Mario Cristobal has been mentioned regarding a big-time head coach opening in the college football landscape. The Oregon football coach would have to ditch the Ducks for another Pac-12 power if this short list held any weight.
But it doesn’t — and it shouldn’t.
USC just fired head coach Clay Helton and one of the early names that has popped up in connection to the opening in Los Angeles is Cristobal’s.
Oregon is fresh off a huge win over No. 3 Ohio State and the first thing that people do when USC fires its head coach after two games is throw Cristobal’s name into the hat along with some other big names including James Franklin, Matt Campbell, Chris Petersen, and Bob Stoops.
It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Look, I get it, Cristobal is fresh off the biggest win of his career and it’s only natural to connect a red-hot coach to one of the biggest openings in college football, but going from a reigning back-to-back Pac-12 champion to a program that has been searching for answers since Pete Carroll wouldn’t make a ton of sense.
Oregon has all he needs to succeed as a head coach and, honestly, this would be a lateral move right now. Sure, USC has a more illustrious history of winning, but the Ducks have the resources to get to the top of college football and Cristobal has shown that he can recruit at an elite level in Eugene.
Why would he throw away something he’s helped build back up for a program that needs a rebuild?
Would Cristobal ever leave Oregon football?
This is the big question fans will be wondering after the USC job inevitably goes to another coach. Would Cristobal ever leave the Ducks for “greener” pastures?
In my opinion, there are probably only two jobs he’d seriously consider leaving Oregon for: Alabama and Miami.
Alabama is the best job in the country so if Nick Saban said that he wanted Cristobal as his heir, there’s no way he’d be able to turn that down. Plus, he’s spent time there and coached under Saban so he’s familiar with the program.
And Miami is his alma mater so it’s tough for a head coach to say ‘no thanks’ to a return back home. It has happened before like when Les Miles told Michigan no and Jeff Brohm turned down the Louisville job, but it’s a very tough decision to make.
Rest easy, Oregon fans, Mario looks like he’s here to stay. He’s definitely not leaving for another Pac-12 team.