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Pep Hamilton a Candidate for USC coaching job?

Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton is one of football's brightest young minds, so it makes sense that people are linking him - a former college coach - to USC's vacant head coaching position.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Let's all laugh at USC now.  I mean, there are many dumb hires they could have made for their football team (after all, my team hired Charlie Weis in 2005...), but Lane Kiffin?  Really?  HAHAHAHA.  But seriously, no one was really surprised that it didn't work out, and now he's gone, fired at an airport after USC got back from a loss to Arizona State.

After a dumb hire like that there are a lot of hires that would seem really smart in comparison, but one that would actually be truly smart is hiring Colts' offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.  And he has been rumored as a candidate for the job, although USC athletic director Pat Hayden hasn't said anything about who he is considering (obviously).

Colts fans don't want to hear it, but Pep would be a great fit for USC and he would be smart to take the job if they offered.  He said today that he hasn't even thought about the vacant spot, but it's early in the process yet and it wouldn't be the first time a coach just didn't want to say he was publicly.

Hamilton coached in California at Stanford for a few years and is a very smart young offensive mind.  At only 39 years old, he is quickly rising in the coaching world.

This year with the Colts he hasn't been at his best, but he has been improving every game and I think the issues people have with Hamilton have been greatly overblown and based more off of ideas and not fact.  The biggest complaint people have is that he needs to pass more since he has Andrew Luck, but really, in 3 of 4 games so far this year he has called a pass play over 60 percent of the time.  In the other one, the big win over the 49ers, the Colts ran all over the 'Niners and preserved the lead - a strategy NO ONE would disagree with.  Even in last week's blowout win against the Jaguars, he called a pass play on 60 percent of the snaps.  Pass more?  That complaint would never come if this was anyone but a guy who talked all offseason about a power run game and being a running football team.  That's the only reason for the complaint.

Pep's power run scheme can work (especially at a collegiate level) but he has also shown he knows what it takes to win and the caliber of players that he has.  He actually has done a pretty good job for the Colts this year, all things considered, and he is going to get even better too.

USC would be wise to jump at this opportunity to hire Hamilton before someone else does.  Oregon interviewed him for their head coaching vacancy this offseason before Pep took the job with the Colts, and many people have said he will likely be a head coach in a few years regardless.  I completely agree, and after talking with and observing him first hand at camp this year, I came away incredibly impressed.  He's young and is very smart.

Colts fans don't like to hear this, and understandably so.  If/when Hamilton does eventually leave, it will be Luck's third offensive coordinator in the NFL.  If it happens as soon as this, it would make it even worse.  It would be a huge loss for the Colts if/when Hamilton eventually decides to leave.  Again, there's no guarantee he's really a candidate (he should be) nor is there any guarantee he would take the job if offered.  But the reports are out there linking Hamilton to USC, including from guys like Dan Patrick.  It seems to be based more on fit than actual interest at this point, but we try to keep you up to date on any news relating to the Colts.  And any time their offensive coordinator is linked to a head coaching job like USC, we're going to pay attention.

USC would be wise to hire him.  To increase their chances, maybe they should start recruiting a bunch of fullbacks.