Does anyone seriously think Urban Meyer or Mario Cristobal leave their jobs for USC?
Okay, listen, I get the premise that certain college football coaches are mercenaries looking for essentially the next big payday. If not for these coaches, the December College Coaching Carousel would not exist.
Head coaching jobs sometimes fall from the sky during December when restless boosters and fans with totally outrageous expectations demanding a new coach when their team didn't make it to the College Football Playoff.
Occasionally jobs come open DURING the season and the rumor mill cranks up almost immediately afterwards. Writers and sports talk radio hosts begin throwing out names for said jobs for a variety of reasons, not many of which are realistic.
Sure, there are times when the agent for a coach looking to move on will drop their clients name to someone so its out there even though all parties will deny it.
The point I'm getting at is this:
Don't believe most of what read about jobs like, say, the USC job which is now open because the Trojans finally parted ways with Clay Helton last week after five years of speculation.
The coaching rumor line sprang to life immediately. A variety of names surfaced: Luke Fickell, current coach at Cincinnati, Matt Campbell, current coach at Iowa State. These coaches are currently mentioned when any major college job comes open.
But there were two names that jumped off the page to me as: "Get the #%@! out of here!". Mario Cristobal and Urban Meyer.
Why....on god's green earth would Urban Meyer leave the Jacksonville Jaguars after ONE game and go back to college? Come on now, name ONE legitimate reason....
Yeah, sure, Urban has a reputation for bailing out when his teams lose. He's done it twice. Neither time was it because he left for another job.
I know that, his very young team has currently lost one game. He hates losing. Why would he take an NFL job assuming that he'd go 17-0? Maybe he's delusional, but come on now, nobody is THAT delusional.
Also, as the story goes, the guy hates recruiting which if you ask, a majority of college coaches will tell you the same thing. (though not on the record)
Of course--just two days after Helton was fired at USC, the name Urban Meyer immediately popped up. And yup, you guessed it. That was one of the first things someone asked about at his Wednesday media availability.
Yeah, of course social media didn't buy this for a second. But most everyone on Twitter is a cynic and 2/3 of the speculation on there is not even remotely correct. It was amazing how many people turned into "body language experts".
Why would Meyer leave a job in Jacksonville where he's getting paid a ton of money to oversee a professional franchise where he can pick and choose the amount of involvement he wants? It's a job where he doesn't have to spend every waking hour calling and trying to protect recruits or fend off other schools trying to recruit his recruits? Or having to sweat over the transfer portal at the end of each and every season?
Other than the fact the guy has bailed out on two programs with little to no notice, it's not like he's a habitual job hopper either.
Also...why is Mario Cristobal's name being thrown around? Seriously? Why?
The guy is coaching at a top flight program with a ton of money just down the road from Nike headquarters. Oh, and did I mention the CEO of the company is an Oregon grad who has the money to buy pretty much whatever he wants?
I'm not going to sit here and say Cristobal will never leave Oregon, he might. But if I were a betting man, I'm guessing it would take the Alabama job or something roughly equivalent to uproot him.
I know my partners on THE REVIEW (OSG Sports College Football Podcast that airs every Monday) will disagree with me and say USC is a premier job. And yeah, sure, 15-years ago, it was. But there's nothing to back that assertion up any team in recent memory.
Oregon on the other hand has been in the College Football Playoff a couple times and flirted with it a couple more. They are the power team in the Pac 12, and it doesn't matter that the school isn't located in Los Angeles or another mega-TV market. Players will go because of NIKE, they'll go because there are NIL opportunities and they go because there's a good chance to compete for a national title. What else needs to be said?
Heck, maybe Fickell takes the job, he's done wonders at Cincinnati and has ties to current USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn, Fickell probably would be successful in LA, but that success won't happen overnight.
I seriously doubt Campbell would take the job, he's had equally as good opportunities to leave Iowa State, yet he's still there. If the guy has the itch (which we don't know), he can cherry pick if he so chooses.
If you want another contender--How 'bout Chris Peterson? He left Washington two years ago after a ton of success and the rumor mill says he's interested.
At the end of the day, yeah, someone will take the job at USC and get paid fairly well for it. But I'll say it now and you can call me out for it if I'm wrong---it won't be Mario Cristobal and it certainly won't be Urban Meyer.