For the benefit of anyone who couldn't catch it live on TV or radio, here are a few notable quotes from Pete Carroll's farewell press conference at USC on Monday:
On USC's level of success during his last eight years:
"You all remember the wins. I can't forget the losses. I can't get rid of them, they stand so strong in my mind. ..
"Those were just gorgeous, gorgeous times in college football and here at USC. ...
When Mark (Sanchez) takes over, we go 12-1 with one of the great defenses we've ever seen in college football ... and we're disappointed, all off-season. What a wonderful world to be in. ... To have the expectations so high, and the standard so high that one loss squeaked out during the year just kills you.
"I never wanted to ever let on to anybody that we backed off those expectations, or they were too high for us, or too much. It was never like that. We were lucky to have a world surrounding us that the standards were so high, and just expected us to win every game forever."
On Sanchez' joking comment after the Jets' playoff game that he was opposed to Carroll jumping to the NFL, which echoed Carroll's comments when Sanchez left USC early:
"I want Mark to know I did graduate. At least my family's happy about that part of it. But you can see why we needed him so much and wanted him so much, just to see what he's done."
On how he felt about his time at USC:
"Unforgettable, and in the deepest of my hearts, the most cherished times of my life. I do not expect to be ever be able to top what we did in terms of these years together. That's not in my mind at all. I think we've lived just a beautiful time together. ...
"We'll be connected forever. That's what the (team) meeting was about -- we'll be connected, and I can't wait to get them in a couple years."
On what he's done about the current crop of recruits:
"Continue to send the message about this university. The guys I've spoken to (are) amazingly strong in their love for this university. And the class -- I can't mention their names, or maybe I can --" this drew a big laugh, and USC spokesman Tim Tessalone emphatically shook his head, because NCAA rules prohibit schools from naming unsigned recruits -- "The compliance office just went into a flurry up there. ...
"(It's) a little bit of a shock period here, for all of us, but to extend the message of this unbelievable university, this extraordinary stage to play on. USC wasn't just really hot when we've been here. It's been a great school and a great program forever. So this is the next step in continuing the greatness of the SC program."
His closing remark before taking questions:
"I hope the message will go out loud and strong how grateful I am for all these years we had here, and I'll forever love this time."