So exactly how bad are things going for Southern Cal? Matt Hinton lays out a compelling case for these being the worst of times for Pete Carroll, but, honestly, I think this story tells you all you need to know:
When Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll met at midfield after Stanford completed its 55-21 defenestration of USC here Saturday, their conversation was brief, pointed and seemingly unsatisfying. “What’s your deal? What’s your deal?” Carroll said, according to two sources near enough to hear. “What’s your deal?” Harbaugh retorted, and that was that. Now there’s the brevity of wit for you. It is also evidence of what will be a lingering dislike-a-thon between the two men, punctuated by Harbaugh’s impish yet gratuitous two-point conversion attempt after Stanford‘s seventh – yes, seventh – touchdown. It looked like what it was, Harbaugh putting a knee in Carroll’s exposed coaching nethers.
When the nerd is kicking sand in the face of the bully and the bully remains helpless, that’s a pretty good indication of how far and how fast things have fallen for USC this season.