Report: USC coaching search focusing on Chris Petersen, James Franklin

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ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting on Sunday night that USC has decided against elevating interim coach Ed Orgeron and is instead focused on Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin as its primary candidates to fill the school’s head coaching position.

According to the report, the Trojans have made it known to Orgeron that they would like to keep him on staff in some capacity. USC was defeated 35-14 by rival UCLA this past Saturday, thus puncturing his chances at the head job.

Petersen is 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State head coach and has twice been named the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year.

Franklin has done wonders at Vanderbilt, building a once-downtrodden program to the point where bowls berths are expected rather than scoffed at. He is 23-15 in his three seasons there.

Between the two, Petersen might be the best fit at USC and would be the biggest splash hire, though Franklin’s ability to compete in the SEC is also an intriguing point in his favor.

It’s likely that the Trojans will announce a head coach before this week is out.