A report on Sunday from ESPN’s Joe Schad indicated USC is closing in on making a hire and its two top targets are Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Boise State’s Chris Petersen.
Petersen’s name has consistently been tied to USC’s coaching search, whereas Franklin’s seemed to fade in and out of consideration.
Some of dismissive feelings towards Franklin can be attributed to the turnaround under interim Coach Ed Orgeron.
However, with the disheartening 35-14 loss to UCLA, the likelihood of the interim tag being removed from Orgeron’s name has taken a considerable hit.
Along with the loss to the Bruins, the Trojans also lost to Notre Dame under Orgeron.
Losing to both of the rivals is unacceptable at USC and thus Franklin and Petersen reportedly emerged as the top candidates.
By Monday morning, Petersen and USC had parted ways after mutual interest and into the fray enters Washington’s Steve Sarkisian.
Sarkisian coached six seasons as an assistant at USC over two stints and has a career record of 34-29 in five seasons as head coach of the Huskies.
With a record of just above .500, the prospect of hiring Sarkisian certainly wouldn’t win over the fan base and would be an interesting choice, to say the least.
Petersen’s withdrawal may bode well for Orgeron’s chances of eventually making his way to the top of the list of candidates, because as seen with Petersen, the situation remains fluid.