The gas pedal on USC's coaching search is suddenly stuck in acceleration, for a big name meant to be atop Pat Haden's Christmas list (along with a majority of the nation's looming vacancies) has reportedly been scratched.
According to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com, Texas A&M has secured its head man Kevin Sumlin with a six-year contract extension. Yes, Sumlin is choosing job security and Johnny Football mystique in the renowned SEC over Hurricane Sanction aftermath and rediscovered relevance. The Trojans are disrespected yet again.
It's not the first time they've prematurely missed on an alleged target since ousting Lane Kiffin in late September. Steve Sarkisian? Interest denied. Lovie Smith? Interview debunked. Granted, words and promises don't mean as much in college football recently (Nick Saban, Chip Kelly, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo), but one guarantee that can be made is that USC's urgency to purchase their next head coach has already grown three sizes this Black Friday weekend, even though there's no rush whatsoever.
Never mind, Haden, that your incumbent sideline traveler Ed Orgeron has resurrected the Coliseum with a 6-1 record heading into tonight's rivalry renewal with UCLA and filled everyone's stomachs with delicious baked goods. More crucially, there is no flawless candidate—big-named nor small—that warrants the premature disruption of a program's stability for the second time in two months.
Whether the Trojans ultimately opt for a hometown child star, a sleeping up-and-comer, a dusty veteran or the raw specimen that returned them to the AP poll, the timing is inappropriate and there are too many unknowns and red flags.
Of course, seeing as though this is the rash YOLO sports culture apparently constructed by the Mayans, we're going to delve right in anyway. So who is the man and why should the answer be "none of the above?" Let's take a look at our remaining linked nominees.