While Michael Smith reported earlier today on ESPN that Mike Singletary, Ron Rivera and Norv Turner are amonst the more prominent candidates being interviewed for the Chargers’ head coaching vacancy, Pro Football Talk has a more sensational theory to consider.

There is increasing talk in league circles regarding suspicions that the San Diego Chargers already have a secret deal in place with USC coach Pete Carroll.

ome think that the most convincing proof was/is USC assistant Steve Sarkisian’s abrupt about-face with the Raiders, followed days later by the decision of his former Trojan colleague, Lane Kiffin, to take the job.

Why else, the theory goes, would Kiffin take a job that Sarkisian didn’t want unless they both knew that Carroll wasn’t long for the USC gig, and that Sarkisian, not Kiffin, had been hand-picked to replace him?

Others are pointing to the fact that the first guy to be interviewed is Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who has no head-coaching experience but who helps the Chargers satisfy the Rooney Rule quickly, in the event that the Pete Carroll cat gets out of the bag prematurely and none of the minority candidates agree to sit for the job.  (See Detroit Lions and Steve Mariucci.)

After a 6-10 campaign and seeing Nick Saban bolt for ‘Bama, the Dolphins are raising their ticket prices, some of ’em by as much as 200 percent writes the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

(Owner Wayne) Huizenga said it’s justified, asserting many club-seat holders who signed their deals 20 years ago “had no escalation for five years and then a little bit of escalation. Your increases haven’t kept up with where you should have been. You’ve had a great free ride for 20 years. The guy sitting next to him is paying what you’ve got to pay now. You’ve got to catch up.”

Only in Huizenga’s universe is paying $142 (the old price) for a seat considered “a great free ride”.