Nov 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins coach Jim Mora (left) and Southern California Trojans coach Ed Orgeron shake hands after the game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football: Players Still Supporting Orgeron For Head Coach Despite UCLA Loss


Sports fans are fickle. That’s just the way things go.

Sometime during the debacle that was Saturday’s game against the UCLA Bruins, large chunks of Trojan fans soured on the idea of Ed Orgeron as the permanent head coach. Whether you were sitting in the Coliseum, gathered at home, or immersed in the danger zones of Twitter or Facebook during the loss, you had to have felt the mood swing.

It’s not that fans who supported the idea of Orgeron taking on the official mantel of head coach are vehemently against it now. It’s that there is suddenly real doubt as to where the lovable Cajun can take this team.

Orgeron led USC out of a chaotic early season to end with an 6-2 record, including an upset win over then #5 Stanford. However, that record also now includes losses to the Trojans main two rivals — Notre Dame and UCLA.

The word, “unacceptable,” has been thrown around freely.

Even Orgeron, acknowledged the problem.

“This has been a great eight weeks.  This has been a wonderful journey, and they’ve gotten better,” said Orgeron (via the USC RipsIt Blog).  “But as a football team, you need to understand that you need to beat UCLA and Notre Dame.”

The players, however, have not changed their tune.

Freshman safety Su’a Cravens, took to twitter after the game to express his support for Orgeron.

Freshman defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow also tweeted his feelings for the interim coach.

Another freshman, redshirt linebacker Scott Starr, used the internet as a platform to send a simple, but clear message.

It is interesting to note that the young players have been the most publicly vocal about retaining Orgeron, as they’re the ones who will live longest with the consequences of the hire, whether it is Orgeron or someone from outside the program.

In any case, USC athletic director Pat Haden’s job has only gotten harder with the UCLA loss. With Kevin Sumlin seemingly tied up with a new contract at Texas A&M, Jack Del Rio unavailable to recruit until well past the Trojans’ December target, and Orgeron blowing his best chance to potentially lock down the position, there is no clear front runner to lead USC next season.

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Tags: Ed Orgeron Kenny Bigelow Scott Felix Su'a Cravens USC Football USC Trojans

  • Ben Factor

    Players support what they know. They lamented when Pola was fired, and now sing the praises of Robinson. Some lamented Kiffin’s firing. They will be here for 3-4 years, and then gone.

    What can we learn from Ed O? First, like all of us, players want to feel concern and caring from those we work/play for. This is especially true because these players are 18-22. Second, players value special occasions: celebratory meals, exciting guest speakers, etc. Third, leadership generally succeeds better with genuine people skills and humility.

    I don’t know whether to hire Orgeron. My instinct is that he’s tactical, but not strategic, and lacks a coherent overview of the future of CFB. I may be wrong. In any event, the hiring decision would require a list of everyone who wants the job, and a bunch of interviews. I think that Haden agrees.