The USC Trojans search for their next head football coach could end up resting on current interim coach Ed Orgeron, who won his first game yesterday against the Arizona Wildcats, but it is far more likely for USC to hire away somebody from another program. Athletic Director Pat Haden did not rule out keeping Coach O following yesterday’s win, but one win definitely isn’t going to change much. TCU’s Gary Patterson has already been linked to USC, and you can add a touted Pac-12 coach to that list.
710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard tweets that ESPN’s Paul Finebaum, who is very well-known for his takes on SEC football, told Huard’s radio show that sources tell him the USC Trojans top target in their coaching search is Washington Huskies head man Steve Sarkisian, who was once USC’s quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach.
Sark’s Washington Huskies team is headed for a huge, College Gameday game against the rival Oregon Ducks tomorrow, and his promotion to USC’s assistant head coach is what helped him make the leap to a head coaching gig at UW. He has done a terrific job of turning around the Huskies, as they are now a legitimate top 25 program (or thereabouts, at least). Before Sark, the Huskies had six underwhelming seasons, including four putrid years under Tyrone Willingham. In fact, Sark led the Huskies to a 5-7 season in which they were ranked in the top 25 at one point, and the most impressive thing is that the Huskies were 0-12 (!) the year before under Willingham (2008).
One of the best quarterback gurus in college football, Steve Sarkisian is definitely a desirable candidate for the Trojans, but even this storied USC program will have a tough time trying to flip Sark from Washington to an in-conference team. It’s extremely interesting to hear that he is reportedly USC’s target, but it’s important to remember that this is just a report.