UPDATE (6:24p ET): I’ve been told by a USC admin source that the school is primarily interested in Riley, Jack Del Rio and Jeff Fisher. I haven’t confirmed if the interest is mutual.
ESPN’s Bruce Feldman reports this afternoon that prominent representatives of USC are attempting to contact Mike Riley to gauge his interest in the Trojans football coaching job. Feldman also Tweeted:
IF Pete Carroll leaves USC, look the Trojans to make a run at #Oregon St coach Mike Riley. Fast. Trojan brass loves him, I’m told.
Sam Farmer of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports today that current USC Coach Pete Carroll interviewed with the Seattle Seahawks about their coaching position last week.
A Seahawks contingent including CEO Tod Leiweke interviewed Carroll in Los Angeles earlier this week to gauge his interest in replacing Mora.
Chris Mortensen added on ESPN this afternoon that he would be “surprised if Pete Carroll isn’t the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.” Mortensen also said a deal could be in place as soon as early next week.
So what’s the feeling around here in Los Angeles about Carroll you ask?
In the past, whenever Carroll’s name has been linked to NFL jobs, USC fans have wigged. I took many calls from sports radio callers on ESPN 710 during those times and Trojan fans were spooked. But there’s an eerie calm emanating from most SC fans about the Seahawks revelation.
With the falloff of the team’s performance and the pending NCAA investigations into the program, I don’t think the majority of USC fans at this moment would vigorously object to swapping out Carroll for Riley.
Ryan Abraham, publisher of the largest USC football site on the web, USCFootball.com, said this of Riley to me:
“Riley is a popular guy around USC. He not only has had success on the field against the Trojans, he is well liked and a geniune person.”
Riley has been considered for the USC job before, and is a Southern California guy. Perhaps this is the perfect time for him to ascend to the helm of the west coast’s signature college football factory. With all Riley’s been through, he might be the right person at the right time to tie up Carroll’s loose ends and re-energize the program.