USC fired coach Clay Helton on Sept. 14, immediately kicking off rampant speculation as to who will take over one of the most prominent programs in college football. After Tuesday, we know it likely won't be Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin was asked about a rumor that he could be in the mix for the Trojans job on Tuesday during his press conference. The question gave us one of the most emphatic denials of a coaching rumor that you'll ever see.
"Hey guys, I don't have time for that speculation," he said. "That's a joke to me. I've got one of the best jobs in all of professional sport. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football? That will be the last time that I address it. And not only today, but moving forward.
"Never say never ... but ... never. Anybody got any more questions about college jobs? ... There's not a booster with a big enough blank check."
Tomlin then pegged reporters whether they'd pose the same question to the likes of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton or Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid before storming off.
The speculation surrounding Tomlin surfaced on Monday when former Trojans quarterback Carson Palmer hinted that Tomlin could be in the mix for the Trojans job during an appearance on "The Dan Patrick Show".
"You've got a wild card like Mike Tomlin ... if Mike Tomlin wants out," he said.
Tomlin has been the coach of the Steelers since 2007, leading the team to a Super Bowl XLIII championship and AFC Championships in 2008 and 2010. He has compiled a 146-79-1 record and made nine playoff appearances during that span. There's no doubt that someone like Tomlin would be a home-run hire for the Trojans and athletic director Mike Bohn. But,at this point, it probably isn't even worth picking up the phone.