On Monday afternoon, the USC Trojans parted ways with Clay Helton in a move that has been brewing for a few years now. Helton was a serviceable coach for several seasons, but the program is in desperate need of new blood.
Even though USC hasn’t been a national title contender in a while, there should be plenty of coaches interested in this job. The program has rich history and the ideal location to recruit five-star talent.
During this Tuesday’s episode of “Keyshawn, JWill & Max” on ESPN Radio, Paul Finebaum revealed which two coaches he has in mind for the USC job.
“Someone like James Franklin of Penn State is the first name that comes to mind,” Finebaum told Johnson. “He’s very charismatic, he was unbelievably successful at Vanderbilt. He’s had really good success at Penn State – they haven’t quite broken through, but they’ve come close a couple of times in terms of having a legitimate shot at the national title.”
Finebaum also believes Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal should be on USC’s radar. He’s coming off the biggest win of his career.
“After James Franklin, the most obvious choice is the hottest coach in the country today and that’s Mario Cristobal of Oregon,” Finebaum said. “Whether you get him to make that move down the coast, I don’t know.”
Finebaum also addressed if Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell would be a smart option for USC. After all, he has a connection with USC athletic director Mike Bohn.
“Because Mike Bohn came from Cincinnati, you’ll hear Luke Fickell’s name come up. I think Luke Fickell is a really fine coach, but you can’t just take a successful coach in the Midwest and make him work in Southern California.”
It’ll be really interesting to see if USC can find the right coach who’ll bring the program back to its glory days.