Reports: USC meets Steve Sarkisian; Chris Petersen bows out

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With the push to hire interim coach Ed Orgeron all but gone after the Trojans' 35-14 loss to crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday, the USC head-coaching search has reportedly picked up momentum over the weekend.

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen has taken his name out of the running after being contacted by the search firm USC is using, CBSSports.com reported Monday.

Petersen, 49, has a record of 92-12 in eight seasons with the Broncos, but has repeatedly declined overtures from major programs in recent years. If Petersen won't leave for a historic power like USC after going through a down season -- at least by Petersen's lofty standards -- with Boise State posting an 8-4 record in its first go-round as a member of the Mountain West Conference, he looks to be committed to the Broncos for the long term.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian met with USC athletic director Pat Haden over the weekend, ESPN reported, though Sarkisian refused to characterize the encounter as a job interview when speaking to Seattle radio station KJR on Monday.

Sarkisian finally put to rest the "Seven-win Steve" moniker with a 27-17 win over Washington State in the Apple Cup on Friday, giving him a record of 34-29 in five seasons with the Huskies.

With several prominent underclassmen considering declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft and an NCAA-mandated recruiting dead period set to begin on Dec. 16 and extending through Jan. 15, expect USC to move quickly -- perhaps announcing its next head coach as soon as this week -- so it can bolster its already thin roster.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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