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Why USC should not hire Ed Orgeron as its head coach

Ed Orgeron AP

Fresh off USC’s 20-17 upset of No. 5 Stanford on Saturday night, calls are coming from media, fans and some Trojan players for interim head coach Ed Orgeron to be hired as USC’s permanent head man going forward.

Besides the fact that some of these sentiments are self-serving (media people love talking to Orgeron and having him as a head coach again would make for good copy), they are also filled with the same type of fuzzy-headed thinking that got USC into this mess in the first place.

Let’s go over the reasons why Orgeron should not be hired:

1. Ole Miss

Orgeron was 10-26 in his three seasons as head coach at Mississippi. You can’t just blame his record on the average program that he inherited. David Cutcliffe went 43-29 in the six seasons before Orgeron arrived and Houston Nutt went 24-26 in the four seasons after he was fired. Orgeron was uniquely bad, even by Ole Miss standards.

The counter argument to this is that Orgeron has learned and changed from his time in Oxford. But is a 5-1 record as an interim coach evidence of that? Being an interim coach is a unique situation. USC has benefited as much by Orgeron being not-Lane Kiffin than anything else. The Trojan roster is immensely talented and the fact that Kiffin isn’t around to screw it up anymore is a huge factor in the team’s recent success. That Orgeron has been competent enough to manage that talent and smartly surf the wave of good will that has emerged out of the sudden coaching change is without question. But what about three years from now when the circumstances have changed, when three recruiting cycles have passed and the shtick has worn off a bit? Will Orgeron have a quality staff in place? Will he run an innovative offense? Based on his past, the answer to those questions is probably no. At best, there is zero evidence that Orgeron has the long-term vision to guide an elite program like USC and keep it elite.

2. Better coaches are available

USC is bad at hiring head coaches. Historically bad. The last time it found a marquee national name for its head job was back in 1925 when it hired Howard Jones away from Iowa. It has hired 12 coaches since Jones and every one save two have had some sort of connection to USC, an indication that the path of least resistance is generally preferred by Trojan administrators. USC lucked out with John McKay and Pete Carroll, but otherwise its batting average is under the Mendoza line.

Recent reports indicate that USC athletic director Pat Haden is taking a different approach this time. Proven college coaches like Kevin Sumlin and Chris Petersen are reported to be in the running for the position. Either of these two coaches would be fantastic hires by USC and would likely have the Trojans competing for national titles for years to come. But with Orgeron’s recent success, the danger is that Haden will get swept up in the tyranny of the crowd and be forced to make a short-sighted decision. Haden should resist the urge to take the easy route — isn’t that how Kiffin got hired in the first place? — and continue to do his due diligence with a clear head and a healthy dose of critical thinking.

The issue here isn’t whether Orgeron can be successful as USC’s head coach. With the talent and resources available to him, he might win 45 games over the next five years. Almost any competent coach would do the same. The issue is whether Orgeron is the best coach available to make USC as successful as it can be. Would Ohio State have won 22 in a row (and counting) with Luke Fickell as its head man?  No. Ohio State didn’t settle. Neither should USC.

3. Players, fans and alumni shouldn’t decide on the coach

“He deserves it,” the player said. “A great man. A great coach. All the players respect him and all the players love him. You couldn’t ask for a better man to lead us to victory today.”

One player called the coach the ”glue” that kept the team together during a rocky month.

”We’re a family,” the player said. ”That’s why we prevailed.”

“He’s just such a good person and the kids love him,” said the former coach. “His hire is such a good fit with the program.”

“I’m a little more settled in. I’m a little more laid back and I’m a little more wise,” said the coach. “It’s called maturity. I’ll be as demanding, but I found out there’s other ways to get the results.”

Are these recent quotes from USC players and former associates? They might as well be. No, these are quotes taken in 2008 after West Virginia took the interim tag off of Bill Stewart and named him its permanent head coach. Stewart was also a beloved figure who understood the program and who was lauded for guiding the team through a difficult period. But there was no evidence that Stewart knew how to be a successful head coach and it showed. Three years later he was fired.

Just because Orgeron is beloved by his players does not mean those players know what’s best for the long-term at USC. Being a head coach is about more than firing up the team, singing the fight song and cavorting with the fans. That Orgeron has played up this factor during his interim tenure is a testament to his wiliness and understanding of the environment at USC. He’s done a fantastic job of building all kinds of good will — after all, he knows his best shot at getting the job is to gain as many allies as possible. But at the end of the day, the Trojans don’t need to pay $6 million for a cheerleader.

To reiterate, Orgeron has done a fine job as USC’s interim coach. But he hasn’t ‘earned’ the job anymore than Gerald Ford ‘earned’ the Presidency after taking over for Richard Nixon. With millions of dollars at stake over the next five to 10 seasons, and the four-team playoff about to debut, the Trojans need to keep their eyes on the prize. If the superior coaching alternatives out there end up turning USC down, perhaps Orgeron should be considered.  But, until then, his tenure as Trojans head coach should have an expiration date.

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46 Responses to “Why USC should not hire Ed Orgeron as its head coach”
  1. irishdodger says: Nov 17, 2013 7:56 PM

    Agreed. I don’t think SC fans have to worry about Haden getting caught up in the sentiment to keep Orgeron. Pat is a Rhodes Scholar and will do his due diligence for his alma mater. As an Irish fan, I’d love for them to name Orgeron as the head coach…but Mr. Haden is too bright for that.

  2. jdillydawg says: Nov 17, 2013 8:33 PM

    I’m not so sure I buy your second argument. You say USC has historically been bad at hiring good coaches. What are the teams out there that have consistently hired good coaches for the past 90 years? I’m guessing Alabama is one, I can’t imagine there are a majority of teams out there who have stellar pedigrees in coaching for that length of time.

    I’m sure there are better coaches out there, but just because someone can coach one college doesn’t mean they can somewhere else. Orgeron, like the Trojans the last 5 games, may have found his groove. Who knows?

  3. jdillydawg says: Nov 17, 2013 8:36 PM

    Oh, and as for #3, are you saying Sportswriters should be able to decide who gets hired? If not players, fans and alumni, then that leaves the AD and…well, you writer guys.

    And you seem to be pretty adamant about NOT hiring someone. Or are you saying it’s ok for us to tell the college who NOT to hire, just not suggest who they might hire?

  4. realfootballfan says: Nov 17, 2013 8:41 PM

    Because he was bad as a head coach previously. Hey, but what do I know.

    Keep him as the top recruiter though.

  5. soundsofsuccess7 says: Nov 17, 2013 8:47 PM

    Players and alumni are exactly who should choose the coach.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Nov 17, 2013 9:11 PM

    Hire Mack Brown before he is fired at UT. One more loss and he’s as good as gone.

  7. dhalb34 says: Nov 17, 2013 9:15 PM

    Got lucky with McKay and Carrol huh? If luck brings in national championships then I’m fine with it. Also, Bill Bilichek had a rough couple years in Cleveland, Saban wasn’t great in Miami, Carrol wasn’t great in New England, some of the best coaches have had challenges in their careers at some point, so the Ole Miss angle is old news to me at this point. Ole Miss can’t recruit itself like SC can, which is a fact. I have said from day one, if the team improves, and they beat Stanford and FUCLA, then O is the guy. So far so good.

  8. halbert53 says: Nov 17, 2013 9:30 PM

    You are using a real straw man argument about Ole Miss as the reason not to hire Orgeron, specifically comparing Orgeron’s record there to Cutcliffe’s. Cutcliffe was hired from TN so Eli Manning would sign with Ole Miss. Most of his time there he had Eli as QB so they won. The program nosedived when Eli graduated, so Cutcliffe was fired and the program was in disarray when Orgeron took over. Even before SEC expanded to 14, teams in SEC West were pretty much guaranteed 3-4 loses a season to Bama, Auburn, LSU and an SEC East opponent such as FL, GA or SC. Most any coach would have trouble winning more than half of their SEC games.

    Up front, I’m an SEC fan but for the good of the game we need traditional powers like UT, USC, OSU, UM and ND to be nationally competitive along with top SEC teams.

    Anybody in the SEC could have told USC that Kiffin was a screwup.

    Bringing in an NFL coach is probably a mistake. If Ogeron isn’t promoted, chances are he leaves. If USC plays well against UCLA, the fair thing would be give Orgeron a 3 year contract but that probably won’t happen because the grass is always greener on the other pasture. Sumlin or Mike Gundy I could understand but few others.

  9. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 17, 2013 9:47 PM

    It will be interesting to see it play out. I am pretty shocked at how it is going for him. They hired a search firm which was interesting, and if all they come up with are the names of Jack Del Rio (already interviewed), Chris Peterson, and Kevin Sumlin, then those are obvious choices and they wasted their money. If there is an elite choice there, then they should look that direction.

    On the other hand, they have a man that is proving he can do the job. Interium gigs are difficult, ask Luke Fickell and John L Smith. If any coach can win there, then Kiffin would still be there. Orgeron is a good recruiter and the players are playing hard. If SC doesn’t hire him as the HC, someone probably will. People questioned Carrols track record and we know how that went. If they hire someone else, fine. However, if they don’t do well right away, then they might know soon they hired the wrong guy. And Hayden might get Kiffined. ;)

  10. goodfieldnohit says: Nov 17, 2013 9:58 PM

    Sumlin’s gonna get paid, but he ain’t leaving Texas A&M any time soon. He’s got kids already immersed in the local school system, and wife Charlene loves College Station. And we all know, if momma aint happy, aint nobody happy.

  11. thekatman says: Nov 17, 2013 10:17 PM

    CEO will be the full time HC by 12/8/13.

  12. raysfan1 says: Nov 17, 2013 10:24 PM

    1st, I second what sports guy wrote.

    Also, I think trying to hire a HC away from another successful “big 5″ conference is unlikely. USC is a marquee program; however, Texas A&M isn’t chopped liver and happens to be finding success in the SEC. I don’t see Sumlin leaving there for anything short of an NFL HC position.

    Chris Peterson has shown no inclination thus far to leave Boise State. We’ll see, but I doubt he leaves there now either–or ever until he retires.

    I don’t see Art Briles leaving Baylor or Mike Gundy leaving OK State either. Yes, I could see Gundy interviewing…and using the leverage to sweeten the deal he already has with his alma mater.

    If not Orgeron, I’d think the most likely choices would be an NFL coach, a head coach from a lesser conference (DeRuyter from Fresno State? Strong from Louisville even though they’re moving into the ACC?), or a head coach from a major conference who has had success but has limited ability at their school to truly become a conference power (such as Vanderbilt’s Franklin or Duke’s Cutcliffe).

  13. duklover says: Nov 17, 2013 10:25 PM

    USC has had no quality coaches? what was John Robinson, chopped liver?

  14. scbaby2013 says: Nov 17, 2013 10:46 PM

    11 national championships and USC is bad at hiring head coaches? Next thing I know you’ll be offering to sell us swap land.

  15. irishdodger says: Nov 17, 2013 10:49 PM

    @duklover: he was talking about HCs hired outside of the. SC family. Robinson was an assistant to McKay & elevated to HC when McKay left for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

    EVERY school has had bad hires…fans just conveniently forget when their team is back on top. SC went though Larry Smith & Paul Hackett before the Carroll era. Texas followed up Darrell Royal with Fred Akers, David McWilliams, John Makovic….& zero National Championships. OU sandwiched Gary Gibbs, Howard Schnellenberger & John Blake between HOFers Barry Switzer & Stoops. Florida was an also-ran before Spurrier came along. LSU hadn’t won anything since the late Paul Dietzel led them to a NC in the late 50s until Saban came along. Speaking of Saban, ask Bama fans if they remember Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Price & Mike Shula. The right head coach makes all the difference & that won’t change in the college game.

  16. tttrojan4life says: Nov 17, 2013 10:52 PM

    1. Saban
    2. Miles
    3. Meyer
    4. Kelly
    5. Gruden
    6. Ogeron

    Since 1-5 is a pipe dream, I’d say SC goes with #6. What I fear is that they hire someone with “SC ties”, which means Sark or del Rio- both would be really bad hires.

  17. Anoesis says: Nov 18, 2013 1:07 AM

    I believe USC can and should find a more appropriate head coach than Orgeron. While he is a good d-line coach and an excellent recruiter, I don’t think he has the necessary talent to be a premier head coach.

    Clay Helton is the offensive coordinator and Clancy Pendergast is the defensive coordinator. Normally one of those two would have been elevated to be interim head coach upon the dismissal of Kiffin, but neither of them have head coaching experience. Pat Haden wisely chose the only coach on the staff with any experience as a head coach.

    Haden is likely very aware that many times people are promoted to a level that they cannot handle and then left there. Orgeron is not, in my opinion, the man that can bring the program back to national prominence.

    I believe Haden will take his time to find the right person and it may very well not be any of the names currently being tossed around.

    It is an interesting and exciting time of transition at USC. Many will expect a well-known name to be lured from another program. Many others will expect Orgeron to get the job permanently. I believe many people will be surprised, perhaps dismayed, when Haden announces his choice.

  18. alkalinetrio9898 says: Nov 18, 2013 1:33 AM

    Ed Orgeron is the right choice for USC and here’s why

    1. He’s energized a program that was VERY apathetic. He’s involving the ENTIRE School, all aspects of it, in terms of helping the team win. How many coaches would have written hand written letters to EACH band member and told them they matter for the program? How many coaches would have gone to the band, on the podium with a sword to celebrate a victory?

    2. To those making the WVU comparison with Bill Stewart, let’s compare: WVU hired Bill Stewart after ONE game. That’s a VERY small sample size to decide a coach on. He had no real Excellent quality(not a HUGE recruiter etc), but still did a decent job. He won 9-10 games at a school that is not a Alabama/Ohio St (traditional power). No coach before him had done better than that, except Rich Rod in 1 season. They then had the messy breakup, and did so to hire a so called offensive genius in Dana Holgorsen. Notwithstanding the offseason issues Dana has had, he’s shown he was a TERRIBLE hire. How a offensive genius can be using 3 QBs and be so indecisive is bad. Having an offense that is REALLY bad is terrible. Missing a bowl game and generally looking like an embarrassment. This shows to me that Bill Stewart did better with similar quality of players.

    In contrast, Orgeron has had 6 games, 8 by season’s end. That is 2/3 of a season. Also, whereas Stew took a REALLY good team and did well in 1 game to prove himself for the job, Orgeron took a team that looks atrocious and turned them into a good football team, that played their hearts out. That’s a lot bigger sample size to show a good or bad coach. Recruits love him, students love him, the band loves him etc. He also is a AWESOME recruiter, which is an elite quality that Stew did not have. He also has head coaching experience, and even admits he learned from his experience and is better qualified as a result.

    3. Who are the candidates? Let’s be realistic and rule out the Nick Saban/Urban Meyers of the world, because they are not coming. If they are willing to come, I agree that is the one scenario where it’s worth paying them v keeping Orgeron. But, outside of that, the names mentioned are:

    Kevin Sumlin: What is he without Johnny Manziel? So far, I question if he is Gene Chizik V2. His team also does not play Defense, which will not be resulting in National Championships. He is a risk for these reasons.

    Jack Del Rio: Did not do very well as a Head Coach at Jacksonville. When were they ever good? Is not an elite candidate.

    Who else? I feel like these are the 2 most I hear about.

    Ed Orgeron is the right coach for USC, and is their best option, outside of getting a Nick Saban like coach.

  19. normtide says: Nov 18, 2013 1:50 AM

    Any coach hired from the NFL, like JDR better have some college coaching experience. Recruiting means there isn’t much off season.

    Hiring a coach away from either AQ league is hard. I know USC has an eke reputation, but many other schools do too, and they hire coaches from Cincinnati and such.

    Sark is overrated. You really need to step outside the USC, in my opinion.

    In short, hiring a coach is hard to do. At least hiring the right guy. Many elite programs go through a few guys to get what they want. I mean, you only need the perfect guy to be the entire life-blood of your athletic program. No pressure. Coaches make programs successful, not history. Ask a Bama or ND fan about that.

  20. dannygjay says: Nov 18, 2013 2:20 AM

    I hope for orgeron’s sake, they don’t hire him. it would be almost impossible for him to win, with such limited scholarships. only a desperate coach would take that job without a guarantee of 5 years. let some other joker take it for a couple years, while orgeron coaches somewhere else, then bring him back when the joker gets fired

  21. tvid55 says: Nov 18, 2013 4:08 AM

    It should be considered that there’s more than one way to manage. What coach O brings to the table might be complimented with a brain trust around him ala Chow and Sarkissian. Just sayin.

  22. waynefontes says: Nov 18, 2013 8:55 AM

    I’m not a USC fan, nowhere close to it. But if Orgeron runs the table or at least makes the Pac 12 title game – how can they not hire him?

    He has been proven to be an amazing recruiter, at many different places. You can see how the players play for him. I can’t think of many coaches whose players truly take it to their limit for them. His players love him.

    He made some mistakes at Ole Miss, he’s even stated that he learned from them.

    There is a HUGE difference in the talent you can bring in at Ole Miss against what you can get at Southern Cal.

    The man obviously has a real connection with his players. They love to play for this man.

    I think USC can bring in great people to help on both the offense and defense.

    I have never pulled for USC other than against Notre Dame. But even I’m pulling for this team.

    I say if he wins out or at least gets to the title game, keep him. For every Bill Stewart, there’a Dabo Swinney. Orgeron has a far better track record than Bill Stewart – that is a bad comparison.

    If he’s awful, fire him in a few years and get your dream hire. It’s not like USC will be trash in the next few years, USC will always be one of THE top jobs.

    If he’s great, then that’s a bonus.

    Does anyone really think JACK DEL RIO would be a better hire? Seriously? Or Lovie Smith?

    Let’s see what Sumlin does without Johnny Football before we anoint him.

    There isn’t a better recruiter in football, just surround him with solid football minds.

    Why am I saying this? I respect USC but don’t like them.

    USC, please rehire Kiffin. If they don’t rehire Orgeron, their loss will definitely be someone’s gain.

  23. packergator says: Nov 18, 2013 9:12 AM

    USC players need to understand that a school needs a commanding voice to address boosters and alumni and haul in 5-star recruits. Would YOU take that voice seriously?

  24. wabbitslayer says: Nov 18, 2013 9:29 AM

    On behalf of UGA fans…please hire our OC, Mike Bobo. Please.

  25. thegamecocker says: Nov 18, 2013 9:48 AM

    Imagine where the New England Patriots would be if Bill Bellichek was not given a second chance…..Ed
    Ogeron has done a wonderful job getting the team to play well. He is a fun-coach to watch and he doesn’t take himself too seriously as revealed when he stood atop the band-stand to lead the Trojan band. We need more leaders like Coach Orgeron in the profession. IMO, he’s earned the right to be considered for this job.

  26. dmvtransplant says: Nov 18, 2013 10:37 AM

    @ thegamecocker

    How was the Cleveland Browns leaving Ohio for Baltimore BB’s fault? Getting fired from Ole Miss was Ed’s fault.

    @ Chris Huston

    You forgot to mention at Colorado the fans & booster’s wanted a guy that had ties to the program. So the AD was forced to hire a positions coach from the NFL and he put the program back for years.

  27. thegamecocker says: Nov 18, 2013 10:49 AM

    @dmvtransplant

    The Browns fired Bellichek so does that mean he was an incompetent Head Coach? Based on his record at New England, I would say he’s a hands-down Hall of Fame inductee when it is his turn. The fact that Ole Miss fired Orgeron should not prevent him from obtaining another Head Coach position somewhere else including Southern Cal. That team is now 8-3 with UCLA their next opponent. He made “lemonade out of lemons”. Many people who were fired LEARN from their mistakes and go onto to rewarding careers.

  28. rolltide510 says: Nov 18, 2013 10:50 AM

    The “Better Coaches Available” option has a problem: USC is still on probation. They still have another year of reduced scholarships, and even when that’s lifted they’ll still face a few years of <85 players on scholarship. Not the sort of situation a coach wants to walk into, and a compelling excuse to keep a lovable idiot/skilled recruiter around a couple more years to stock the cupboard as best as possible for the next coach.

  29. wheels579 says: Nov 18, 2013 10:51 AM

    The point missed here is Ed presents a short-term solution if they can’t get someone like Sumlin or Petersen. Would you rather have Jack Del Rio? Jon Gruden (whose Super Bowl winner was built by Tony Dungy)?

  30. thekatman says: Nov 18, 2013 11:43 AM

    I agree with alkalinetrio9898′s assessment of the hiring situation. The USC players were and are not lemons. The previous HC was not the right fit for a college program and he couldn’t get the players to buy into the program, even in the 10-2 season, you could tell something was amiss.

    As for other HC candidates, as discussed in this thread, IMHO:

    Saban: No, not leaving Alabama for any program.

    Miles: Not leaving LSU for USC, though he might leave someday for Michigan.

    Meyer: Nope. He’s not going anywhere, except to Notre Dame after he unsuccessfully tries for a nattie with the crooks at OSU. just kidding! :-)

    Kelly: Neither Brian nor Chip are USC HC material.

    Gruden: Not leaving his sportscaster job, as it’s a cush job and pays a lot.

    Ogeron: He’s the man, as he owns this team. The players absolutely, without a doubt, love this man, as he loves them, the program, the university, all things USC Trojans…. CEO epidomizes what it means to be a Trojan. No other big time coach understands that, not even Saban. He had to learn the LSU way, the Alabama way…. which is completely different from The Trojan WQay.

    JDR: Nope. Not a personality that will work at SC. Another Kiffin. Seems cold and elusive.

    Sumlin: With out Johnny Football, where’d he be? Bottom half of the SEC.

    Briles: Maybe, but he’s not going anywhere. Just signed a 10 yr contract.

    Pete Carroll: Yes, but he’s not leaving the USChawks until he’s got a Super Bowl ring.

    Ya see, when Coach Ed Orgeron aka CEO walks into a room, everyone turns around to watch and listen. He commands the room. Players, booster, fans, alumni, administration and Haden have all bought in to what he is dong with this team and faulted program. This program is on the rise and the 10 year run of CFB dominance has started.

    As the CEO of the Mens Warehouse commercials states… I guarantee it.

  31. mogogo1 says: Nov 18, 2013 11:53 AM

    Has anybody with real pull actually said they want Orgeron as the next permanent head coach? Didn’t think so. It’s just some writers and a few fans. He’s doing a fine job, but even Kiffen would have won some of these games.

    Orgeron’s major problems with getting the job aren’t his coaching as much as his unfamiliarity: Recruits and their families don’t know who he is, nor do the program’s boosters.

  32. alkalinetrio9898 says: Nov 18, 2013 12:06 PM

    mogo-

    Those are not his problems
    1. He’s been the recruiting coordinator there for awhile. For most recruits and their families, he is the first USC Football staff person they meet. So, that’s a total inaccurate characterization.

    2. Boosters know him(know of him at least, only the HC at any school ever has any real relationship with them), and a few have called for him to be hired as a result of his success. I do not live inthe USC area, so I cannot speak on how “prominent” and influential these boosters are in the USC Family.

    3. Orgeron was on the USC Staff before taking the Ole Miss job(for 5 seasons?) and after Ole Miss and 1-2 seasons at Tennessee, this is his 3rd or 4th year for his 2nd stint there. So I think the characterization that he is not well known in the USC family is quite inaccurate. As well: do you think Jack Del Rio is more known(and I mean personally) or any other candidates, than Coach O is? He’s the one recruiting all these players right now.

    And, looking at USC’s schedule and speculating on What Kiffin would have done

    Loss to Arizona Big
    Loss to ND
    Win at Utah
    Loss at Oregon State(hardest one to predict)
    Win at Cal
    Loss at stanford

    So, with Kiffin, they would have been 4-7 right now…maybe 5-6(I think the only real argument game would be the Oregon State one)

  33. thegamecocker says: Nov 18, 2013 12:09 PM

    @mogogo1

    I think you are underestimating your fan base, boosters, recruits etc. If you follow college football, you sure as hell should know or have heard of Ed Orgeron! I bet his spurrious awareness level is higher than you think…..just ask people around you if they know the current USC Head Coach or if they have heard of Orgeron……I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…..

  34. alkalinetrio9898 says: Nov 18, 2013 12:15 PM

    Also, I think the Bill Stewart comparisons are quite inaccurate(Stew was hired after 1 game for which he had a month to prepare for–Orgeron will end up being coach for 2/3 of the season and is preparing weekly etc like any coach will)—the Dabo Sweeney comparisons for the situation are more accurate though

    Dabo was an interim, and impressed people and WON enough and look at him now. Top 10 program these last few years. They went with a guy who loved the school, had experience in the program rather than going after a known/flashy hire. Look how it worked for them.

  35. tnorangerocket says: Nov 18, 2013 12:21 PM

    Don’t forget Orgeron’s “brief” stay (thank goodness) at Tennessee. During his midnight flight to California he attempted to take players he had already convinced to sign with UT. USC – if you want to be back on sanctions, sign Coach O as your head coach. Set aside an office for the NCAA while you’re at it.

  36. normtide says: Nov 18, 2013 12:25 PM

    If USC fans want Orgeron, maybe they should get him. I think Haden will shop for a Sumlin or Briles, and if refused they hire O.

    Can we stop this college obsession with Gruden? I have little faith in him as a college coach.

  37. halbert53 says: Nov 18, 2013 1:16 PM

    Orgeron is in his second stint at USC, and both stints involved being recruiting coordinator. He has worked there a total of about. 9-10 years, and as RC he has been directly or indirectly involved in recruiting most current USC players.

    Two things: he has been hired by two different USC head coaches as RC, which shows a lot of respect. Having worked at USC that amount of time, he knows his way around and is undoubtedly well known by HS coaches. Anybody who can recruit top players to a school where LK is the head coach is a major talent.

    He has more experience at USC than pretty much anyone else who would come in.

  38. mogogo1 says: Nov 18, 2013 2:16 PM

    The odds that Lane Kiffin had the next great USC coach on his staff are zero. And the headlines of “USC hires Kiffin’s understudy to lead team” would not be helpful with recruiting.

  39. halbert53 says: Nov 18, 2013 2:44 PM

    Don’t hire Orgeron. LSU will ship Miles back to Michigan, and hire Louisiana native Orgeron as HC, and win a NC before USC wins a PAC 12 Championship especially if USC hires JDR. Even Holmgren would make more sense than JDR.

  40. thekatman says: Nov 18, 2013 2:45 PM

    Orgeron has a total of 11 years of coaching experience at USC and has been hired by 3 head coaches. He started in 1998 under Paul Hackett, and though the Hackett years are some we have forgotten, it was Orgeron who brought in Troy Polamalu, and all those great defensive guys, as well as Carson Palmer.

    He was there during the hey day of the Pete Carroll years, and recently with Kiffin.

    Now, CEO is his own man, atones only to the AD, Pay Haden, so we shall see were the chips may fall. All CEO has to do is do what he does best, and that’s to motivate these players to perform at the level they are capable of doing…. winning games and championships.

  41. cranespy says: Nov 19, 2013 12:46 AM

    WV was set back 5 years by the Stewart fiasco…..IF we had not made him coach then WE would’ve had either Bud Foster, Doc Holliday or Terry Bowden instead we ended up with a program in shambles.

  42. alkalinetrio9898 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:06 AM

    Is Holgorsen really better than Stewart? Stewart won 9 games for you guys for the few years he was coach, and Holgorsen has destroyed it. 9 Wins is not creating a “program in shambles” by any measure. And how was WVU prior to Rich Rod? Stewart did decent in his time there, but Rich Rod had intensified expectations. If you ran a guy out for 9 win seasons, how the heck do you keep Holgorsen after the mess that has been this season, not even being bowl eligible and losing to freaking Kansas?

    Do you really think Terry Bowden would have been a good choice? He’s doing terrible at Akron right now. Doc Holliday has an okay Marshall team he’s built, and Bud Foster is a Defensive genius, but who says he would have left?

    Again, I would also say:the Parallel between Stewart and Orgeron is a poor one. Stewart was hired after 1 game. Orgeron has(by end of season) 8 games. Orgeron is also a GREAT recruiter, and so he excels in one area of football better than most others. Stewart was just the loyal, nice guy, who got the job because of the anger built up with RichRod leaving, and with the emotion from their Bowl Win. The Orgeron situation is a unique one, since he has so many games as a interim under his belt.

  43. thegamecocker says: Nov 19, 2013 1:11 PM

    The reason WVU is having problems is two-fold:

    1) Unfortunately they are in a conference that geographically does not work for them. This adversely affects recruiting

    2) They are playing much better competition compared to the Big East teams.

    Dana Holgorsen should know The Big 12 teams so he knows what he is up against.

  44. fpstratton says: Nov 19, 2013 5:51 PM

    USC is bad at hiring coaches? USC “lucked out” with John McKay and Pete Carroll? Yeah, and Green Bay “lucked out” with Vince Lombardi, Alabama “lucked out” with Bear Bryant and Nick Saban, and Dallas “lucked out” with Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson.

    As far as Orgeron is concerned, I’m sure there are better coaches around than him, but none may be as good a fit at USC as coach “O” is. Hopefully, he is healthy enough to handle a permanent head coaching job. I agree that it may be too soon to automatically assume that he is the best person, but he’s off to a pretty awesome start, wouldn’t you say?

  45. lfarrell2012 says: Nov 20, 2013 7:09 PM

    If you are going to talk about Bill Stewart and say he was fired you should probably also mention that his record at the time he was forced out was 28-12 and he tied for the conference championship that same season.

  46. buzzyrozay says: Nov 20, 2013 10:02 PM

    Why James Franklin should be the next head coach of USC

    James Franklin has proven he can coach in a power conference. SEC is not only the best conference, but it also has the best collection of coaches and coordinators. Football matters in the SEC country.

    Vandy had no winning tradition or culture prior to James Franklin. Whatever respectability that Vandy has, James Franklin has created it. Vandy prior to his arrival went to 4 bowls in its entire history, under James Franklin they have went to three. Prior to Franklin, Vandy record in November was 3-32, under Franklin it is 8-2. He has done more with less. When CEO was at Ole Miss he was 10-26, never won more than 3 conference games his entire tenure, at a time when Bama was mediocre and the power of the SEC was in the East with UGA and FLA. CEO winning percentage is 28%. Maybe he has learned from then, but let him prove that at a lesser program not USC.

    Recruiting
    At Vandy James Franklin has had top 25 recruiting classes and last year class was ranked 19. Remember this is Vanderbilt, an academic school parallel to Northwestern, Stanford, Rice, and Duke. Plus, he is recruiting against UGA, FLA, Tenn, Bama, LSU, FSU, V-Tech, Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, and etc. All these school are places where football matters, and with big budgets, and who willing to pay coordinators $1MM, and with passionate fans.. Something we in the west cannot fathom. Football is a religion in the South. Yet in the midst of that James Franklin is succeeding with a deck stack against him

    Facilities: prior to James Franklin,Vandy showed little support for its football program, and it sub-standard facilities. James Franklin has been able raise funds for a new indoor practice facilities and other amenities. This shows that he has the charisma to successful talk to boosters and alumni.

    All I am saying there is another option and better. This decision is about the next ten years. James Franklin is smart, great recruiter, creative offensive mind, and has the energy and enthusiasm akin to Pete Carroll.

    Also, I believe James Franklin would be able to win over the current roster and keep the class intact. Also, he would have instant credibility in the inner-cities of Los Angeles and other places. James Franklin is a proven winner, and has done it consistently, and on a non-interim basis

    James Franklin is a first-class individual and coach.

    As a USC alum, I believe James Franklin should be strongly considered by USC.

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