The USC job has been open for less than 48 hours, but it has been - and will be for a while - the talk of college football.
Already we have four coaches who have denied interest in the job, including Penn State's James Franklin. Of course if you actually watched his press conference you know that he didn't really "deny" interest in the job, per se. He just deflected the question and changed the subject.
Well despite the non-denial (or maybe because of it), rumors continue to run rampant, and they weren't slowed down at all on Wednesday, when Dan Patrick put it out there that he has heard there is "mutual" interest between the two parties.
The quote went viral, and here is the full video.
Patrick doesn't really elaborate much, but ultimately, he really doesn't have to: This is the least surprising news, pretty much ever.
As Aaron talked about today's Aaron Torres Podcast, Franklin and USC have been linked together for years now, dating back to when Steve Sarkisian left the program in 2015, and pretty much every time we thought Clay Helton might get fired the last few years, his name has popped up. Franklin has never bothered to deny the rumors. In his defense of course, the job has never been open either.
Now it is. And now the rumors are hitting overdrive.
The question now: Would he take it? The answer, at least according to Patrick, appears to be yes.
As much as Penn State fans don't want to hear it, the USC job - in the current climate of college football - is just a flat out better job than Penn State. To be clear, that's not to say that Penn State isn't one of the 10-15 best gigs in the business. But at the same time, they've got to compete with Ohio State every year in their division, a recruiting juggernaut built to win national titles every year. Penn State is just a step behind, but that step behind means "perennial 10-win team" (they've won 11 or more three times in the four years prior to the Covid season last year) that isn't quite good enough for the playoff.
Fair or not, USC represents a more direct path to the playoff - something every program is looking for. Even if Oregon and UCLA are on the way up, USC has enough talent in its program, with a good coach, to be a contender within a short amount of time.
So yes, the rumors will continue to run rampant until USC officially names it's next head coach.
But Dan Patrick doesn't put stuff out there unless he knows it's true. And this one seems to have legs.
To listen to Aaron's list of candidates he would call, listen to today's Aaron Torres Podcast below, or on YouTube