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USC coaching search: Is Air Force's Troy Calhoun a candidate?

In today's USA Today, the newspaper released a list of 10 candidates for the USC head coach opening, and a familiar name from Colorado Springs was included on that list.

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With the decision of University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden to first give embattled head coach Steve Sarkisian a leave of absence and then 24 hours later fire the coach, one of the most prestigious jobs in college football is now open. And speculation is already starting to spread as to who will replace Sarkisian and lead the Trojans next year.

That speculation has included Air Force Falcons Head Coach Troy Calhoun. While not the sexiest or even the top name out there, Calhoun is a hot commodity because of his successful time at Air Force as well as his professional background with both the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans. In today's latest USA Today release, the newspaper released their top ten list of USC potential hires and number eight was the Air Force leader.

This is not the first time Calhoun's name has appeared as a potential candidate for a big time head coach opening. Here is a time line of some of the bigger rumors surrounding Troy Calhoun:

December 2010 - Calhoun's name was rumored to be near the top of the list for Pat Bowlen and the Denver Broncos. Calhoun quickly ended that rumor by saying he was not interested. The Broncos would hire John Fox.

December 2010 - The Colorado Buffaloes and athletic director Mike Bohn were reportedly very interested in Calhoun. The Buffaloes would eventually hire Jon Embree.

January 2010 - It was rumored that Calhoun was the favorite for the University of Tennessee job and the rumor went so far as to say Calhoun had called a meeting with his team to announce his departure. The Volunteers hired Derek Dooley.

December 2011 - Calhoun's name was connected with Texas A&M but nothing serious ever materialized between the two sides. The Aggies hire Kevin Sumlin.

This is the first real rumor to swirl around Calhoun since 2011. In 2011 the Falcons were starting to see a slight decrease in their play, and the disastrous 2013 season all but erased his name from these type of discussions. But, the resurgence of 2014 and the eight game turnaround has obviously jumped his name back into big time discussions. Calhoun has long stated that he is very happy at the Academy at that he is where he wants to be, but USC is one of those schools that any coach dreams of coaching at, and if the Trojans got serious about Calhoun one thinks he would have to be intrigued.