Super Bowl-winning coach 'wild card' for USC job, Carson Palmer suggests

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    The USC job is one of the hottest openings in college football and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Carson Palmer teased one potential contender for the position on Monday.

    Palmer, a former USC quarterback, said on “The Dan Patrick Show” he’s hearing the front-runners for the head coaching job included Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and other big names.

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    Southern California head coach Clay Helton looks on in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Salt Lake City.

    Southern California head coach Clay Helton looks on in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Salt Lake City.
    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    “I’ve been as involved as they’ll let me be… there’s a lot of front-runners right now,” he said. “You’ve got a wild card like Mike Tomlin, if Mike Tomlin wants out… At the end of the day there’s not a ‘that’s the guy everybody’s pointing their fingers at.'”

    He also mentioned Penn State’s James Franklin, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.

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    When asked whether Tomlin’s name came up in USC’s discussions, Palmer said he was “sure he has.”

    In this Dec. 8, 2019, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is shown prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Arizona.

    In this Dec. 8, 2019, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is shown prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Arizona.
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

    “I think anybody is a potential candidate right now, and that’s what’s so great about the job: It can lure an NFL guy that is tired of their current situation and worried about, is Ben Roethlisberger gone, is he done, who are we going to draft? Does Mike Tomlin have to start over with a first-round, young rookie quarterback?” Palmer said

    “Everybody’s on the table being that that job is so big and so coveted. I think there’s a bunch of people that are in the discussion, and once we get to Week 16, 17 of the NFL season and the college football season is over, we’ll have a direct front-runner.”

    Mike Tomlin looks on during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Oct. 3, 2021, in Wisconsin.

    Mike Tomlin looks on during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Oct. 3, 2021, in Wisconsin.
    (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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    USC fired Clay Helton in the middle of the season. Helton was 1-1 at the time of his dismissal. USC hasn’t been as relevant since Sam Darnold was under center. The Trojans won the Rose Bowl in 2016 – their last major bowl game.

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