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The New Deal

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November 14, 2009 felt like the low point. 

Stanford strutted into the Coliseum, ran the same "Power" play over and over and over again until the Trojans relented in a 55-21 drubbing.

As you may recall, Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh went for an exclamation (two-)point conversion, which left Pete Carroll questioning his motives in the post-game handshake.

A year later, Lane Kiffin wants nothing to do with the controversy.  "We're not really in position to throw stones at people that go for two," he quipped.

Up at "The Farm," they are relishing their Trojan beatdown by marketing tickets for this Saturday's game as part of a "What's Your Deal?" package. 

If Carroll were still here, revenge would be the unabashed story of the week (at least by the media).

The whole weekend comes as a stark reminder that the Trojans are a program in transition. 

Lane Kiffin is just five games into his tenure, taking over for one of the most successful coaches in college football history. 

While the players have vivid memories of the recent successes and failures, Kiffin and his entire staff (save for John Morton) were not here.

Instead, Kiffin wants the team focused on bouncing back from last week's disappointment.

On Twitter today, he posted a quote from Confucius: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Kiffin wants USC's identity to be toughness and discipline.  That will be put to the test this weekend as Harbaugh has already forged that mentality at Stanford.

A program in transition, Carroll's words still hang above the Coliseum tunnel.
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