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Reports: USC talks with Sarkisian; Petersen pulls out

The SportsXchange

The University of Southern California might be winding up its search for a new football coach.

ESPN.com reported Monday that Washington's Steve Sarkisian interviewed with USC athletic director Pat Haden for the job.

Boise State's Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt's James Franklin are the leading candidates, according to the report, and a decision might be made this week. CBSSports.com reported Monday that Petersen withdrew his name from consideration

Interim coach Ed Orgeron took over when the Trojans were 3-2 overall, 0-2 in the Pac-12, and he led them to six consecutive Pac-12 wins surrounding a loss to Notre Dame. USC's conference winning streak ended with a 35-14 loss to UCLA on Saturday.

Orgeron replaced Lane Kiffin, who lost seven of his final 11 games at USC and went 25-18 during his three-plus-year tenure.

The Trojans were 23rd in the BCS standings before the loss to the rival Bruins knocked them out of the top 25.

Sarkisian, 39, has compiled a 34-29 record in five seasons at Washington. Before taking the Huskies' job, he was an assistant for seven seasons at USC from 2001 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2008. While he served as offensive coordinator on former coach Pete Carroll's staff, the Trojans went 22-3.

Petersen, 47, boasts a 92-12 record over eight seasons at Boise State, guiding the team to wins in the Fiesta Bowl following the 2006 and 2009 seasons. The Broncos went 8-4 overall this year, 6-2 in the Mountain West Conference.

Franklin, 41, has a 23-15 record in three seasons at Vanderbilt. The Commodores went 8-4 this season, 4-4 in the ultracompetitive Southeastern Conference.
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