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Paul Finebaum Floats Interesting Name For The USC Job

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

There have been plenty of names mentioned for the USC job over the last couple of weeks, and ESPN's Paul Finebaum had an interesting suggestion recently.

During an appearance on the ESPN College Football Podcast, Finebaum threw out the name Lane Kiffin. Kiffin, of course, was USC's head coach from 2010 through the first five games of the 2013 season, when he was infamously fired on the tarmac after a 62-41 loss to Arizona State.

There seems to be no way Kiffin would ever go back to USC--a reality that Finebaum acknowledges--but that doesn't mean the Ole Miss coach wouldn't be a strong fit for the Trojans in the eyes of the ESPN radio personality.

“He has matured and he has grown up. He’s not the same coach (as he was in first stint with USC),” Finebaum said, via 247Sports. “From a selfish standpoint, I hope he does get the job so Lane will quit blaming me on television every time he’s on our show for me getting him fired in 2013, for a comment I made on College GameDay.

“Lane hasn’t really been asked about it yet. He was on our Saturday morning show yesterday and I was tempted to ask him and I just thought, ‘No, it’s not quite that time.’ It’s hard for me to believe he would be a serious candidate, based on what’s happened, but he should be a serious candidate. As good as [Penn State head coach] James Franklin is — and I think James Franklin would be an excellent person to look at — I think Kiffin, in some ways, would be better.”

Since returning to being a head coach after rehabbing his career on Nick Saban's staff at Alabama, Kiffin has thrived.

From 2017-19, he went 26-13 at FAU and registered a pair of double-digit win seasons. In his first season at Ole Miss in 2020, Kiffin led the Rebels to a 5-5 mark and a win in the Outback Bowl.

This year, he has his team at 3-0 heading into a bye week before a showdown with No. 1 Alabama on October 2.