Joey Harrington, Mike Bellotti on Mario Cristobal to USC speculation

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Joey Harrington and Mike Bellotti discuss Mario Cristobal to USC speculation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Whenever a big-time program’s head coaching job becomes available, the speculation begins as fans often start to worry that their head coach could take the vacancy.

Monday, Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal emerged as a possible candidate to replace Clay Helton at USC.

But take it from the experts and ones who know Cristobal well, he doesn't want to take the Southern California job. 

Former Ducks QB Joey Harrington and former head coach Mike Bellotti gave their thoughts on all of the speculation surrounding Cristobal and the notion that he would consider leaving Oregon to take the USC head coaching vacancy.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast!]

Coach Bellotti, who headed up the Ducks program from 1995-08 compared the Pac-12 jobs from back then to now.

“I think that five years ago, 10 years ago, USC was probably the best job in the conference, always with potential. Now it is not… I think it’s not as good of a job.”

Harrington added, “Is it the best job in the country? -- No. Is Mario going to leave? -- No. If he didn’t leave to go to Miami back to his alma mater and in the conversations that I’ve had with him, I truly believe he buys into the commitment to this program and values what guys like coach Bellotti have done before him.”

He’s not going anywhere. He’s got a better chance to win a National Championship here than he does down south.

Joey Harrington

Following Saturday’s big road victory at Ohio State, Cristobal now holds a 27-10 record after taking the head coaching gig at Oregon in 2018.

And more than anything, Harrington and Bellotti agree:

Coach Cristobal wants to stay at Oregon.

I think Mario is committed to Oregon. I think that he really likes the environment here. He’s proven he can recruit here. He’s proven he can out-recruit USC here from Eugene, Oregon.

Mike Bellotti

So what it also boils down to is – Is the grass actually greener at USC?

“No, it’s not, in fact it’s dried out. They’re having a drought,” Bellotti said with a smile. “It’s really that type of a situation.”

Next up for Cristobal and the Ducks, they kickoff at 4:30p.m. PT Saturday against Stony Brook. 

Hear more from Harrington and Bellotti in the video above.