Coaching Carousel — Early/Layla Edition

Published on Wednesday, 9/11/13, at 2:18 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

We normally don’t touch on the annual Coaching Carousel until late October at the earliest. However, the chance to put a picture of Lane Layla Kiffin on the home page was too much to resist.

(Quick Point: Like Erin Andrews and Jenn Brown, Layla is a GATOR. Inside Joke: Right, Dowling?)

Lame Chafin’ is in serious trouble in SoCal. Last time I checked, Washington St. wasn’t a defensive juggernaut and its head coach Mike Leach wasn’t known for his work on that side of the ball.

Nevertheless, the Cougars allowed only 193 yards of total offense in their 10-7 win at USC as 16-point road underdogs. Indeed, Trojan fans aren’t happy this week.

Even by Al Davis standards, Kiffin was a curious hire for his first head-coaching gig with the Raiders. And even by Mike Hamilton standards, he was a serious reach for Tennessee.

For Southern Cal? Following Pete Carroll’s dynastic tenure? Well, since we’re keeping it real, Kiffin was an atrocious hire!

If USC can lose at home to Wazzu, then it’s going to be a struggle to beat Stanford and UCLA at The Coliseum and losses to Utah St. and Arizona certainly aren’t out of the question, either. The Trojans also have potential defeats at Arizona St., at Notre Dame and at Oregon St.

Let’s be fair, though, if not generous. Let’s say USC beats UCLA (assuming Kiffin is still around for the regular-season finale), Utah St., Arizona and wins one of the three aforementioned road assignments. That still leaves USC with a 9-4 record going into a bowl game.

And at this point, raise your hand if you think USC can outscore Brett Hundley and the Bruins. Are the Trojans really going to win one of those road games I’m giving them? Isn’t it also a possibility that Sonny Dykes and the Cal Bears can beat USC in Berkeley?

In other words, Kiffin is losing at least five games this year and that’s not going to be enough to keep his job. With that said, where does AD Pat Haden look for his next coach?

Remember, Haden is a guy that had the audacity to entertain the notion of bringing Tim Floyd back as basketball coach, so anything is in play here. (John Robinson, anyone?)

If I’m the AD, Boise St.’s Chris Petersen is my top choice but, like everyone else, USC will probably take Heisman treatment from Petersen. If Haden wasn’t scared to think about Floyd, why on earth would he hesitate to consider Bobby Petrino?

There’s also Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who isn’t an NFL head coach like he was when his alma mater came calling last time. There’s also James Franklin at Vandy or whatever NFL assistants might be interested.

Mack Brown was hoping to get things back on track at Texas with 19 returning starters from a nine-win team. That notion isn’t looking so hot following last week’s blowout loss at BYU that resulted in Brown firing DC Manny Diaz on Sunday.

The Longhorns might be in trouble at home Saturday vs. Ole Miss. A loss to the Rebels would essentially ensure Brown’s exit at season’s end. I still say he won’t take a pink slip but will retire instead.

Texas has buckets of money not only for its next head coach but for the staff that guy wants to bring to Austin. I’m talking about $10 million per year for the HC and possibly $2 million per for his coordinators.

Don’t be surprised if Texas throws those sort of numbers out at Nick Saban’s agent, but that’s not going to happen unless Saban decides to ‘go all Larry Brown’ on the good people of Alabama.

If Oklahoma St.’s Mike Gundy was willing to flirt before the SI allegations, he’s certainly in play. If LSU’s Les Miles talked with Arkansas for more money, he isn’t out of the question.

There’s more familiarity with Florida’s Will Muchamp, but the only shot for Texas with Muschamp is if the Gators’ 2013 campaign goes South of Cuba. The only way that happens is if Jeff Driskel gets hurt.

As always, Petersen and Petrino are possibilities, but those scenarios are highly unlikely. Here’s a name to keep in mind: Pat Fitzgerald.

The Northwestern head coach might not ever leave his alma mater. Then again, if there’s a list of 2-3 jobs he might consider, Texas is probably on it.

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