Mike Tomlin Reportedly a “Wild Card” USC Candidate

Commentary: Carson Palmer (oops) adds Mike Tomlin to the USC coaching mix. Could it happen?

J. Brady McCollough  (LA Times)  —  Carson Palmer calls the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin a viable USC football coaching search candidate during the “Dan Patrick Show.” Could it really happen?

When Carson Palmer speaks, Trojans everywhere listen. He is not fellow USC Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, who is freewheeling with his opinions and armed with a Fox microphone every Saturday morning and notoriously eager Twitter trigger fingers.

So Palmer’s comments on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Monday — that he is “as involved as they’ll let me be” in finding USC its next head coach, that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is a “wild-card” candidate — became immediately amplified amid the ongoing quiet of this search that just began its seventh week.

If you’re the average USC fan, bored of waiting for concrete news on the search and hiding your eyes from the train wreck 2021 Trojans, it would be easy to convince yourself of Palmer’s trustworthiness. He isn’t known for just saying stuff, so there must be something to it, right?

Asked by Patrick whether Tomlin’s name has been discussed, Palmer said, “I’m sure he has. I think anybody is a potential candidate right now. And that’s what’s so great about the job, is it can lure an NFL guy that’s tired of their current situation and worried about, ‘Is Ben Roethlisberger gone? Is he done? Who are we going to draft?’ Does Mike Tomlin have to start over with a first-round, young rookie quarterback? … Everything is on the table with that job being so big and so coveted.”

Then Palmer asked Patrick whether this was the first he had heard of a Tomlin-USC pairing.

“Yeah,” Patrick said.

“Uh oh,” Palmer said. “Oops.”

By that point, Palmer was playing it up, making good TV. He hadn’t let out of the bag some highly guarded secret that Tomlin was ready to give up guiding the Steelers out of the Roethlisberger era with a rookie quarterback like Mississippi’s Matt Corral or Liberty’s Malik Willis so he could spend the rest of his coaching career convincing 16-year-old quarterbacks in Southern California to stop choosing Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma over USC.

This is classic coaching search fodder. Palmer’s only potential “oops” here is that the last thing USC fans need is a legend like him floating unreasonable names and setting them up for disappointment when USC ends up hiring a lesser-known coach who is actually a logical candidate to turn the Trojans around such as Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Baylor’s Dave Aranda or Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.

Haven’t the USC faithful been tested enough the last decade? Trojans deserve to be legitimately excited for this hire, not pining for coaches who were never going to come.

Most of the diehards will understand the reality that the odds of Tomlin — or any entrenched NFL head coach — leaving his current job for an elite college position are nearly nonexistent. But others will hold Palmer’s words in their hearts, letting them fuel false hope that USC athletic director Mike Bohn will land someone of Tomlin’s ilk.

During his interview, Palmer did not name James Franklin, Campbell or Fickell. He called them by their school’s name, “Penn State,” “Iowa State” and “Cincinnati.” When Palmer said “I’m sure he has” in regard to Tomlin coming up at USC, it’s important to note the way he said it, which did not sound the least bit sure. Later, he said USC might not know its front-runner until Week 16 or 17 of the NFL season, which happens to fall after December’s early signing period for college football recruits.

Look, there’s no reason to use any more time further poking holes in Palmer’s take. We should all hope he is somehow right that Tomlin or a coach who has achieved that level of success is on the way to L.A. to coach USC.

But the most desperate among Trojans fans would do well to remove their emotions and see Monday for what it was. In all likelihood, Carson Palmer was just a dude having a blast talking about an alma mater he deeply loves.

latimes.com

___________

TrojanDailyBlog members  —  Always feel free to add information or topics to the TDB which don’t necessarily pertain to any particular moderator post or member comment.

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE NOTICE OF NEW COMMENTS OR REPLIES.
Notify of
32 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
HOF19
Member
Noble Member
HOF19(@hof19)
October 27, 2021 11:12 am

Could the City everybody make jokes about (Cinn) put a team in the College Final Four and ………..AND the NFL Final Four ?

Chris
Member
Diamond Member
Chris(@chris)
October 27, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to  HOF19

Bengals are still a little bit away, but Burrow is a no doubt great QB.

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn(@lawyerjohn)
October 27, 2021 7:58 am

Switching back to SC football, you suspect our TC (Temporary Coach) is thinking “Man, if I play Dart how does that look for Slovis. And Dart still is not near 100%. And then there’s that tidy 4-games rule– play him 4-games and he loses a year of eligibility. The heck with it, ‘throw caution to the wind,’ I am gettin’ out of this place with some wins. I play Dart!”

alfa1
Member
Noble Member
alfa1(@alfa1)
October 27, 2021 8:20 am
Reply to  LawyerJohn

I hardly believe any more wins will change the perception of Williams abilities.

alfa1
Member
Noble Member
alfa1(@alfa1)
October 27, 2021 6:33 am

Just picked this up, maybe some of you already know.
LSU – USC 2024 season opener in Vegas. 8-31-24
Both new coaches will be in second year, good test for both.

Chris
Member
Diamond Member
Chris(@chris)
October 27, 2021 8:21 am
Reply to  alfa1

My prediction is a Brian Kelly lead USC beats a James Franklin lead LSU. USC 37-LSU27. Dart cements his early status as a Heisman front runner.

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
October 27, 2021 1:40 pm
Reply to  Chris

The thought of Franklin coming to USC just leaves me with little enthusiasm.
He just isn’t the guy, to me.

Chris
Member
Diamond Member
Chris(@chris)
October 27, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Same here. I hope he heads to LSU. Of the guys that aren’t Tomlin, UM, etc. and are guys that seem available, my top 3 are

  1. fickell
  2. campbell
  3. Aranda
Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
October 27, 2021 4:12 pm
Reply to  Chris

I would be happy with any of them. I would throw in DeBoer, Freeze, and Klieman.

alfa1
Member
Noble Member
alfa1(@alfa1)
October 27, 2021 4:21 pm
Reply to  Steveg

Any of the three are as good as any in the PAC 12

rleeholder1
Member
Noble Member
rleeholder1(@rleeholder1)
October 27, 2021 5:29 am

For some odd reason during the offseason this past year, I thought Mike Tomlin would be an excellent choice for USC HC. I must have seen an interview with him that made me think that way. Mike’s a no-nonsense, highly disciplined coach that expects the same from his players. As I’ve been saying, one of the keys to USC turning around from a mediocre team to a good, possibly great team is discipline. The number of dumb penalties and mental mistakes USC makes, year in and year out, just bewilders me. A guy like Mike Tomlin wouldn’t stand for that.… Read more »

Chris
Member
Diamond Member
Chris(@chris)
October 26, 2021 8:58 pm

Heard Brian Kelly mentioned by three different national talking heads today. Not sure if it means anything, but it’s interesting.

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
October 27, 2021 1:38 pm
Reply to  Chris

I wonder who is next on the list the media hasn’t brought up. This displays the desire for the media to keep the USC brand on the airwaves. Good for USC, but I am sure Kelly (Brian or Chip) will pass. I see Kelly in his last HC position.

alfa1
Member
Noble Member
alfa1(@alfa1)
October 27, 2021 4:19 pm
Reply to  Chris

If Brian Kelly left for USC, The Pope would personally Excommunicate him !

TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 26, 2021 6:29 pm

This post counts under Rock’s analyzing a turd. I wrote earlier about the horrific alignment of our D in the 4th Q of the ND game. . If you want to see an example of it, it is posted on Java’s Wild West Board. Orlando had two guys on the right side (both at least 3 yards off the line of scrimmage) and ND has 5. The ND back was not touched for 8 yards. SC was in this allignment at least 3 times on the critical 4th Q drive by ND. I have no idea what Donte was referring… Read more »

LawyerJohn
Knighted Member
LawyerJohn(@lawyerjohn)
October 26, 2021 3:29 pm

Was Tomlin playing the race card when he rhetorically asked why a couple of white coaches weren’t asked about SC?– Speaking of great coaches, did you see a new list of the worst 25 coaches in college football history:
Ted Tollner #23
Paul Hackett #22
Lane Kiffin #10 Tennessee
Whitworth #4 Alabama; 1954-57 4-24 (The ‘Tide was not always great)
Gerry Faust #3 ND
O’Leary #2 ND (fired before he started due to lying on application)
Price #1 ND (fired before he started by playing around with a stripper)

Note: No. Clay Helton did not make the list.

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
October 26, 2021 4:49 pm
Reply to  LawyerJohn

How would Tomlin even know if they didn’t already ask them.
Clay will make the list, give it time. They will eventually call it the Helton list. They also add Sumlin and Dorrell.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steveg
TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 26, 2021 6:31 pm
Reply to  LawyerJohn

Whoever wrote that list has lost all credibility. Clay has to be a top 10 worst all time coach who actually ran a team. The only ones worse that I can recall are Taggart and Sumlin. The coach at Miami is doing his very best to get in the Helton zone.

Jamaica
Member
Knighted Member
Jamaica(@jamaica)
October 26, 2021 10:09 am

Wouldn’t want to ask Tomlin what he thinks of Palmer’s remark about the USC job. He seems pissed about why him and not someone like Sean Payton or Andy Reid’s name brought up. This probably includes talk about the LSU job when he said there isn’t a booster’s blank check big enough to move to a college job. Then he stomps out of his presser. OK Carson, anymore names you want to drop in the hat for speculation?

RialtoTrojan
Member
Noble Member
RialtoTrojan(@rialtotrojan)
October 26, 2021 6:28 am

I am not worried about who is not going to be the next head coach as much as I am worried about who is. USC already has a staff full of nots to start with. Not Orlando. Not Harrell. Coaches still in play in late December could possibly be eliminated for expediency. Instead of generating a list of possible candidates there needs to be a list of real qualifications.
Not the nobody named Helton type list, but a serious list. 1. Experience 2. Proven successful 3. Understands the market 4. Wants to win more than money- that kinda list.

TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 26, 2021 9:23 am
Reply to  RialtoTrojan

Rialto, Great name for 2021. The Year of USC Football – NOT. Clay Helton is NOT our HC; Donte Williams will NOT be the next HC; Todd Orlando will NOT be the next DC; Graham Harrell will NOT be our next OC. And so one and so on. There are now three major openings in Power 5: SC, LSU and Texas Tech. Hear of The Cat being considered by ANY of the other two? Miami is in real trouble. The Cat to the rescue? It took him six years, but The Cat did a great job of destroying SC football.

volunteerTrojan
Member
Noble Member
volunteerTrojan(@volunteertrojan)
October 26, 2021 10:03 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

Not to argue, but it didn’t take him 6 years to destroy Troy foot all.

2021 is The Year of the Cat.

Steveg
Member
Mt Rushmore
Steveg(@steveg)
October 26, 2021 5:19 am

I believe Palmer just said what was wishfully on his mind. Sure it would be the hire of the century, but Tomlin is locked in and cannot leave if he wanted to. This is fun stuff and nothing more. Be entertained people but don’t take it seriously. Yet.

Jamaica
Member
Knighted Member
Jamaica(@jamaica)
October 26, 2021 2:01 am

This story is a runaway freight train that will cause speculations galore. Is it a smokescreen to hide what is going on behind the scenes? I personally think Carson was just speaking his own wishful mind of matching an Alabama-like Saban move. Whether this at all pushes Mike Bohn in upping the quality of his candidates list is nice to speculate. Carol Folt is maybe stuck in the middle between Caruso’s hire a championship level HC and her telling Bohn to not hire a coach who would upstage her authority. I would like to see more of these rumors to… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
Member
Diamond Member
ATL D.D.S.(@atl-d-d-s)
October 26, 2021 5:29 am
Reply to  Jamaica

I want someone to make little mao foltie an offer she can’t refuse–like Oberlin College. She would fit in perfectly there. That marxist school has nothing but beta-males so she would never feel upstaged.

TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 26, 2021 9:18 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, I would think loss of donations. I know I stopped supporting the Law School and the Athletic Department. I am not a megadonor, by a long shot. but, if you lose 10,000 of me, it is going to show, unless you replace me. I do not think we would have seen the quick move on Clay unless the donations have been severely impacted. We will get a better idea once we see who gets hired in December or January.

Jamaica
Member
Knighted Member
Jamaica(@jamaica)
October 26, 2021 9:18 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

The more I think about it the more I feel the LSU football HC job isn’t for anyone but the most challenging type of man who is looking for a big payday. Your State is now surrounded by other top recruiters to where you can’t go cherry pick out of State athletes like before. You have Fisher & Sarkisian on one side blocking Texas, On the other side you have Kiffin who isn’t going to let anyone out recruit him in his turf, along with Leach. Arkansas now has a HC that looks like he can lead his program to… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
Member
Mt Rushmore
TrojanRJJ(@trojanrjj)
October 26, 2021 9:26 am
Reply to  Jamaica

Jamaica, You got me to change my mind. I think that the SC job is much more attractive than the LSU job, provided you can get a reasonable staff budget (SC will have to compete with B10 and SEC for assistants and those teams have I think $30,000,000 per year more in media revenue than SC – thanks Larry Scott!). If I could not get the staffing, I would take the LSU job over SC.