The USC Trojans made a long overdue move to try and right the ship defensively this week, with second-year head coach Lincoln Riley firing embattled defensive coordinator and confidante Alex Grinch after Saturday’s 52-42 loss to Washington at home. The move came after the Trojans ranked among the worst teams in the FBS in points allowed (34.5, 124th nationally) and yards per game (436.0, 12th nationally), with USC allowing 40 or more points in four games this season.
Grinch’s shortcomings spoiled an otherwise spectacular season by USC’s offense, with defending Heisman winner Caleb Williams posting a higher QB rating (175.9 to 168.5), with comparable TD per game (2.8, to 3.0 last year), passing yards per game (298.6 to 324.1 in 2022) and TD-to-INT ratio (7-1, to 7.4-to-1 in 2022) this year. Still, USC finds themselves sitting at 7-3 and virtually eliminated from the 2023 Pac-12 Football Championship Game, with a Saturday night showdown at Oregon awaiting them.
Ahead of that clash, in which oddsmakers from ESPN Bet list USC as a 16.5-point underdog, BetCalifornia.com used our California sports betting mindset and broke down the latest odds on who could replace Grinch as the next defensive coordinator in L.A.
Next USC Defensive Coordinator Odds
Below, you will find odds that would have the potential to bet featured on California betting apps if they were available in the Golden State. Hopefully, that comes soon. In the meantime, follow BetCalifornia.com for the latest information about California sports and sports betting developments.
Who Will Replace Alex Grinch At USC?
The top candidate to replace Grinch comes from one of USC’s biggest nemeses of late, in longtime Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley — who has served in his current role since 2016. Scalley has guided the Utes to the top of the Pac-12 since taking over for John Pease, leading Utah to consecutive conference titles in 2021 and 2022, while being named a Broyles Award finalist in 2019. The only obstacle for USC would be Scalley’s salary, which pays him $1.4 million per season (per ESPN), though that will likely be less of an obstacle when the Trojans start getting full Big Ten payouts in the future.
Other candidates for USC’s DC gig include former Washington head coach and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, who is currently an assistant with the L.A. Rams. Lake oversaw one of the nation’s best defenses in Seattle, guiding the Huskies to the 2016 CFP and stifling the Trojans and many other Pac-12 teams over the years.
Another L.A. candidate to replace Grinch comes from USC’s chief rival, with first-year UCLA defensive coordinator D’Anton Lynn serving as an appealing candidate for the Trojans DC opening. Lynn has guided UCLA’s defense back to relevance this year under head coach Chip Kelly, with the Bruins ranking 13th nationally in yards allowed (2,649, or 294.3 per game) and points allowed per game (17.5), compared to last year when UCLA ranked 89th (411.3) and 99th (30.8).
Other names to keep an eye on for USC’s DC gig include Tim DeRuyter of Texas Tech (+1900) and Rutgers’ Joe Harasymiak (+5000), though it seems like the first three candidates will be in high demand this offseason.
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