Pete’s Replacement

Jack del Rio officially said he’s not interested in the USC job today. He was my first choice to restore the Trojan image and minimize the recruiting losses. Think about it. He’s a former Trojan linebacker who understands what it takes to win in the Coliseum and would add toughness to the soft play the Trojans were so accustomed to this year. He’s just a rugged, hard-nosed type of guy that has integrity and character. Even if USC was sanctioned by the NCAA, who better than del Rio to bring the Trojans back to prominence? He can instill that toughness and character into his recruits letting them know USC will be USC again very shortly. He’s also a superb defensive mind and disciplinarian, which the Trojans are in great need of. The guy won seven games this season with Jacksonville, a team who is probably a three or four win team on paper. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t come back to SC, but now, the worst A.D. in America, has to look elsewhere. Here are some of the candidates.

Jon Gruden – I’m not sure Gruden will be listening to offers, but he’s probably the best and most qualified option. He has the resume and resolve to lead young men. Notre Dame was supposedly his dream job, however, and that didn’t entice him, so I’m not sure USC would. Plus he seems to be having fun in the broadcast booth.

Steve Mariucci – He would obviously be able to repair the offensive woes immediately. His wide-open west coast offense would allow Matt Barkley the chance to live up to his hype, rather than being handcuffed by Jeremy Bates. He has a lot to work with too. A multiplicity of capable backs led by Allen Bradford and C.J. Gable, great receivers and Stanley Havili, the most versatile fullback in the land. The problem is, he needs to find a great defensive mind to repair that shell-shocked defense. That is the most immanent need to be addressed. The defense couldn’t stop anybody this year and hiring an offensive coach won’t help here. Something interesting to note is that recently dumped Seahawk Coach Jim Mora Jr. was Mariucci’s defensive coordinator on the 49ers. Is it possible that Mora Jr. would be willing to become the defensive coordinator at USC for a few years until he could find another head coaching position? Mora Jr. seems more like a college coach anyways and I think he could go a long way in inspiring the defense. I feel like he may be a younger version of Pete Carroll – a “ra ra” type of guy.

Herm Edwards – I don’t necessarily believe in him as an NFL football coach, but maybe his style would work in college. He’s very likable and I’m sure Herm in a recruit’s living room would resonate greatly with parents and students alike. The question I have is once he recruits the players, will he make them better? I’m not sure Herm can, but if he gets hired and proves me wrong good for him.

I’m disregarding the Chris Petersons and Kyle Whittinghams of the world because I don’t believe Garrett will look for relatively unknown coaches.

Last, but not least, is there a possibility of either Lane Kiffin or Steve Sarkisian emerging as the next coach? Logic would say no, both just were hired at the beginning of the season, but they are Carroll disciples and know what it takes to run the program. Sark said he’s happy that his mentor will join him in Seattle so he may be out, but what about Kiffin? He’s never been a man willing to pass up on a big opportunity and this is it. This has to be his dream job. I’m not sure he leaves Tennessee, but if Garrett offers him the job, I see no way he can turn it down.

These are some of the coaching prospects I think are either the best fit or most logical picks to take over Troy. We’ll see how long it takes Garrett to act, as the signing deadline is approaching quickly.

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