USC fires Steve Sarkisian, and an NFL ripple effect could follow

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USC has fired head coach Steve Sarkisian, opening up one of the most attractive jobs in college football — a job that may draw interest from NFL coaches, including Chip Kelly.

“After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. “I want to thank Clay Helton for stepping into the interim head coach role, and I want to add how proud I am of our coaching staff and players and the way they are responding to this difficult situation. Through all of this we remain concerned for Steve and hope that it will give him the opportunity to focus on his personal well being.”

Speculation will immediately turn to Philadelphia, where Kelly is known as a coach the USC brass would love to have. Despite a big win for the Eagles yesterday, it’s an open question whether Kelly has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. But there’s no question that he has what it takes to succeed in college, and if he has any interest in going back to school, USC and Kelly would be a great fit.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio and Rams coach Jeff Fisher both played at USC and have both been mentioned in the past as potential USC head coaches, although both seem like extreme long shots at this point.

Another possibility in the NFL is Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Although Roman has never been a head coach at any level, he knows the Pac-12 well after working as an assistant to Jim Harbaugh at Stanford before Harbaugh brought Roman along to the 49ers.

USC has major resources and is determined to get this coaching hire right after getting the first two hires of the post-Pete Carroll era (Lane Kiffin and Sarkisian) very wrong. If the USC athletic department makes an NFL coach its top target, that coach will get a very tempting offer.

89 responses to “USC fires Steve Sarkisian, and an NFL ripple effect could follow

  1. When does responsibility for the USC woes fall on Haden. He’s the constant in all this and is responsible for the hiring of the last two flops.

  2. Kelly would be an ideal fit for USC, but I’d be shocked if he left the Eagles job!
    ———————–
    I wouldn’t. Coming in for huge money, grabbing all the power, and then skipping town after destroying what was a pretty good roster seems like it would fit his M.O. exactly.

  3. Hey if we’re going to speculate about NFL coaches going to USC let’s not forget Pete Carroll is a Cali guy and his team is slipping. He would probably look forward to a new challenge and…oh, wait…never mind

  4. USC has fired head coach Steve Sarkisian, opening up one of the most attractive jobs in college football — a job that may draw interest from NFL coaches, including Chip Kelly.

    no, it’s not. USC’s job isn’t attractive at all. In many senses, it’s kind of like the University of Miami job which should be opening up soon too. USC does spend some on their program, but the reason they compete has more to do with where they are, not because of the great facilities, which is the lifeblood of a program, or what they pay coaches. Let’s take a trip down memory lane at all the people who have turned down that job over the years, which is why they ended up with Pete Carroll, a twice failed NFL HC felt to be out of HC shots at the time as like their 5th or 6th choice and his 2 flunkie assistants who never had any business being head coaches, not to mention a procession of uninspiring hires like Paul Hackett and worn out John Robinson after his horrible NFL career. Unless they step their game up, they’ll get another bad hire like the last 2 after stumbling onto Carroll by accident. Chip Kelly was at Oregon with Nike money. USC would be a step down job in every way except having recruits right in his backyard.

  5. chip’s ego wouldnt let him quit on the eagles he has just started putting together and he has more control than ever, USC would have to offer him QB money to leave.

  6. I find it interesting, and amusing, that anyone feels a college coaching job is a step UP for any NFL head coach. For an assistant, maybe. But not a head coach.

  7. I can’t see the Chipper leaving Philly especially after he wrestled the personnel power away from the GM. He has all the control he wants and can handle. If he did leave for USC I’d be surprised but not shocked. He may have bitten off more than he can chew in Philly but I don’t think he’s a quitter.

  8. “After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    USC must be so proud of their education prowess. Their AD just said he made the decision to kill Steve Sarkisian.

  9. jag1959 says:
    Oct 12, 2015 5:16 PM
    Hey if we’re going to speculate about NFL coaches going to USC let’s not forget Pete Carroll is a Cali guy and his team is slipping. He would probably look forward to a new challenge and…oh, wait…never mind
    ——–
    Seattle is 2-3 for the first 5 games this season.
    Seattle was 3-3 for the first 6 games last season.
    Seattle was one idiotic play call by OC Darrell Bonehead Bevell from winning back to back SB victories last season.

    What was it you said?

  10. stewart09 says:
    chip’s ego wouldnt let him quit on the eagles he has just started putting together and he has more control than ever, USC would have to offer him QB money to leave.
    __________________

    That’s not much of an incentive. Since the sanctions I don’t think USC is paying their QBs all that much.

  11. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if “Pete Carroll” steps aside in seattle (little s) as he see’s the writing on the wall with this failing franchise, and is the new USC head coach by weeks end.

  12. skawh says:
    Oct 12, 2015 5:35 PM

    ——–
    Seattle is 2-3 for the first 5 games this season.
    Seattle was 3-3 for the first 6 games last season.
    Seattle was one idiotic play call by OC Darrell Bonehead Bevell from winning back to back SB victories last season.

    What was it you said?

    ______________________________

    Seahawks are one missed call (against the Lions) away from being 1-4. Sad part is, the fans are in denial. The hawks window closed very fast.

  13. Time to give Spurrier a call. At least he can drink and coach at the same time unlike that lightweight Sark.

  14. Hope Sark gets some help and lands back on his feet.
    Seems like a good guy.
    Divorce, drinking issues, publicly getting fired isn’t easy for anyone to handle.

  15. Haden is the one that needs to be fired. USC has been in total chaos for the last 5 or 6 years, and it’s not getting any better.

  16. Amazing how quickly you can go from being dominant to losing most of your games but it really doesn’t take much. Other than the line they don’t really look hugely different on either offense or defense but a little slippage across the board and suddenly a 24-7 win that felt more like a 40-0 game becomes them losing like 24-17.

  17. “After careful consideration of what is in the best interest of the university and our student-athletes, I have made the decision to terminate Steve Sarkisian, effective immediately,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement.

    There may be a cultural and language difference here (I’m from England), but isn’t there a difference between terminating someone and terminating their contract? As I understand it, the first involves their death, whereas the second ends their employment.

  18. A head college coach is a lucrative job for MANY coaches. You don’t have to worry about draft position, free agency or a salary cap. As long as you love recruiting; which most college coaches live for, you can reload and be competitive for YEARS.

  19. Sark will be the next OC of the Seahawks once he receives treatment and they fire Bevell.

    ———————————–

    Does Sark know more plays than screen passes, hand offs, or fake hand offs?

    He’s in!

  20. And to think Sark left Udub only to hire Peterson whose Udub team just drove in the final nail in Sark’s coffin by beating the Trojans in L.A.

    I think it’s safe to say Udub got the better deal on that musical chair sceneria.

  21. As a Cowboys fan I hope Kelly doesn’t go anywhere. His mega incompetence is partly why Dallas still has a chance in the division.

    Lose Andy Reid & get Chip Kelly, how did we get so lucky?

  22. No way does Greg Roman leave Buffalo… he’ll be in line for a Head Coaching position after this season. Not that USC wouldn’t probably pay out more money than an NFL team, because I’m sure they will, but that does not seem to be the route Roman wants to take… He wants an NFL team and what goes along with it.

  23. How about Pete Carroll before the Seagags fire him for Super Bowl gag and insides kick……. 4th quarter loss to Bengals. Loss this week to Panthers….
    Bye Bye Pete…….. Come home to the Niners and get out of that pasty horrible grey weather and the lame 12th man

  24. skawh says:
    Seattle is 2-3 for the first 5 games this season.
    Seattle was 3-3 for the first 6 games last season.
    Seattle was one idiotic play call by OC Darrell Bonehead Bevell from winning back to back SB victories last season.

    What was it you said?
    ________________

    I said they are slipping. I didn’t say they were done, there should still be 7-8 wins left in that schedule. But down the road they don’t have the tools in the shed they had the last few years to address the marginal start. The offensive line is a pale shadow of it’s former self and Lynch may be wearing down as he closes in on 30, dude has carried the rock a lot the last few years. Last year they were 3-2 after 5 and had quality wins over GB and Denver to hang their hats on. This year they have beaten Chicago and barely survived winless Detroit. Championship attrition, age/injury and the salary cap are all conspiring against them.

    As to the SB call, it took a Tyree level lucky catch to put them in position to make that call, something that conveniently gets left out of the conversation due to the INT. What if scenarios are a dime a dozen and in addition to being an exercise in futility they can cut both ways. For instance in 5 attempts from the 1 last season Lynch only scored once but keep telling yourself that was what it came down to if it helps you have sweeter dreams.

  25. As a USC fan I would still take Sark drunk on the sidelines as he was reported to be 2 weeks ago over a sober Lane Kiffin any day of the week.

  26. Rick Neuheisel or maybe the biggest name out there…..Jim Tressel. Yes I understand he may have to server a few games of suspension but if we are talking long term, that’s your man.

  27. dmwilliams0124 says:
    Oct 12, 2015 5:45 PM

    Seahawks are one missed call (against the Lions) away from being 1-4. Sad part is, the fans are in denial. The hawks window closed very fast.
    ——-
    For the record, those “deluded” fans have been calling for the ouster of OC Bevell and a revamping of the offense for several years. The club isn’t listening.

    Sark deserved to be fired…weeks ago….what he did showing up drunk as the face of the University should have been dealt with weeks ago.

  28. after he sobers up and finds Jesus he can follow Kiffin to Bama . Saban will hire him in a heart beat and raid the trojans of all the players who want to transfer. Saban is NOT leaving Bama . book it !

  29. Its amazing how stupid most organizations institutions are.

    If im firing anyone its Haden. You hired the guy now youre gone. Same with GMs in the NFL. You picked these crappy players, youre gone.

    Hard kicking someone when they are down. I dont drink but maybe 1x a month. How bout giving the guy a chance to get his problem under control.

    Ever since Petey left USC, they have made some pretty dumb decisions.

  30. You people saying you can’t see Chip leaving the Eagles….this article is speculating that Chip will be fired after the season after he destroyed the roster and his team isn’t living up to expectations. It’s not speculating that he’ll leave the team voluntarily

  31. Kelly won’t be fired after this season, no matter what record the Eagles end up with. Jeffrey Lurie won’t admit making a mistake that quickly. At the very least, he’ll give Kelly one more season to turn things around. On the other hand, it wouldn’t shock me to see Kelly cut bait and run for the safe haven of college football. But I don’t think that he’ll do that this soon. His ego is too large to quit so easily.

  32. Absolutely not! Kelly’s philosophy doesn’t jive with the tradition at USC. This would be the equivalent of Michigan hiring Rich Rodriguez … it’s taken YEARS [and dysfunctional management in San Francisco] to bring back a semblance of the Wolverines we all grew up with.

  33. So obvious just ask NO at around Thanksgiving when they are like 1-8 for permission to speak with Sean Peyton since him and Brees are gone at the end of the year anyway

  34. Before they replace Sarkisian, did they breach his contract?

    Usually when I see someone fired right after they’re told to take a leave of absence, that person gets termination pay.

    Now USC may have 3 head coaches to pay off unless Lane Kiffin is off their books.

  35. skawh says:
    Oct 12, 2015 6:55 PM
    dmwilliams0124 says:
    Oct 12, 2015 5:45 PM
    Seahawks are one missed call (against the Lions) away from being 1-4. Sad part is, the fans are in denial. The hawks window closed very fast.
    ——-
    For the record, those “deluded” fans have been calling for the ouster of OC Bevell and a revamping of the offense for several years. The club isn’t listening.
    ___________________
    There’s a difference between delusion and denial. Weren’t you the guy that was talking them up a few posts ago as being champs 2 years ago and one call away from repeating? The fans wanted the 8th ranked SB winning and 10th ranked almost repeat champion offense revamped for years? There’s some revisionist nonsense. The club doesn’t listen to the fans? That must refer to the ones that have been there all of 5 years, because no real fan wouldn’t post anything that silly.
    As Bill Parcells’s said “You start thinking like a fan and pretty soon you’ll be sitting with them.”
    Do a web search to find out who he is

  36. Jim Tressel’s penalty is over and he is free to get back to coaching. President of Youngstown State or head coach at USC. Not a hard decision.

  37. I don’t know if USC would consider him or if he would be interested but Josh McDaniels the Patriots OC would be a very good hire. He did not do well in Denver as the head coach but I think he would be s great college coach.

  38. Seahawks are one missed call (against the Lions) away from being 1-4. Sad part is, the fans are in denial. The hawks window closed very fast.

    ———————–

    What’s even sadder is all the haters who would sell their soul to go to back to back superbowls trying to talk smack about Pete and the seahawks.

  39. What makes anyone think the last two coaches were any worse than Pete Carroll? He won by cheating and then abandoned ship when he got caught. He was the WORST of the three!

  40. So you cut loose a guy who’s getting divorced and has a drinking problem by wishing him luck getting it all together?! You just signed his death certificate.
    What a heartless business…….

  41. University of Spoiled Children.
    University of Second Choice.
    University of South Central.
    And now a new one – University of Scumbag Coaches.

  42. Alternatively… or not.
    Such general speculation.. weak.
    There are so many things to write about and you pull out the “duh, one of the biggest CFB gigs opened up and some NFL coaches MIGHT be interested…” DUH.
    Again, weak.

  43. Chip Kelly hasn’t quite finished the job of decimating the Eagles yet.

    Perhaps by the end of the season he will have them headed into the basement and can then join the Trojans knowing his mission in the NFL has been completed.

  44. pftony says:
    Oct 12, 2015 6:21 PM
    As a Cowboys fan I hope Kelly doesn’t go anywhere. His mega incompetence is partly why Dallas still has a chance in the division.

    Lose Andy Reid & get Chip Kelly, how did we get so lucky?

    ——————–

    After Andy Reid’s 9-0 start on a piece-of-cake schedule in KC, his record is 12-16 and getting further and further from the playoffs.

    Meanwhile, Chip has beaten your Cowboys twice IN DALLAS, once an embarrassing defeat on Thanksgiving at the hands of noneother than the buttfumbler Matt Sanchez.

    Be careful what you wish for. You may get more Chippah than you can handle for the next few years.

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