Another year, another coach fired at the University of Southern California. USC coach Steve Sarkisian was placed on an indefinite leave of absence by athletic director, Pat Haden after an incident at the team’s practice on Sunday afternoon. On Monday, USC administration reevaluated the situation and decided to go ahead and fire Sarkisian, according to ESPN.
It may be premature to speculate who will be the next coach of the Trojans, but USA Today’s Dan Wolken released a list of the top 10 candidates that should be considered for the opening. Two familiar names to SEC fans appeared on the list.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen are ranked third and ninth on Wolken’s list, respectively. Wolken argues each coach has made the most of their opportunity at non-traditional powerhouse football schools and could be interested in USC because of the program’s storied history and previous success on the national stage.
Here is his argument for USC to hire Sumlin:
The Trojans and Sumlin had some level of mutual interest the last time the job came open, but conversations never got serious. It’s hard to believe Sumlin would leave Texas A&M given his $5 million-per-year contract, the facilities Texas A&M has built for him and the kind of players he’s bringing in now. On the other hand, USC is a place where you can win national titles. History says it’s much harder at Texas A&M.
And the argument for Mullen:
If this opening had come up last year when Mississippi State was rising to No. 1, Mullen would be on everyone’s list. Think about that: For several weeks last season, Mississippi State was No. 1 in the country for goodness sakes. Mullen isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the fact that a blunt Yankee has thrived in the deep South shows he’s smart and adaptable. Mullen has lots of energy, is excellent at evaluating talent and is on the cusp of leading the Bulldogs to a sixth consecutive bowl game. That’s unprecedented at a historically tough place to win.
Sumlin is in his fourth year at Texas A&M after four years as head coach at Houston. Mullen is in his seventh season at Mississippi State and won his 50th game with the Bulldogs on Saturday.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 12, 2015