Jeff Tedford declines USC consultant role, interested in head coaching vacancy

Harry How

Please tell me this isn't Bruce Snyder redux.

Lane Kiffin is gone, so you'd think USC would turn to the usual suspects. James Franklin, Kevin Sumlin, Pat Fitzgerald, Art Briles are the hot college names. Jack Del Rio and Jeff Fisher are the USC alum that might be interested in coming back. Steve Sarkisian, David Shaw and Chip Kelly are the flight of fancy candidates. Clancy Pendergast is a name that amuses me and will continue to amuse me.

Then there's this.

Shortly after firing Lane Kiffin last weekend, the school reached out to one-time rival Jeff Tedford to ask him to come aboard as an offensive consultant and recruiter, a source told FOX Sports. USC wanted the former University of California coach to help out Clay Helton, who is in his first year as offensive coordinator and is now in sole control of the offense.

The offer to Tedford came with a suggestion he would be considered a candidate during the head-coaching search that's expected to commence in the coming weeks. The source said Tedford, who is focused on finding his next full-time position, declined the school's offer, but would still be interested in replacing Kiffin on a permanent basis.

Jeff Tedford, USC head coach? Some Cal detractors might be pleased that USC would target a coach past his prime, but there are some reasons that this might make sense.

  • USC is one of the few teams left that runs a pro-style offense. Tedford, for all his gameday weaknesses, is still considered an excellent playcaller who just ran out of players and schemes. Although this might concern Trojan fans, who already spent four years dealing with a coach who called his own plays, Tedford has shown a willingness to hire an offensive coordinator who shares his vision. Kiffin had no such grip on the position.
  • Tedford, who struggled to get the assistants he wanted after the old crew broke up, should be able to have his pick of any coordinator and position coach in the country that he wants (Ron Gould in Los Angeles would be really tough to handle, but...).
  • Tedford, who struggled to get the recruits he needed in the latter half of his tenure at Strawberry Canyon, should have his pick of the litter at Heritage Hall. And he has always been an excellent offensive recruiter.
  • Tedford will inherit a team with top-five talent at every position. The big issue will be fixing up the quarterback situation, but he's going to have much better players to work with at SC.
  • Tedford will not have to deal with the headaches of having to spend his entire tenure upgrading his facilities and his stadium. It's all ready for him to go.
  • Academics will not be a huge concern at USC as they were at Cal.

I don't even want to think about it. Tedford in USC could be a big flop, but there's also a good chance it could work. What do you think about the idea?

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