What should USC fans expect with Ed Orgeron in charge, and can the Trojans legitimately consider him a candidate for the coaching job?
Trevor Wong: Ed Orgeron's enthusiasm and passion is exactly what the kids need after what has transpired this season. It's almost like a fresh breath of air, as some might say. I cannot pinpoint 100 percent that outside distractions took a toll on how the team performed, but now, there really is no pressure and no sort of expectations. USC can salvage its season with eight games left. The Trojans have a chance to avenge last year's losses to Notre Dame and UCLA, which would make any season a success, no matter how you look at it. I don't think the Trojans can consider Orgeron a legitimate candidate for the coaching job. He's a great recruiter and relates well to the kids, but looking at his past coaching experience, he didn't fare too well at Ole Miss (10-25 record overall). He's an interim coach in every sense of the word. He'll only be at the helm for a temporary period.
Darian Nourian: With Orgeron at the helm of the Trojans for most likely the rest of the season, we should expect to see a much more fun and animated environment, especially in practice that may be opened back up. Unlike Kiffin, he is a player's coach and actually does things on and off the field to motivate his players. After all, the success of Leonard Williams, George Uko, and the rest of the USC defensive line is a product of his coaching. Having said that, USC fans should not raise their expectations for this year's team now that the "elephant in the room" (Kiffin) is gone. The team still possesses certain weaknesses like it's lack of depth, nagging injuries to key players, and quarterback problems and the termination of a coach isn't going to fix those problems. However, if Orgeron does make something out of this year's lackluster team and they go on to win marquee games, especially rivalry ones, against UCLA and Notre Dame, he should definitely be considered as a top candidate for full-time head coaching job. He not only has head coaching experience from when he took the reigns at Ole Miss from 2005-07, but is not in his tenth year overall year so he is very familiar with the Trojan family.
Will Robinson: Expect players to look like they want to be there. It's been well documented: The Lane Kiffin era, among many things, was not fun. It sounds clichéd, but Orgeron rocks the "football is fun" vibe Pete Carroll boasts and Kiffin seemed to demonize. As if he has a legit chance to remove the interim tag? No way. He loves USC, sure. But his Ole Miss bid was a disaster. Plus, there are many other names that would prove to be better candidates, especially someone who could revolutionize the offense. With no offense (or, pun intended, all offense) to Coach O and his unwavering love for USC, the program can and should aim higher.