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Report: USC coaching search focusing on Chris Petersen, James Franklin

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ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting on Sunday night that USC has decided against elevating interim coach Ed Orgeron and is instead focused on Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin as its primary candidates to fill the school’s head coaching position.

According to the report, the Trojans have made it known to Orgeron that they would like to keep him on staff in some capacity. USC was defeated 35-14 by rival UCLA this past Saturday, thus puncturing his chances at the head job.

Petersen is 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State head coach and has twice been named the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.

Franklin has done wonders at Vanderbilt, building a once-downtrodden program to the point where bowls berths are expected rather than scoffed at. He is 23-15 in his three seasons there.

Between the two, Petersen might be the best fit at USC and would be the biggest splash hire, though Franklin’s ability to compete in the SEC is also an intriguing point in his favor.

It’s likely that the Trojans will announce a head coach before this week is out.

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20 Responses to “Report: USC coaching search focusing on Chris Petersen, James Franklin”
  1. DonKellyBaby says: Dec 1, 2013 10:03 PM

    Orgeron would be smart to walk away completely from this program. He’s a good coach and USC has turned into a train wreck of a program.

  2. thekatman says: Dec 1, 2013 10:10 PM

    CEO could become the first Dir of Football Recruiting, a position that is not tied to the HC, but reports to the AD.

    Don. Don’t bRuin you day, too.

  3. soundsofsuccess7 says: Dec 1, 2013 10:26 PM

    If they hire James Franklin alumni and players will throw a fit

  4. Deb says: Dec 1, 2013 10:54 PM

    Have they ruled out Del Rio?

  5. nickp91 says: Dec 1, 2013 10:57 PM

    Chris Peterson will be the USC coach next year

  6. halbert53 says: Dec 1, 2013 11:14 PM

    Doubt if Peterson would accept as he has turned down other overtures before. Franklin is excellent coach at a private university like USC, but unsure he would fit in the USC culture.
    I can understand not going with Orgeron, but if Peterson or Franklin is the best they can do its pretty pathetic.

  7. jkaflagg says: Dec 1, 2013 11:31 PM

    Nobody wants to say it, but the UCLA loss had to be a relief for Pat Haden; he can now proceed without pressure for an Orgeron hiring from the players and the fans. It should not have come down to the results of one game anyway, and Haden probably would have made the right call anyway; the Lane Kiffin debacle probably removed any remaining “nice guy” inclinations he may have had.

    Myself, I would have liked to see Coach O considered for the permanent job, but Haden undoubtedly had some insight about what his strengths and weaknesses would be over the long haul.

  8. Deb says: Dec 1, 2013 11:32 PM

    I’d be shocked to see Peterson take this job. The responsibilities of coaching a program this size are so much bigger than his duties at Boise. If he’s found his niche, why would he want to leave for a situation with this many headaches?

  9. pettytom says: Dec 1, 2013 11:37 PM

    Oregeron can come back to the Bayou State. He’s always been a great recruiter, just leave the violations back in Cali.

  10. dhalb34 says: Dec 1, 2013 11:41 PM

    I would like to see Franklin. He’s worked at a PAC 12 school before, and his personality would be great to push some of these kids. By the way, Don, if 9-4 is a downtrodden program you’re an idiot. Ask some of these SEC or PAC 12 teams at the bottom what they would say about having a 9-4 season. Bruins suck, Irish suck, FIGHT ON!

  11. thetuke says: Dec 1, 2013 11:41 PM

    Deb: you got to take the opportunity when it presents itself. Peterson will be a Trojan soon.

  12. scbaby2013 says: Dec 2, 2013 1:11 AM

    @pettytom what violations did coach o do? The NCAA Committee on Infractions hammered the USC football program on June 10, 2010 with the worst sanctions ever handed down outside of SMU’s death penalty back in 1987.

    Paul Dee, the COI chairman, told USC they would forfeit two future postseason appearances, 30 scholarships over three years and allowed any junior or senior on the roster to transfer without penalty. USC also had to vacate wins from 2004 and 2005, remove all likenesses of Reggie Bush from the campus and spend four years on probation.

    As the athletic director of the University of Miami, Dee oversaw two of the most egregious scandals in college sports history. Yet somehow this hypocrite was permitted to chair the COI and charge the Trojans with Lack of Institutional Control, sanctimoniously proclaiming that USC “should have known” what Bush’s parents were doing 110 miles from campus.-http://our75arebetterthanyour85.com

  13. raysfan1 says: Dec 2, 2013 2:07 AM

    To all those already assuming Chris Peterson is coming to SC–here is a partial list of universities that have tried to get him to leave Boise State and failed over the past few years: UCLA (reportedly offering to more than double his salary, and triple what Neuheisel was making, after Neuheisel was fired), Washington, Oregon, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. He’d likely be at the top of any school’s wish list if he ever expressed interest in moving on. He’s now been at Boise State for 13 years, first as OC then as HC. Things can always change, but I’ve yet to see any indication he would want to move. Until he does, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  14. Anoesis says: Dec 2, 2013 2:24 AM

    DKB-
    You’re on the wrong thread. Hardball Talk is the green button to the left.

    thekatman-
    Agree that Orgeron is a lights-out recruiter and motivator. I’m hopeful a new head coach is smart enough to keep him and that Ed wants to stay.

    Deb-
    Del Rio isn’t a good fit in my opinion. He’s a former NFL head coach and likely wants that position again. Del Rio would end up being a repeat of Pete Carroll: Taking the top job at USC in order to get another shot at the NFL.

    I, too, thought Petersen would be likely to remain at Boise State, but don’t discount his desire to see what would happen with the kind of recruiting only a USC could provide him.

    halbert53-
    Right, because both Petersen and Franklin suck at coaching. SMH…

    jkaflagg-
    Thanks for saying what so many of us were thinking.

    pettytom-
    If you can’t spell his name you can’t have him back. Your neck of the woods reminds me of a different kind of “violation.”

    scbaby2013-
    I’ve tried your reasoned approach a couple of different times on this site. SC gets no sympathy from anyone despite the obvious conflict of interest that Dee presented. The NCAA is a pretty corrupt organization that exhibits virtually no consistency in its rulings.

    Miami has gotten away with ongoing infractions for years and Penn State’s leadership covered up for a serial pedophile. But Bush got an agent to RENT a house for his folks far from campus and that, in the biased eyes of the NCAA, is the crime of the century in college football.

  15. Deb says: Dec 2, 2013 2:54 AM

    @Anoesis …

    Del Rio’s a great guy, but I’d also ruled him out because he was unsuccessful as an NFL head coach. Then my brother reminded me the same was true of Pete Carroll before he hired on at USC. And he did a terrific job coaching the Trojans.

    You may be right that if they hire Del Rio he’d only wind up going back to the NFL. But if he had the kind of success Carroll did at USC, it would be worth having him if only for a few seasons.

  16. philwauke says: Dec 2, 2013 9:39 AM

    From What I understand Peterson’s child requires some specialized care and Peterson is happy with his doctors and overall situation for his child. That’s a main reason why he stays and he just enjoys Boise.

  17. spudvol says: Dec 2, 2013 10:07 AM

    @philwauke

    100% not true about Petersen’s kid.

    http://thebiglead.com/2011/11/30/rick-reilly-thinks-ucla-is-sweetening-the-offer-to-chris-petersen-with-assurances-for-his-special-needs-kid/

  18. coolhorn46 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:55 AM

    One website that’s usually pretty spot on, coachingsearch.com is reporting that USC has struck out on both Peterson and Sarkisian, and is saying Sarkisian did NOT interview for the USC job. No surprise that Peterson apparently turned the Trojans down…he’s had numerous opportunities to move up, but each time has opted to stay at Boise.

    http://coachingsearch.com/coaching-search-ticker

  19. tigersfandan says: Dec 2, 2013 11:08 AM

    I was operating under the impression that Petersen may be thinking that he’s accomplished as much as he can at Boise State. Apparently that’s not the case. At any rate, I think James Franklin is probably a better option than Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian is probably too similar to Lane Kiffin.

  20. apehangers says: Dec 6, 2013 5:01 PM

    Post OP. Sark to USC, Peterson to UW. Thanks Sark. Hopefully Wilcox stays for a couple years since Peterson and he have history.

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