The firing of Clay Helton has left a vacancy in one of the best jobs in college football: The position of head coach for the USC Trojans.
The coaching rumor mill for the job in Los Angeles is running at full tilt, with a bevy of names falling into the pot, from Bill O’Brien to James Franklin to… Urban Meyer?
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The skepticism around Urban Meyer’s longevity with the Jacksonville Jaguars started with his apparent displeasure at a week one blowout loss. It is skepticism that was lurking under the surface even before the start of the season. Over the summer, some questioned his dedication to a program that would be less successful than those he commanded in the college realm.
But after an embarrassing start and a less than reassuring denial following inquiries about the USC opening, speculation is running rampant.
But Are They Founded? Or Is This All Malarkey?
It seems ridiculous that someone would leave an NFL head coaching job. There are only 32 of these openings in the world. But it is not as crazy as you think.
The USC job is one of only a few elite spots in college football. Because of the legacy of the job, it is one of the most prestigious jobs in college football.
But people are putting this team in the conversation with NFL coaches. And not just any coach, but a coach that just pulled into town.
Few programs have this power, despite what water may come over the levees, to remain relevant.
Programs like Texas, Notre Dame, and Michigan have the pull and power to draw NFL coaches, five-star talent, and top 25 rankings no matter what performance ends up on the field.
USC falls in that group, which offers a bit of validity to rumors, even when they swirl around a first-year head coach like Urban Meyer. But do not fret Jags fans; he is sticking in Florida.
Meyer Is Staying In Jacksonville Because He Is In The Best Situation For A New Coach
All that said, Meyer is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. He is in the best position, in one of the most coveted jobs in sports.
The most significant advantage any NFL team can have is a great quarterback on a rookie deal. Whether it is Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, or Deshaun Watson, the best way to turn a franchise around and make a run for the playoffs and a chip is an elite talent at signal-caller on rookie money.
There is no advantage in sports like a cheap passer. No, the Jags aren’t winning a Super Bowl this year, but Andrew Luck turned a horrendous Indianapolis Colts team around. Trevor Lawrence is an excellent talent who will get better with time. Let’s not exile him from the league after one game.
While Meyer’s contact with the Jags is undisclosed, Lawrence’s rookie deal will keep him on the roster at a bargain price until 2024. That is a long time in football years and plenty of time to make moves, build a roster in free agency, and draft talent for the Clemson product.
A franchise is only as good as its quarterback. And with promising talent at the helm, any team is just a few moves from relevance.
Meyer sticks with the best upside situation you can have in sports.
That said, if Meyer starts grabbing his chest and complaining about his health in week eight, I take all this back.