One name that should not be dismissed so quickly is current interim head coach Ed Orgeron, and athletic director Pat Haden made it clear Wednesday that Coach O is certainly a possibility for the Trojans:
Pat Haden: "What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable. He is clearly in our eyesight. But my job is to find the best coach of #USC."— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 20, 2013
Orgeron has said he would like to keep the job, and he's brought instant success to a program that was struggling under former head coach Lane Kiffin. Kiffin was fired after a 62-41 home loss to Arizona State, and Orgeron has since led the Trojans to a 5-1 record, with a 5-0 mark in Pac-12 play and a huge upset win over then-No. 4 Stanford on College GameDay. After Kiffin's firing, USC's bowl prospects were in doubt, and the Trojans are now in serious contention for a Pac-12 title berth (and possibly even a Rose Bowl appearance).
The players seem to have responded well to Orgeron, as well, as safety Dion Bailey took to the radio to commend the new coach's leadership, saying "He doesn't really run the program as a dictatorship."
The main thing holding Orgeron back is likely his previous experience as a head coach. At Ole Miss, Orgeron posted a 10-25 record over three years, including a 3-21 mark in SEC play, and was fired after a disappointing loss to Mississippi State.