Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USC Coaching Search Straw Poll: Chris Petersen Pegged as Media's Favorite


Tonight, for the first time since the late-night sacking of Lane Kiffin 12 days ago, the USC Trojans will take the field with Ed Orgeron at the helm as interim head coach. It seems like longer than 12 days, and time should only continue to drag on, as USC likely won’t have a full-time head coach appointed until mid-December.

To get a gauge on the USC coaching search, we asked members of the media, many of which cover USC, to partake in our straw poll of who they consider to be their top five candidates to coach the Trojans.

As you can expect with as wide open as talks have been for the last week, there was a smattering of names from across the country, as 23 coaches were mentioned by 15 pollsters, including representation from seven college football conferences and four different NFL teams.

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen grabbed nearly half of all first place votes, with only Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald getting more than one nod atop a ballot.

Current interim head coach Ed Orgeron finished in third place with 20 points, and he was the only current staffer to make it on a ballot, as Clancy Pendergast and Tee Martin weren’t included by anyone.

Jack Del Rio, who has been deemed to be the odds-on-favorite by Vegas, finished 10th in the balloting and failed to receive a single first place vote.

We’d like to thank everyone that participated in the straw poll, as we appreciate being able to put together such a collaborative effort. Here’s how the results turned out, along with a list of all coaches that received at least one point.

Rank Coach (First Place Votes) Current Job Points
1. Chris Petersen (7) Boise State HC 54
2. Kevin Sumlin (1) Texas A&M HC 25
3. Ed Orgeron (1) USC Interim HC 20
4. Pat Fitzgerald (2) Northwestern HC 19
5. Gary Patterson (1) TCU HC 18

Others Receiving Votes: Steve Sarkisian (1) 16, Art Briles 13, James Franklin 12, Greg Roman 9, Jack Del Rio 7, Gary Kubiak (1) 5, Charlie Strong (1) 5, Kirby Smart 5, Nick Aliotti 3, Derek Mason 3, Tim DeRuyter 2, Greg Schiano 2, Jeff Tedford 2, Mark Richt 1, Vic Fangio 1, Ken Niumatalolo, Chad Morris 1, Mike Riley 1

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Tags: Chris Petersen Football USC Trojans