Following a disappointing loss over the weekend, USC dropped a bombshell, announcing they would be firing coach Clay Helton just two games into the season.
Fans React As Clay Helton Has Reportedly Been Fired By USChttps://t.co/fJA08gmZSI
— SideAction (@SideActionHQ) September 13, 2021
After the Clay Helton news was announced, some insiders were beginning to make early lists on who USC could be looking to interview to take over their football program.
Early list for USC: James Franklin, Matt Campbell, Bill O'Brien, Luke Fickell, P.J. Fleck, Mario Cristobal, Greg Schiano and Tony Elliott. Former coaches who could be sought include Chris Petersen and Bob Stoops.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 13, 2021
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This list serves as a broad overview on who could potentially be available or poached by USC come the end of the season.
The list includes two Big Ten coaches – Penn State’s James Franklin and Minnesota’s PJ Fleck. Franklin has been linked to several openings in the past, whereas Fleck recently landed the job with the Gophers following a successful run at Western Michigan.
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell has been considered an up-and comer for many years, and has even been linked to some NFL jobs in the past. For now, he appears content at Iowa State, but you’d think both him and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell would take the USC call if that’s the direction the university wanted to go in.
Oregon’s Mario Cristobal, on the other hand, may be a little tougher. Leaving Oregon for a Pac-12 rival would most definitely turn Cristobal into public enemy #1 in Eugene. And he appears to have the program on the brink of becoming a National Championship contender, coming off an impressive win against Ohio State just last week.
So far, the list of potential options for the USC job is wide open, but expect that to narrow as the college football season progresses.