When Southern Cal fired Lane Kiffin in September, the Trojans were 3-2 overall, 0-2 in the Pac-12.
Ed Orgeron was named interim coach, because he had head coaching experience (three fruitless years at Ole Miss) and was a popular personality. His mission was clear. Just get USC through this season without too much embarrassment.
Six victories later, USC's season has been transformed. The Trojans have lost only to Notre Dame, 14-10, and they have victories over Stanford, Oregon State and Arizona.
Saturday, Southern Cal hosts UCLA. A victory would make USC 10-3 — and Orgeron 7-1. Suddenly, athletic director Pat Haden would have a decision to make.
Orgeron never was considered a prominent candidate to take the job permanently. But USC's play has created momentum for Haden to keep Orgeron.
Win this game against UCLA, and Orgeron might just have a job better than Mississippi.