The prolonged quiet surrounding Clancy Pendergast's future at USC was disconcerting.
Ed Orgeron hardly grunted a syllable before Pat Haden officially replaced him with Steve Sarkisian following the UCLA letdown. After neutralizing Fresno State and its nation-leading passing attack, however, it seemed as though what happened in Vegas actually stayed there—with Pendergast abandoned at the buffet to ultimately be replaced by Justin Wilcox.
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman first broke the imminent news that Sark's man from Washington is in, and USC's one-year defensive coordinator is out. With the forte of this new regime being offense, one would imagine stability and proven success being prioritized and maintained on the other side of the football. Incoming coaches package their staffs like an elementary school dodgeball draft at recess, but Pendergast's 5-2 scheme resurrected a Trojans defense that couldn't tackle a Song Girl or Stanford Tree in 2012.
Rather than reflecting on the emergence of freshman Su'a Cravens and All-American Leonard Williams or on his players' 35 sacks and No. 2 red-zone defense, Pendergast will now spend his New Year's Eve asking himself, "Where to next?"
From his Super Bowl berth with the 2008 Arizona Cardinals to this 2013 campaign, the Phoenix native remains an unpublicized commodity who still struggles to maintain a job. Whether at the collegiate or professional level, his resume should warrant high demand and a hand-picked breakout opportunity.
In lieu of Bowl casualties and the NFL's Black Monday aftermath, what is an ideal fit for Pendergast, and which teams should heavily pursue him? Is he comfortable remaining in the college football landscape, willing to relocate within the Pac-12 or upper echelon of programs? How perturbing is that itch to prove himself again in the big leagues?
Allow B/R to reward Pendergast’s semester with a belated stocking of interviews.