Top 2 candidates emerge in USC search

McClatchy news servicesDecember 2, 2013 

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and Boise State coach Chris Petersen are top candidates for the USC opening and the search may be completed by the middle of this week, according to sources.

USC has made it known to interim coach Ed Orgeron that they value his contribution to the program and would like him to stay with the program in some capacity.

Franklin led Vanderbilt to an 8-4 season after a 9-4 record last year, going 9-7 in SEC play over the two seasons.

Franklin, 41, is known as a charismatic leader and excellent recruiter. He is a Pennsylvania native but has worked with many teams, including Washington State, Maryland, Kansas State and the Green Bay Packers.

Petersen, 49, has led Boise State to a 92-12 record and five conference titles in eight years. He is a native Californian with experience recruiting the Los Angeles area.

WYOMING FIRES HEAD COACH CHRISTENSEN

Wyoming fired coach Dave Christensen after the Cowboys went 5-7 in his fifth season in charge.

Christensen had winning seasons in 2009 and 2011, when he was Mountain West coach of the year, and took the Cowboys to two New Mexico Bowls. He was only 9-15 his past two seasons.

The Everett High grad played at the University of Washington from 1980-82 and was a graduate assistant coach for the Huskies in 1988.

SEMINOLES TOPS IN BCS

Florida State and Ohio State are in position to play for the BCS national championship, though Auburn and Missouri are close enough behind in the BCS standings to put pressure on the Buckeyes.

The Seminoles grabbed the top spot in the BCS standings released Sunday after Alabama relinquished it for the first time this season.

The Crimson Tide’s wild 34-28 loss at Auburn dropped Alabama to fourth. Ohio State is second and Auburn is third. Missouri is fifth. Auburn and Missouri play in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday in Atlanta.

’BAMA KICKER FALLOUT

Alabama kicker Cade Foster was inundated with support from teammates and thousands of fans on social media after missing two field goal attempts and having a third blocked in the Crimson Tide’s loss to Auburn.

The initial negative backlash after Saturday’s 34-28 defeat mostly turned supportive by Sunday.

Some fans reacted angrily to Foster on his Twitter account in the game’s aftermath. One tweet urged him to “drink bleach” and another said: “Cade foster I’m gonna kill you and your family just FYI.”

BRAWLING BUCKEYES

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the players ejected from the Michigan game for fighting will not be suspended for the Big Ten championship game. Running back Dontre Wilson and offensive lineman Marcus Hall were kicked out of Saturday’s game when a skirmish broke out after a kickoff return in the second quarter.

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