5 issues we discovered Saturday about potential candidates

Baylor coach Dave Aranda congratulates offensive lineman Mose Jeffery after the Bears scored against Texas

Baylor coach Dave Aranda congratulates offensive lineman Mose Jeffery (72) after a the Bears scored in opposition to Texas Saturday in Waco, Texas. (Sam Hodde / Related Press)

5 issues we discovered Saturday about USC soccer’s head coach candidates.

1. Dave Aranda has constructed Baylor with a spine.

USC followers seeking to consider Baylor head coach Dave Aranda couldn’t have requested for a chance extra wealthy and emotionally stirring than Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Steve Sarkisian’s Texas Longhorns.

Sark hasn’t been USC’s coach for greater than six years now, however his identify stays a set off from the Trojans’ campus to the South Bay to Orange County. There could also be some Trojans who have been mature sufficient to be completely happy for him as he rebuilt his profession to the purpose he may very well be employed as Texas’ head coach, however many credit score Pat Haden’s whiff on Sark for his or her distress that extends to immediately and are nonetheless harm.

What number of cardinal-and-gold diehards knew who Aranda was till this season? Onerous to say. However the Bears have been so surprisingly spectacular that Aranda, the previous Louisiana State and Wisconsin defensive coordinator, has risen to the highest of my newest USC teaching search “Warmth Examine” launched Friday. It’s time for all of us to get higher acquainted with the native Southern Californian.

Baylor entered Saturday ranked sixteenth, with strong wins over Iowa State and Brigham Younger and a good street defeat at Oklahoma State by 10 factors. Texas is at all times the largest recreation on the schedule for Baylor, so amongst Aranda’s constituents the Longhorns’ three losses are meaningless. Saturday in Waco, Texas, Baylor might as nicely have been internet hosting Alabama.

The Longhorns took a 21-10 lead early within the third quarter, and the doubts started to creep in. Aranda is barely in his second season as a head coach, so he’s too inexperienced for a blue-blood like USC. And he can’t even beat Sark?

Properly, Baylor rallied to win the sport 31-24. The Bears will probably be within the prime 15 and have an incredible likelihood to play within the Massive 12 championship recreation.

Listed below are two issues to file away about Baylor’s win over Texas that mirror nicely on Aranda’s acumen. First, the Bears held Texas working again Bijan Robinson, who entered the sport as a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate, to 17 carries for 43 yards. Second, within the offseason, Aranda transformed a beginning linebacker, Abram Smith, to working again. Smith carried 20 instances for 113 yards and a landing, and his absence hasn’t appeared to have an effect on the protection all season.

Smith has been Baylor’s bell cow, and he’s a mirrored image of Aranda’s skill to take a roster that isn’t loaded with four- and five-star gamers and get the items in the fitting locations. If he takes over at USC, he gained’t want to maneuver any linebackers to working again at Tailback U.

Baylor has gained in a approach USC followers say they’d prefer to see on the Coliseum — with a reliable protection and a imply run recreation. The Trojans will at all times have quarterbacks and receivers at their disposal on this city. The proof says Aranda can coach toughness. Sure, the pattern dimension is restricted.

We’ll get one other related information level for analysis when Baylor hosts No. 4 Oklahoma Nov. 13.

Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell talks with his players during a game against Tulane Saturday

Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell talks together with his gamers throughout a recreation in opposition to Tulane Saturday in New Orleans. (Gerald Herbert / Related Press)

2. If USC needs Luke Fickell, it ought to root for 13-0 Cincinnati to be overlooked of the playoff semifinals.

No. 2 Cincinnati — wow, that’s so enjoyable to say — led lowly Tulane 14-12 at halftime Saturday per week after escaping Navy 27-20. The Bearcats shut out the Inexperienced Wave within the second half and gained 31-12, however we all know the place that is headed.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit gave a preview Saturday evening, itemizing Cincinnati No. 4 behind one-loss No. 2 Alabama and one-loss No. 3 Ohio State in his Faculty Soccer Playoff rankings. The CFP choice committee will launch its first prime 25 Tuesday, and Cincinnati’s rating will probably be below intense scrutiny.

I may write all evening on the indignity of Ohio State, which misplaced to Oregon at house and has one official win (33-24 Saturday in opposition to No. 20 Penn State at house) being ranked forward of unbeaten Cincinnati, which gained at No. 11 Notre Dame. However the related matter for USC is that there’s an opportunity even 13-0 Cincinnati may very well be overlooked of the playoff 5 weeks from now.

If the Trojans have Luke Fickell on the prime of their listing, they sadly need to root in opposition to him. For causes I identified in my profile of Fickell, he might want to really feel like he has hit his ceiling at Cincinnati and has to go to a significant program to ensure that USC to have an actual likelihood of hiring him.

Fickell is such an intense competitor that if Cincinnati loses, he’ll persuade himself that it’s his fault the Bearcats missed the playoff, which might give him an incentive to remain and make up for the setback. But when Cincinnati goes 13-0 and is saved out of the playoff semifinals, he may even see the writing on the wall.

3. The way in which Penn State competed at Ohio State makes the Nittany Lions’ loss to Illinois look even worse for James Franklin.

Penn State took No. 5 Ohio State late into the fourth quarter Saturday in Columbus, per week after struggling the worst defeat of the school soccer season — a 20-18 extra time loss to Illinois in State Faculty.

Penn State coach James Franklin signals to his team during a loss to Ohio State

Penn State coach James Franklin indicators to his staff throughout a loss to Ohio State Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. (Jay LaPrete / Related Press)

Positive, that’s simply the character of a sport being performed by 18- to 22-year-olds, however the distinction in competency over one week simply means James Franklin has extra explaining to do about why the Nittany Lions have been so ill-prepared for the Preventing Illini.

I’m not making an attempt to pile on Franklin. I mentioned sufficient final week about why he shouldn’t be considered as a slam-dunk rent for USC. However Penn State’s uneven efficiency week to week ought to elevate issues.

4. Bear in mind, Mel Tucker is concerning the cash.

USC followers who watched No. 8 Michigan State’s thrilling 37-33 win over No. 6 Michigan Saturday and determined Mel Tucker needs to be the subsequent coach of the Trojans ought to bear in mind one factor: He’s all concerning the cash.

Tucker got here to Colorado for one season in 2019 and went 5-7. Michigan State rightly pursued him to succeed Mark Dantonio regardless of his file and supplied him $5 million per yr, and Tucker disappeared into the Rocky Mountain evening.

Tucker is an actual candidate now to go away Michigan State after two seasons, however LSU could be the seemingly vacation spot, not USC. I can’t see USC forking over the cash it could take to get Tucker, however I can see him in Baton Rouge come December, leaving Spartan hearts damaged in his wake.

5. Don’t overreact to Matt Campbell and Jonathan Smith losses.

No. 22 Iowa State misplaced 38-31 at West Virginia Saturday to drop to 5-3. Oregon State misplaced 39-25 at California to drop to 5-3.

As useful as it’s for USC to see Aranda at 7-1, Matt Campbell and Jonathan Smith needs to be considered with a big-picture lens.

The turnaround Campbell has led at Iowa State is among the finest teaching jobs of the final decade. This season has been irritating for Cyclones followers, however the truth that Campbell has raised expectations in Ames to a convention championship degree says all of it.

Oregon State nonetheless has a shot to win the Pac-12 North if it might probably win out and beat Oregon within the Civil Warfare. Smith isn’t as far alongside as Campbell, however he’s already confirmed he can do extra with much less.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Instances.


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