Oregon's Mario Cristobal USC's top choice to replace Clay Helton?
Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal. Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After entering last Saturday’s game against Stanford as an 18-point favorite and then losing it by 14, USC promptly fired head coach Clay Helton.

Helton’s 46-24 mark during his time in Southern California will be remembered far more for non-stop Urban Meyer chatter than anything he actually accomplished himself.

Almost as soon as Helton got the boot, the conversation quickly turned to who would replace him. As it turns out, the powers that be at USC have their top choice already picked out.

According to Trojans insider Scott Wolf, Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal is currently the preferred Helton replacement.

“I hear that USC’s top choice for job is Oregon coach Mario Cristobal,” he reported.

This of course aligns with something ESPN college football aficionado Paul Finebaum said earlier this week. He cited two favorites to land the USC gig – one of which was Cristobal.

“The most obvious choice is the hottest coach in the country today and that’s Mario Cristobal of Oregon,” Finebaum said. “Whether you get him to make that move down the coast, I don’t know.”

One way or another, USC will be looking to make a big splash with its next hiring. How that will actually turn out for them on the field remains to be seen, though.

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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