A lot of names are being floated to replace USC's Pete Carroll. Some of them seem to have the right pedigree to fulfill the dancin' shoes the dynastic coach left behind.
But none of them can hold a candle to his ostentatious frenemy to the north, Stanford's Jim Harbaugh.
Though Harbaugh denies the rumors that he's in the running to be Carroll's successor, you know he thinks he's the only sensible solution. He wouldn't be Jim Harbaugh if he didn't.
Of the 1,000,000 reasons Harbaugh can name, here are 10 of the best for why he's the man for Pete Carroll's old job.
Stanford's recruiting class for 2010 was shaping up to be functional, if not outstanding.
The Cardinal landed four-star RB Brandon Bourbon, a quick back out of Missouri; Anthony Wilkerson, a pounder out of Tustin; and four-star DB Louis Young out of Maryland to help the loss of Toby Gerhart and shore up the defensive backfield.
The Cardinal couldn't hold on to four-star OL Torrian Wilson, but between this year and last year's class, Harbaugh showed he can recruit nationally and play Stanford's academics as a positive to the nation's best.
National recruiting is great, but California continues to be one of the most fertile and reliable states for producing prodigious talent.
In three years, Harbaugh's set down some roots in the California recruiting scene, and would be able to parlay those relationships into success for the Trojans without the need to build from the ground up.
At 2-0, Jim Harbaugh actually has a better record at the LA Coliseum than Pete Carroll. In that sense, he's an upgrade!
A year off from tying for sixth in the Pac-10, the Cardinal were in contention for the conference title after beating USC and Oregon in consecutive weeks.
More importantly, he did it through a punishing running style that rebranded Stanford as an unlikely locus of toughness.
Past succeeding in the Pac-10 style, Harbaugh, through Gerhart, has shown that he can remake it in his own image, much like Carroll did.
With the players USC attracts, Harbaugh will be able to run up 50 points against inferior teams without having to call for two-point conversions.
Carroll's unflappable energy was the envy of exhausted coaches and arthritic fifty-somethings the world over. Nothing could get the guy down for too long; if it did, he'd just go windsurfing with Cameron Diaz and the Jonas Brothers.
Harbaugh attacks life in a similar way, remaining upbeat and aggressive to a fault. Through Stanford's early struggles, Harbaugh promised change, and delivered on that promise this year.
When the two met at midfield after Stanford's pantsing of USC in the Coliseum, Carroll asked Harbaugh, "What's your deal?" to which Harbaugh replied, "What's your deal?"
The parrotry isn't a coincidence. Both of their deals are the same.
Despite falling behind to the Irish, Stanford ground out a 45-38 win over the lame-duck Charlie Weis team in the Cardinal's final regular season game.
Trojan fans have little interest in making the Notre Dame rivalry, well, too interesting again. Harbaugh can help make that less of a possibility.
On a serious note, Harbaugh does an outstanding job at coaching players to overachieve.
The same rules governing Brian Kelly's promise at Notre Dame apply to Harbaugh. If he can coach these gifted players to the full extent of their ability, the Trojans won't be far from their dominant ways.
Carroll's forthcoming departure to the NFL was obvious in retrospect.
So is Harbaugh's; his brother coaches the Baltimore Ravens, and the League is still the promised land for these guys, for whatever reason.
Why not catch him
before he flops in the pros and comes back a broken man in his golden years?
Carroll and Harbaugh were on their way to fielding a healthy rivalry, but Carroll couldn't take the heat.
Still, Harbaugh would love to move into the office of his brief rival.
You know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, sign 'em to a five-year, multimillion dollar deal.