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Mike Tomlin: Any thought he'll be coaching USC in 2022 is a 'joke'

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It's safe to say that Mike Tomlin is not a candidate to be the next head coach at USC.

The Pittsburgh Steelers coach said Tuesday that any speculation regarding his potential candidacy at USC was "a joke" and that there wasn't a booster with a big enough checkbook to get him to leave the NFL for a college football program.

"That's a joke to me," Tomlin said of the speculation. "I've gone one of the best jobs in professional sports. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football? That will be the last time that I address it — not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but never. OK? Anybody else got any questions about any college jobs? There's not a booster with a big enough blank check."

You can see his full answer below:

To answer Tomlin's question about Sean Payton and Andy Reid, no one is asking them about the USC job because no former Heisman winners have mentioned those coaches as possible candidates. Tomlin's name got thrown into the USC hat — wrongly, as he clearly wants you to know — so he was asked about it on Tuesday.

Carson Palmer tossed out Tomlin's name

USC is looking for a new head coach after firing Clay Helton two games into the 2021 season. On Monday, former USC quarterback Carson Palmer claimed that Tomlin was a candidate at USC when he appeared on the Dan Patrick Show.

Palmer, as you likely remember, was an AFC North rival of Tomlin and the Steelers for years when he was the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals. After Tomlin's comments on Tuesday, Patrick said that the names mentioned by Palmer on the show were simply a "wish list" of potential coaches for USC and not based on any real information. Hmm.

USC seems likely to make a splash hire this offseason as it looks to recapture the success it had under Pete Carroll in the early 2000s. And it seems likely that the Trojans will hire a coach from the college ranks. And while it won't be a huge surprise if USC goes with a coach who has spent time in the NFL, Tomlin is making it clear that he's not a part of the candidate pool.