Those rumors turned out to be just a little more than talk as CBS reported Sunday that not only could the Tennessee Volunteers be a player for Gruden’s services, but the Arkansas Razorbacks would be willing to open up the bank vault to secure the former Super Bowl champion head coach. In my opinion, neither would be a good fit, but there is one potential opening in which Gruden would be a great fit.
The Southern California Trojans are sitting at 7-4 on the season, and contrary to the reports that Lane Kiffin will be back next season, I think he is on the hot seat. I have a hard time believing that a coach who was supposed to win a national championship, but instead led one of the biggest letdowns in 2012, wouldn’t be in jeopardy of losing his job.
If Jon Gruden wants to come back to coaching, this is the job he holds out for. Here is why:
First of all, Southern Cal will be able to take care of Gruden financially. No matter what anyone tells you, it is always about the money. If he is making anywhere near the $4 million dollars he is rumored to be making with ESPN, you can be assured he’s not taking a more stressful job for the same price tag.
Secondly, he’ll be able to recruit much easier with Southern California than he would with Knoxville or Fayetteville. No offense to either one of those cities, but Los Angeles can offer sunny weather, sandy beaches and In-N-Out burger every day of the week. If I was athletic enough I would commit for those reasons alone.
Third, he will have a much better chance of success year in and year out in the Pac 12 than he would in the Southeastern Conference. Gruden has a reputation as being a great coach, and he would be rolling the dice with that reputation going up against the gauntlet of the SEC schedule year in and year out. A guy of his caliber would win 10 games a year minimum in the Pac 12, easy.
Jon Gruden doesn’t need to come back to coaching. However, if he does come back, it wont be just to roam the sidelines again – it will be for a premier job that pays well, with the potential to win championships year in and year out.
Southern Cal fits those criteria.