “plan” to bring the Trojans back to championship form.
* I resolve not to keep asking myself what USC President Dr. Carol Folt means when she says “winning with integrity.”
* I resolve not to question what Clay Helton means when he says that he now has the resources and tools to take the Trojans to greatness, which didn’t prevent him earlier from going to the Rose, Cotton, and Holiday Bowls and winning a Pac-12 title.
* I resolve not to try and figure out how much input and guidance athletic director Mike Bohn will have in future collaborations with Clay Helton, who makes a reported $3.5 million dollars a year to run the football program.
* I resolve to remind myself that Dr. Carol Folt, AD Mike Bohn Bohn, and Clay Helton continue to say that USC football is all about national championships. Now, repeat after me, “Dr. Carol Folt, AD Mike Bohn, and Clay Helton say that USC football is all about national championships.” Repeat again, please, and then one more time after that for good measure.
* I resolve not to chortle when Clay Helton says that his USC program needs to go from being a good program to a great program, which assumes the program at the present time is a good program.
* I resolve to continue to sing the praises of the Trojans’ receiving unit, which was one of the best in the country in 2019 and promises to be again in 2020.
* I resolve to give Graham Harrell’s “Air Raid” offense another season to prove it can score big points against elite defenses, even though I know that if you want to win a national championship or even get to the CFP, you’d better be able to eventually run the football against those powerful SEC, ACC, and Big Ten defensive fronts.
* I resolve not to scream in my head during a game: Run a screen, run a draw, run some misdirection, throw to the tight end for goodness sake.
* I resolve not to have reoccurring nightmares of Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis being sacked and being beat up in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl.
*I resolve to take out an insurance policy for the protection of USC quarterbacks when they throw the ball 50 times and rush the ball just 18 times.
* I resolve not to be anxious for the February signing period and will force myself to be positive that the Trojans can climb out of last in Pac-12 recruiting and rise all the way up to No. 7.
* I resolve not to get emotional when I remember the Trojans having only 22 rushing yards against Iowa.
* I resolve not to wonder how many rushing yards Vavae Malepeai, Stephen Carr, Markese Stepp, or Kenan Christon would get individually if they carried the ball at least 20 times a game.
* I resolve to try and remember when the Trojans actually knew how to tackle and have physical practices.
* I resolve never again to complain what future bowl game the Trojans are in unless it’s the dreaded Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
* I resolve to let it go and stop giggling when Clay Helton talks about being a physical football team.
* I resolve not to wonder what Trojans football would have been like if Urban Meyer had been selected as head coach for the 2020 season.
* I resolve not to wonder what Trojans football would have been like if Bob Stoops had been selected as head coach for the 2020 season.
* I resolve not to wonder what Trojans football would have been like if Jack Del Rio had been selected as head coach for the 2020 season.
* I resolve to close my eyes and sing to myself “I can’t get no satisfaction” every time I see a Southern California blue-chip recruit reject the Trojans and sign with Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, or even Oregon.
* I resolve not to be critical of the free meals in the Coliseum press box…and then go down to the regular Coliseum concession stands and pay for a hamburger with fries.
* I resolve not to focus on the toughness of the Trojans’ 2020 schedule, which Clay Helton says could feature six Top-25 teams.
* I resolve not to remain melancholy after I watch Oregon play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on Wednesday afternoon, knowing that the Trojans didn’t deserve to go to the Granddaddy after the Ducks blasted the Men of Troy, 56-24, last season in the Coliseum.
* I resolve not to have nightmares at the thought of 2020 opponents running reverse plays around the edges of the USC defense.
* I resolve not to complain AGAIN that the one thing future Trojans teams could use is a little – okay, a whole lot – of old school John McKay discipline.
* I resolve AGAIN in short yardage and goal line situations to remind myself to “silently” scream, “Put in a lead fullback, two tight ends, take the snap from under center, and run the damn football.”
* I resolve not to believe that the Trojans are going to open the 2020 home season with the vaunted New Mexico Lobos. Okay, at least they’re not UC Davis, right?
* I resolve to never second guess whomever the new defensive coordinator is, knowing that things couldn’t have gotten any worse during the Clancy Pendergast era. Right?
* I resolve not to slap my forehead AGAIN when the Trojans are AGAIN penalized for having too little or too many players on the field on special teams or giving up a TD kickoff return. Oh, that’s right, former special teams coach John Baxter is no longer part of the program.
* I resolve not to slap my forehead every time Clay Helton tells the media after a game that he can’t comment on a particular phase of the game until he watches the film.
* I resolve not to slap my forehead when I see Trojan players laughing after a bowl loss like the SDCCU Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
* I resolve not to slap my forehead when I see players flexing their muscles in a bowl game when they are down by 18 points.
* I resolve not to complain if the Trojans in 2020 have a 9:00 a.m. kickoff so some “could-care-less” East Coast television audience can watch West Coast football.
* I resolve not to question the padded attendance count for the Trojans’ 2020 first home game against New Mexico in the Coli after having played Alabama the week before in Texas.
* I resolve not to lament not seeing the Dr. Arthur C. Bartner led Trojans’ Marching Band, Traveler, and the USC Song Girls marching down Colorado Boulevard on this New Year’s Day.
* I resolve to continue to get chills when Trojan fans chant “We Are…SC”.
* I resolve never to dismiss the goosebumps I get every time I walk either up or down the legendary Coliseum player’s tunnel.
* I resolve never to forget how grateful and lucky I am – thanks to late WeAreSC publisher Garry Paskwietz – to be a reporter and columnist who gets the privilege of covering one of college football’s most storied and legendary programs.
* And finally, I resolve to believe that there will come a time when the Trojans will be in the College Football Playoff, and hopefully I’ll still be alive to see it.