This buzz doesn't sound like the rest

Rumors of Carroll's departure are a yearly rite around USC, but this one seems different

Updated: January 9, 2010, 4:14 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

It was surreally quiet around Heritage Hall on Friday afternoon.

The students were still on winter break, so the campus didn't have its usual bustle. Most of the coaches had the day off. A lot of the players were still back in their hometowns with their families.

The quiet and the winter shadows gave the old glass-and-brick building a funereal feel.

That may be perfectly appropriate for a program that could soon be in mourning if Pete Carroll chooses to take another run at ...

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