Is the USC head coaching job more glamour than great?
It’s a theory of Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, who says there are only a select few jobs in college football that should be considered great. He lists Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU and, of course, Alabama.
Cowherd believes beyond those four are many glamour jobs that people might confuse with being great, specifically mentioning the likes of USC, Miami, Texas and Georgia. He didn’t explain the distinction, but he raised his premise to Urban Meyer, noting how the former Ohio State coach is often linked to various vacancies that might not be as attractive as they seem.
Meyer, interestingly, pushed back on the idea that USC isn’t a great job. His reasoning was pretty simple.
“I think it all starts and ends with recruiting,” Meyer said during a Monday appearance on The Herd. "I think USC is not a glamour job. I think that’s an elite, elite job. Why? Within two hours of your campus you can get the best players in America, or as good as any.”
Meyer made the same point about Georgia, calling the football in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs as good as anywhere. The retired coach didn’t completely dismiss Cowherd’s point, however, agreeing that Miami and Florida are “somewhat glamour.”
“The talent in Florida, it’s great, but sometimes it’s underdeveloped, and it takes time for those guys to develop,” Meyer said. “... I experienced it when I was with the Florida Gators, they’re development players. For whatever reason, the high school coaches aren’t paid near as well as the ones in Georgia and Texas. So you get a little bit lesser coaches at some schools, some schools are fantastic. But that’s why I’d consider everything about glamour and all that, I agree with, it’s interesting how you said that, but I always look at recruiting.
“Can you go recruit the best of the best? That’s where I thought USC and Georgia, I would put them in the other category.”
There’s no denying that California is a fertile recruiting ground. It’s home to 14 players in the Rivals100, the most of any state. That’s not including cornerback Elias Ricks, who transferred from Santa Ana Mater Dei to IMG Academy. Counting Ricks, four of the nation’s top-five players are from Southern California. Moreover, 24 prospects in the Rivals100 are from the West region.
None, however, are committed to USC. In fact, the Trojans don’t have a pledge from the Rivals250. Perhaps that changes between now and next Wednesday’s Early Signing Day. But even with a late push, the Trojans figure to bring in their worst-rated class in the modern era of recruiting rankings.
West recruiting analyst Blair Angulo of 247Sports.com said in October that USC would need to win the Pac-12 title to turn around its recruiting class under Clay Helton. An alternative option, of course, was to hire Meyer.
The Fox Sports analyst sure sounds like someone who was interested.
-- Adam Maya is a USC graduate and has been covering the Trojans since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @AdamJMaya.