As the first interim head coach named a Maxwell Club Finalist, Ed Orgeron has certainly gained national attention transforming USC Football back into a Top-25 national program in just seven short weeks.
The energy around the team is positive right from the very start. Players on the program continue to preach fond affection for Orgeron and his influence on the team. Add to the fact that national recruits like OL Viane Talamaivao are switching commitments over to USC, and the program is really starting to show major signs of life once again.
The crew at CBS Sports "Inside College Football" dive into the Ed Orgeron coaching dilemma that current USC Athletic Director Pat Haden is facing about whether to keep Orgeron on staff or hire another candidate from the outside.
Randy Cross: "If he wins out, I don't see how Pat Haden can bring anyone else in there. This guy reeks USC. He lives for that school and that program. It's the perfect opportunity for him to get in and take advantage of it."
Ron Zook: "You look at recruiting and the way the team is playing. And maybe the most important thing - the stadium was full. The Coliseum was packed against Stanford. And obviously that's an important thing."
Aaron Taylor: "He has the freshmen buying in. Freshman safety Su'a Cravens, Dion Bailey have come out being very strongly in support of him. It's going to be very hard for Pat Haden, whoever he ends up hiring if it's not (Orgeron) to be able to manage that."
"They better try to keep Orgeron on the staff if it's not going to be him (as the head coach), or they're going to have problems... it's interesting because he replaced David Cutcliffe (at Ole Miss), who ten years later is going to be up for Coach of the Year for what he's doing at Duke now. So you can't necessarily hold what happened at Ole Miss against him. But you also have to take it into consideration."
Brian Jones: "They love Coach O. You can see it in their play. They're passionate. They're playing with discipline. This is going to be an extremely difficult decision for Pat Haden if he lets this guy go and doesn't name him the head coach. Because those players, they are buying in - line, hook and sinker."
Just to put things in some recent perspective, Pat Haden joined Trojans Live on Tuesday Night over on KFWB 980 AM in Los Angeles and discussed the recent emotions following an inspiring upset win over Stanford while balancing that with the necessity to find the right coach to run this program moving forward.
Pat Haden: ``What Ed had done has been absolutely remarkable. He is clearly in our eyesight. But my job is to find the best coach of #USC.''— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 20, 2013