Busy Weekend in College Sports

Surprising news from USC, a few firings, and a new coach at Texas Tech.

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It was a crazy weekend in college sports, and I'm not exactly sure which piece of news is the biggest.

It's easy to say which headline was the most surprising: Pete Carroll's departure from USC. Carroll, who won a national championship at USC, decided to try his luck in the NFL again, signing a five-year contract to coach the Seattle Seahawks. He previously coached the New York Jets for one season and the New England Patriots for three. The coach, who earned a reputation as a laid-back, fun leader who fit USC perfectly, reportedly planned to meet with his USC players today. He was 97-19 in nine seasons.

Carroll told the Los Angeles Times that the opportunity with the Seahawks "came out of nowhere." Meanwhile, Oregon State University football coach Mike Riley inked a three-year contract extension today, signaling his lack of interest in the USC job. Several other possible candidates have been mentioned, including University of Washington's Steve Sarkisian.

Almost as shocking as Carroll's change of employer was University of South Florida's abrupt dismissal of football coach Jim Leavitt. USF fired its highly successful coach after Leavitt allegedly grabbed a player's throat and slapped his face. The school conducted an investigation of the accusations, the Oracle reports. But Leavitt says the entire incident was "misreported," according to the Tampa Tribune, and he's trying to get reinstated.

And at Texas Tech, there are hopes that the recent angst over its firing of Mike Leach can be squelched by the hiring of former Auburn University coach Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville won 85 games in 10 seasons at Auburn before leaving in 2008.

So, with firings and resignations at Kansas, Texas Tech, and South Florida, openings at Notre Dame and USC, and the strange turn of events in Florida, has this been the most turbulent offseason in college football in recent years? It's hard to come up with a better option.

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