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Trojans Get Rejected By Their 4th Choice, Now Pining For Mariucci & Still Eying Lane & Sark

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Well things are getting worse for the Trojans. Looks like (and many of you have linked this up in comment threads already) they just got rejected by their fourth choice:

Jack Del Rio will remain coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a decision made after Del Rio and team owner Wayne Weaver met Tuesday to discuss the coach's future with the franchise, the Florida Times-Union is reporting.

Ouch. Del Rio was their top choice. So who is the Trojan's next desperate target? It apparently happens to be Steve Mariucci:

With Del Rio out of USC's picture, former San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci and USC have been in contact in recent days, two sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Mariucci works as an analyst at NFL Network, but he has expressed an interest in returning to coaching with the right opportunity.

I wonder how much of it is serious speculation and how much of it is just desperate Trojan sources throwing out names who will stick. Mariucci's name has come up before here on BN (during the Dorrell years and our prior coaching search). For a refresher here was the list of frontpagers' favorite coaching candidates during December of 2007. Don't want to rehash how our process worked out. However, it certainly wasn't the embarrassing spectacle that is unfolding across town. As for Mariucci I think we have mixed feelings about him here on BN.

As a Niner fan I always kind of liked him because I thought he brought a sense of calm during those tumultous transition years following George Seifert, and made the best out of what the Niners had with less than mediocre QBs such as Jeff Garcia. Yet, I know probably many Niner fans probably has reservations about his ability as a head coach and his stint in Detroit was kind of a failure. More on him after the jump.

As for how Mariucci performed during his only season at Cal, thought the following take from California Pete at CGB is kind of interesting:

Mariucci was a joke. His team got progressively worse as the season wore on—even when it was still winning games—and the egg they laid in the Aloha Bowl was epic. Please don’t suggest he "turned around" the Cal program in any way that even begins to resemble the job Tedford has done.

In his only season at Cal, Mariucci started the season with a record of 5-0 but then crashed and burned to a record of 6-6, which BTW included a loss to UCLA in Berkeley. If people think Neuheisel left the Colorado and Washington programs in bad shape, the picture with Tom Holmoe after he bolted for the Niners wasn't pretty. It didn't appear that left a strong recruiting foundation in Berkeley (then again one year is not enough). Perhaps the Trojans think Mooch's media charm will do the trick for them just like it worked out with Petey. However, note the circumstances he or whoever the next guy is would be taking over will be very different than the situation Cheatey waltzed into eight years ago.

Anyway, who knows whether Mariucci talks are serious but Wolf is still eying Sark and Kiffin (along with Herm Edwards). I am rooting for Lane.

GO BRUINS.