Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 10/11/13
The most noteworthy headline recently in college football concerned USC’s decision to release former head coach Lane Kiffin of his duties in the aftermath of the Trojans’ ugly 62-41 defeat in Tempe suffered at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Upon Kiffin’s firing, the Trojans announced that they had promoted assistant Ed Orgeron to interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The news opened eyes for several reasons, most notably because USC is arguably the most glamorous and prestigious program in the national landscape of college football. Under the guide of former head coach Pete Carroll, many fans had become accustomed to the Trojans annually contending for Rose Bowl berths and national titles; Orgeron was one of the key assistants on Carroll’s staff, an ace recruiter and sideline motivator for the team. But his recent promotion is very significant upon a consideration of Orgeron’s distinct background. The marriage of Orgeron to USC as head coach appears to be an extremely peculiar one, as his upbringing and values seem to exist at a polar opposite end of the spectrum from those generally predominant at USC. Ed Orgeron does have some prior head coaching experience, having coached most recently as the leader of the Ole Miss Rebels. His tenure cannot be construed as anything other than a massive failure, as the Rebels occupied the basement of the SEC and were unable to notch a single victory in his final season as head coach. He was widely regarded as the laughingstock of the SEC during his three-year stint in Oxford, as fans of longtime rival programs typically poked fun of the “crazy Cajun” image evoked about Orgeron. Hailing from deep in the heart of Cajun country in south Louisiana, Orgeron undoubtedly does carry with him a resounding image as a stereotypical Cajun; some outsiders have joked that they sometimes expect him to rip off his coach’s shirt and to duel with an alligator. Such an image surrounding its new head coach is a far cry from the type of one which resonated about its former coaches. Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin embraced the classic Hollywood, movie-star image predominant in USC’s part of the country. The page has been turned to a new chapter in USC football with its promotion of Ed Orgeron to head coach. While the move appears somewhat strange, USC fans are simply looking for better results on the field under his watch. Stay tuned to find out. 1 total views, 1 views today
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