According to a report, USC has a “top choice” in mind to replace Clay Helton as head coach. He’s a man already familiar with Pac-12 territory.
Per Scott Wolf of Inside USC, the Trojans’ No. 1 candidate is none other than Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.
Cristobal just scored the biggest win of his coaching career last Saturday when the Ducks took down Ohio State in Columbus. Oregon was already king of the Pac-12. Now, the Ducks are starting to make waves at the national level.
As long as Oregon doesn’t trip up the rest of the season, it’ll be playing in the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Eve.
USC, meanwhile, can’t beat Oregon as of late so it might as well make a run after the Ducks’ head coach. It’s not a bad strategy, but pulling Cristobal away from Eugene is going to be a tall task.
I hear that #USC’s top choice for job is Oregon coach Mario Cristobal
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 16, 2021
This would be quite a steal by the Trojans. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve stolen an Oregon coach, either.
USC plucked now interim head coach Donte Williams from the Oregon staff early in 2020. He was one of the Ducks’ best recruiters and brought a few four- and five-star recruits to Eugene. He’s since made a similar impact in Southern California.
One of USC’s top priorities in its new coaching search is finding candidates who excel in the recruiting game. Mario Cristobal fits the bill. He has the Ducks on the verge of something special, but will the Trojans throw a wrench in those plans?
If USC were to hire someone today, it sounds like Cristobal would be the guy. Is the feeling mutual, though? Probably not.
For the record, Cristobal’s only response when asked about the USC rumors was “Go Ducks.”