The USC Trojans ultimately departed with the dramatic Lane Kiffin on September 29 after dropping to 3-2, naming Ed Orgeron as the interim head coach. Since then, the Trojans have gone 5-1 under Orgeron’s guidance, with their latest victory over No. 4 Stanford being one of the biggest upsets in college football this season.
It’s also a big resume-booster for Orgeron to make his case to become the Trojans’ head coach full-time. The former Ole Miss head coach has put this once-ailing football team back into the thick of the Pac-12 South Division behind Arizona State and UCLA, and has them on track for a good bowl game matchup.
But with candidates like Kevin Sumlin from A&M and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio from the Denver Broncos said to be near the top of the list, how much of a chance Orgeron has remains to be seen. Under his guidance, the Trojans have reclaimed what looked to be a lost season, and he has revitalized and rejuvenated a stagnant fan base after a disappointing 2012 season and a year of frustrations from the (very) short-lived Kiffin era.
Of course, the biggest question for Orgeron would be how effective he would be for this program in the long term. Could he take this team back to the top of the Pac-12? Could he recruit effectively in the rich, fertile soils of the state of California, a state that hosts some of the best talent in the country? And could he compete immediately?
All of this remains to be seen, but for now, USC can’t count him out of the head coach race just yet.