Mailbag: Carey's future at Arizona

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Chase from Arizona writes: Where do the Arizona Wildcats end up next year if Ka'Deem Carey is suspended for most/all of the season?

Ted Miller: While we don't know how Carey's domestic incident will play out -- other than embarrassing Carey and the program -- I doubt it will rise to the level of a season-long suspension.

If you look at Arizona's schedule, it plays Northern Arizona, UNLV and UTSA to open the season. So the Wildcats will be 3-0 with or without him. If I were a betting man, I doubt any team discipline would exceed three games.

That said, Carey's image -- whatever his version of events -- will take a hit. Yes, I am fully aware of the Twitter battle that took place around the altercation, and that there are other accounts in play, but, at the very least, Carey showed poor judgment and certainly didn't conduct himself well.

You'd guess something like this probably would end his darkhorse Heisman Trophy hopes before they could begin.

Mark from Seattle writes: How do you see USC class shaking out, it seems they are starting to lose players. A numbers problem related to sanctions, or something else?

Ted Miller: USC is doing great in recruiting. It ranks sixth in the nation with just 14 commitments. No other team in the top-10 has fewer than 20.

Why are the Trojans so high despite the low numbers? Quality. All of USC's commits are four-star recruits ranked in the ESPN 300, including nine ESPN 150 members.

While their horrid 7-6 season might lose them a recruit or two, most of what you've been reading about, notably the decommitment of defensive lineman Kylie Fitts, is due to numbers problems.

The Trojans are officially limited to 15 signees in this class, so they are trying to fudge around to maximize their numbers -- see safety Su’a Cravens, running back Justin Davis and quarterback Max Browne already signing so they can enroll in January and participate in spring practices.

John from El Dorado Hills, Calif., writes: Ted, Arizona is losing three assistant coaches. Does Rich Rodriguez's reputation combined with a positive 8-5 first season record make Arizona a more attractive job for potential assistant coaches than it was when Rich Rodriguez was first hired?

Ted Miller: I'm guessing a lot of coaches have been firing resumes to Rich Rod. There are plenty of reasons to want to join his staff.

But this isn't just an Arizona question. It's a general football question.

What makes a job attractive?

  • Money: Arizona is an attractive job if it pays more than a prospective coach's current employer.

  • Position: Does the offer give a coach more responsibility? Position coaches want to be coordinators. And coordinators want autonomy.

  • Stability. If a coach opts to uproot himself, what is the likelihood his head coach will be fired? Or is the head coach a fickle guy who fires assistants on a near annual basis? This would come into play with Rodriguez, who enters his second season with mostly positive momentum. And it might come into play for USC coach Lane Kiffin as he tries to hire an A-list defensive coordinator.

  • Staff chemistry: Does the staff get along? Is the head coach a good guy to work for? Or are the hours so ridiculous an assistant doesn't see his wife and kids for five months? I've been around some coaching offices where the atmosphere could best be described as toxic.

  • Location: College football is a regional game, particularly in recruiting. If an assistant wants to one day become a head coach on the West Coast, he's going to want to work there. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox leaving Tennessee for Washington is a good example of that. And, for some guys, they'd rather live in, say, the Bay Area than Lubbock, Texas.

  • Climbing the ladder? Some coaches are fighting for marquee head coaching jobs. So when they make a move, it must fit in with a strategic plan for their ambitions. Some just want a good, stable job that lets the coach football and chat with the Pac-12 blog every once and a while.

As for me, I think there are plenty of things that recommend Arizona and Rodriguez, not the least of which is I hear he's a pretty good guy to work for. I also think Tucson is underrated, in large part because of this place.

Travis from Dallas writes: I know it's early but do you have any thoughts/predictions on PAC 12 football 2013/2014 season? Thanks!

Ted Miller: I predict it will be awesome!

And Oregon will win the Pac-12. And national title.