When you think about the culture there are many paths you can wander down when trying to get to a definition or explanation of the entity you are trying to describe. A workplace, generally speaking, is much different than say a Football Program such as what this topic will focus on. Looking at any football program there are many shapes and sizes when it comes to culture. You have the Row The Boat culture now at the University of Minnesota and then you have the Roll Tide Alabama and what I love to shout, FIght On at USC.
Fight On is where I want to focus as this has been an interesting lost focus of the past 5 years in my humble opinion. USC has lost its way when it comes to building that core heartbeat that drives internal competition for a starting position to levels where the game-time opponent in almost any given week is easier than the practice week. We have beaten to death the Competition Tuesday's of Pete Carrol's tenure but I will never forget that. It was deeply revered within the player's mindset and staff to allow for anyone on any week to rise up and take a starting position when taking their game to a new level during practice and catching the eye of the staff. We saw it many times over with the SC teams under Carroll and they all seemed to thrive in that pressure cooker as he knew how to blend tough physical work with fun.
Clay Helton's tenure has been a lot of talk about physicality but to date, the end result has been lacking that eye-popping visual on game day. The teams under Helton have been out-muscled in the trenches and our once feared running game is dead last in the worst conference in the Power 5 class of programs. Quite the fall from where this legendary football team has been.
Helton is lucky to still be a head coach. Many would say luck had nothing to do with it and that the lack of leadership and a shift change with AD Michael Bohn are the core reason he is still there and let's not forget the gifted extension of his contract by now-fired AD Lynn Swan. We could go on and on. The culture at USC has to go back in time. It cannot be a one-dimensional finesse offense with no real physical hitting during the week. Talk is cheap and this ticket needs to get more pricey by displaying a wave of anger in practice to raise the level of competition and thus game-ready physicality to the old days.