Any lingering questions on whether Pete Carroll was leaving USC and heading north to Seattle should be answered by now.

Gary Klein of The Los Angeles Times spoke to Carroll in this story. According to Klein, Carroll will get a five-year contract worth nearly $33 million. Plus, he'll get the complete control he never had in his previous NFL head coaching jobs with the Jets and Patriots.

Carroll told Klein that he is eager to move on, but will have a difficult time leaving the young players on the Trojans. Also, Carroll said possible trouble from the NCAA (Reggie Bush/Joe McKnight investigations) had nothing to do with his decision to head back to the NFL.

Now onto who will be the next USC head coach.

According to various reports, Oregon State's Mike Riley had been USC's top choice. But Riley signed a three-year contract extension to remain with the Beavers.

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Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, who was USC' s offensive coordinator under Carroll before becoming the Huskies' coach, told The Associated Press in a text message that he has not been contacted about the job.

USC won't pick one of the current assistants, especially since some may be headed to Seattle with Carroll. According to reports, USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. are going with Carroll.

Even though there are some high-profile former NFL coaches available, it appears that USC wants a coach with college experience. Carroll did come from the NFL when he took the USC job, but he was a college assistant at Iowa State, Ohio State and North Carolina State, to name a few.

The new coach will also have the pressure of sustaining what has become a national powerhouse. USC was 6-6 in 2001, Carroll's first season. Over the next seven seasons, USC won at least 11 games each season, captured two national championships, won six of seven bowl games, and finished in the top four of the AP poll each season. In all, Carroll had a 97-19 record in nine seasons.

One thing is definitely certain: USC needs to act very quickly to keep its current recruiting class together. National signing day is rapidly approaching.