Jack Del Rio

Who will be USC’s next head coach?

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The search for a new head coach is on at USC (and USC for that matter) and folks have already been mentioning Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly as the favorite for the job. The folks at Bovada feel a bit differently. Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is the odds-on favorite to be named the next head coach of the USC Trojans. Kelly are Boise State head coach Brian Harsin are tied for the second betting favorite for the job.

Bovada released their odds for the next head coach of the Trojans on Tuesday, and it includes some very familiar names. Though considered long shots for the job, Bovada included Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and TCU head coach Gary Patterson among their betting options. Washington’s Chris Petersen is also included in the mix, as is current interim head coach Clay Helton. Helton actually has better odds to win the job over the previously mentioned power program options.

Odds for Next USC Head Coach

  • Kyle Whittingham +350
  • Chip Kelly +600
  • Brian Harsin+600
  • Tom Herman +700
  • Justin Fuente +700
  • Clay Helton +800
  • Jack Del Rio +800
  • Chris Petersen +900
  • Brian Kelly +900
  • Kevin Sumlin +1100
  • Gary Patterson +1100
  • Mark Dantonio +1500

The options for South Carolina were also given odds from Bovada. Of the options listed, only Dantonio hails from a power conference. Earlier today he sidestepped the discussion.

  • Kirby Smart +250
  • Shawn Elliott +300
  • Justin Fuente +400
  • Ed Orgeron +400
  • Jeff Brohm +700
  • Matt Campbell +800
  • Mark Hudspeth +800
  • Matt Wells +1200
  • Mark Dantonio +2000

Oakland Raiders target Louisville DC Todd Grantham for Del Rio’s staff

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The head coaching carousel around the NFL may have come to a close, but assistants are still ripe for the picking. That means some college football assistants are going to get some looks to fill some vacancies in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders have an eye on Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

The Raiders hired Jack Del Rio to be the team’s new head coach recently. The two coaches have never coached together, but there are some good reasons why Grantham would be considered for the job in Oakland. First, Grantham has some NFL coaching experience. The current defensive coordinator for Louisville has coached defensive line for the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys in addition to serving as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns for three seasons. Grantham last coached in the NFL in 2009 as a defensive line coach for Dallas. He then coached four years as the defensive coordinator at Georgia before moving to Louisville last season. In his one year at Louisville, Grantham coached the second-best total defense in the ACC and held opponents to just 308.5 yards per game.

If Grantham does leave Louisville after one season to return to the NFL, the Cardinals should be able to find a suitable replacement. The timing may be unfortunate for Louisville, with National Signing Day coming up next week, but it is a reality of the profession. Louisville should have the resources to keep things afloat on the coaching staff as well.

USC gives Pete Carroll a call for the hall (of fame)

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After leading the Seattle Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory, Pete Carroll is living large in the NFL. His days at USC were among the most dominant in the nation under his watch, and now the university will induct Carroll in the athletics hall of fame.

USC announced the new hall of fame class via Twitter Monday, with Carroll serving as the headliner. Former Trojan football players Jack Del Rio (currently the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator), Jimmy Jones, Tim Rossovich and former coach Dave Levy will also be inducted. Jones was the first African-American quarterback to appear on a cover of Sports Illustrated.

USC finished in the top five of the final AP Top 25 in seven out of nine seasons under Carroll, and he coached three Heisman Trophy players (one of which was later vacated, of course). The Trojans were kings of college football, winning a BCS national championship and grabbing a pair Associated Press national championships along the way.

There is no question Carroll revitalized the once dominant power out on the west coast, and that deserves to be honored. Before his arrival, USC had finished a season ranked in the top 25 just three times between 1990 and 2001. During his time at USC, Carroll coached the Trojans to a record of 97-19 (adjusted by the NCAA to 83-19, which is still pretty darn impressive). That number includes a total of seven bowl victories, six of those coming in BCS bowl games. Carroll was undefeated in the Rose Bowl, aside from the year it served as the BCS Championship Game and Vince Young led Texas to a thrilling victory in a game for the ages. If USC was in a big game, they were often the favorite and more than often came out on top when the program was at its height under Carroll.

Of course, the legacy of the Carroll era took a hit in the later years once the NCAA stripped the program of victories and scholarships and slapped the program with a postseason ban as a result of former running back Reggie Bush receiving extra benefits. Carroll left USC after the 2009 season to accept a position as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Having done all he likely could have accomplished at the collegiate level, Carroll may have had a thirst for another crack at the NFL. That has obviously gone well, but the timing of his departure from USC raised some eyebrows at the time.

The Trojans being saddled with Lane Kiffin as a head coach did not help the cause, nor did the sanctions levied against the program. Carroll has defended the USC program in the wake of NCAA investigations and sanctions time and time again though, and he continues to say his leaving the program had nothing to do with the state of the program.