Who may be on USC's wish list?
So where does USC go from here?
With Pete Carroll turning in his resignation and preparing to take over head coaching duties for the Seattle Seahawks, the question in Los Angeles becomes which candidates will the USC administration turn to in conducting its search for his replacement?
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, who was believed to be athletic director Mike Garrett’s top choice for replacing Carroll, signed a three-year extension Sunday evening with the Beavers to remain in Corvallis.
Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher and University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian have already informed the Trojans that they aren't interested in the job, leading to speculation that Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio may be a leading candidate. However, USC officials reportedly are concerned about offering him the job — potentially because of Del Rio's lack of college coaching experience.
As speculation runs rampant, let’s take a glance at some coaches who may be the most logical candidates on Garrett’s wish list after some big names have already withdrawn themselves from consideration.
Jim Harbaugh, Stanford head coach: He signed an extension with the Cardinal through 2014, but he continues to be one of the hottest coaching candidates for any opening. He already turned down Kansas’ wooing, but USC isn’t Kansas.
Norm Chow, UCLA offensive coordinator: Does Chow finally get his long-awaited, much-deserved opportunity to be a head coach? His offensive vision helped BYU win its only national title in 1984, and USC won the 2003 AP national championship and the 2004 BCS national championship while he was offensive coordinator.
Carl Smith, Cleveland Browns QB coach: Kind of an unknown, Smith was Matt Leinart’s position coach during USC’s 2004 national-title season. Will his relationship with Carroll, though, be a turn-off for Garrett?
Herman Edwards, former Jets and Chiefs head coach: USC already has contacted the ESPN studio analyst, but his NFL pedigree does not seem to be a fit at all.
Lane Kiffin, University of Tennessee head coach: Highly unlikely that the former ‘SC offensive coordinator would entertain a return to Los Angeles, but if Kiffin feels like he’s already caused too much of a stir in Knoxville…
Boise State's Chris Peterson, Utah's Kyle Whittingham, TCU's Gary Patterson and even BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall are all candidates who should be seriously considered for this position, but it seems more likely that a non-BCS head coach will get passed over once again.
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