So how should Dorrell be judged?
If you want a build a program for the future, judge him on the past.
The program won 70% of its games during that time.
It needs to judge Dorrell based on that sort of smart, consistent winning.
Once again Saturday, in a big game, his team showed none of those things.
"We didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had," Dorrell said. "You can't afford to make those kind of mistakes, and we made those kind of mistakes."
For five years, they've been making those kinds of mistakes.
On Saturday, they were sudden and suffocating.
Midway through the second quarter, they had already committed a game-full of blunders that stole all chance of taking the momentum from the slow-starting Trojans.
They had lost two fumbles.
They had been forced into a defensive timeout when confused players were running madly around the field.
They had thrown an illegal block that nullified a good interception return.
They had smacked John David Booty in the face to keep an eventual touchdown drive alive.
"We could kick ourselves," said the Bruins' Bruce Davis, grimacing. "We shot ourselves in the foot."
In the last five years, how many Bruins locker rooms have echoed that same statement? How many dozens of Bruins have shared that same expression?
And then, in the final minutes of the second quarter, it got appropriately, absurdly worse.
After USC's Terrell Thomas grazed Terrence Austin on a fair-catch punt return, the Bruins' Trey Brown apparently said something to the officials and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then Dorrell angrily walked several yards on to the field to argue the call, and the Bruins were given a sideline warning.
Then, oh yeah, the ensuing lost yardage eventually led to the Trojans acquiring the ball near midfield and driving for a field goal.
"When something bad happens, you always look at the head man," said cornerback Alterraun Verner. "But we're all in this together."