Well that didn't go as expected. Less than two years after hiring Steve Sarkisian as head coach, athletic director Pat Haden announced the university had dismissed the embattled coach on Monday.
This came a day after Haden made Sarkisian take an indefinite leave of absence. Now, the Trojans are stuck looking for their fifth coach - Kiffin, Ogerron, Helton, Sarkisian - in the post Pete Carroll era. Whether it be Pat Haden or someone else making the decision, the Trojans simply cannot miss on this hire.
Here is a list of some of the top names that the Trojans should consider in their head coaching pursuit.
1. Chip Kelly
The current head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles would be an ideal fit for the Trojans should he decide to return to the college ranks. Kelly went 46-7 with a BCS Championship Game appearance in his four years at Oregon. Despite a big win over the weekend, the committee is still out on whether or not Kelly can succeed at the pro level. If he decides to return to college football, the Trojans should be there waiting.
2. Kyle Whittingham
Since taking over for Urban Meyer in 2005, Whittingham has guided the Utes to some pretty spectacular season, including a 13-0 season in 2008. The Utes struggled in their first few years as members of the PAC-12 but have rebounded nicely. Whittingham currently has the Utes ranked #4 and as favorites to win the PAC-12 South. Imagine what Whittingham could do with the recruiting in Los Angeles.
3. Nick Saban
Everywhere Saban goes, winning tends to follow. Saban has an all time record of 182-60-1 with four national championships to his name. After winning three national titles in four years (09, 11, 12), Alabama has lost two consecutive bowl games - last year's being the CFP Semi-Final game. USC could be the perfect change of scenery for a coach who has spent the last 15 years in the South East.
4. Kevin Sumlin
The Trojans and Sumlin had mutual interest two years ago but talks never progressed and Sumlin eventually signed a six year contract extension with Texas A&M. Sumlin has done a fantastic job at A&M, keeping the program competitive in the SEC when many though they would fall off. Sumlin would bring the swagger and competitiveness that the Trojans have lacked since the Pete Carroll days.
5. Tom Herman
Herman was the offensive coordinator for the 2014 Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. Despite having two quarterbacks go down last season, Herman's offense was one of the best in the country. The Buckeyes averaged 44.8 points per game and put up 42 points on Nick Saban's Alabama. Herman is now the coach at Houston where his team is 5-0 and putting up 573 yards and 46.4 points per game, good for eighth and sixth best in college football. Herman is the least qualified on this list in terms of head coaching experience, but what he's done for Ohio State and Houston should not go unlooked. Imagine what he could do with an offense featuring JuJu Smith and Ronald Jones II. Herman is also a SoCal native out of Simi Valley.