USC is in the hunt for a new head coach following the firing of Clay Helton.

The Trojans football program is one that features plenty of tradition and is regarded as among the best in the country. However, it hasn’t won a national championship since 2004 and has failed to even qualify for a College Football Playoff berth since the Playoff era began in the 2014 season.

A failure to live up to the school’s lofty standards ultimately cost Helton his job. But the Trojans could be looking to a Pac-12 rival to fill their vacancy. According to USC insider and veteran sports reporter Scott Wolf, the university has identified Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal as its “top choice”.

Cristobal is in his 4th full season as the head coach of the Ducks. Following a 4-3 mark in 2020, Oregon is 2-0 with wins over Fresno State and Ohio State.

Before his tenure at Oregon, where he was originally the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Willie Taggart, Cristobal was the associate head coach and offensive line coach at Alabama from 2013-2016, where he also served as recruiting coordinator. He spent 6 seasons as the head coach at FIU prior to that.