USC Morning Buzz: Is This The Beginning Of The End For Clay Helton?

You can read my post-game article on the USC-ASU game right here.

Excerpt:  “Is this the beginning of the end for Clay Helton? Maybe. I was getting text messages Saturday night from college coaches telling me there are rumors uf possible replacement candidates. More on that later.

“USC athletic director Lynn Swann could not be happy with all the empty seats.”

Note: The attendance of 47,406 was USC’s fewest since 44,880 vs. Oregon State, 2001.

Swann has to notice that. Or he is utterly clueless.

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42 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Is This The Beginning Of The End For Clay Helton?

  1. Is this the beginning of an end for Clay Helton? It better be. In fact, it’s overdue considering how long he has been exposed to lack the abilities to be the head coach of a blueblood college team like USC, Obviously, he had more than enough time to show his mettle, and now we all know that it was indeed Sam Darnold who covered up his deficiencies last couple of seasons. I really don’t see any positives of leaving him in there from now on because it’ll only prolong and deepen the current issues the team is facing. The sooner he departs, the better it is for the future of the program.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yup a lot of us said it last year even before the humiliating loss to OH St. in the Cotton Bowl. With Darnold gone we’ll see how skilled a head coach Helton is – he has absolutely no skills whatsoever. As ‘RegalTrojan’ stated to have this inept clown as USC’s head coach has been a full-on disaster. Helton is truly an awful head coach.

    Once again a heart ‘thank you’ to Pat Haden for singlehandedly wrecking USC football. Getting outted for plundering the Mayr Foundation and a ‘no harm to foul’ from Nikias’ et. al.. Keep slithering around in your ‘secret’ warrens ‘Capper’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right on the money. Haden was a disaster. No two words about it. He couldn’t even attempt to conduct due diligence on Sark, who even in the absence of a drinking problem, did not have a track record to merit being hired. Then Haden hires ANOTHER guy with no track record in Helton.
      SC needs a professional AD who can make a good hire. There is plenty of coaching talent out there who would love to have the Trojan recruits. 3 straight coaching failures. Time to figure it out – it shouldn’t be all that difficult.

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    2. Yes, indeed. The program has been in a mess since PH came in and made the worst possible personnel moves. A coaching change is the first and most important first step to right the ship!

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  3. The 47,000 figure is wildly inflated. What was seen on national TV was a USC program in full downward spiral: once prestigious Trojan FB unable to draw fans anymore to watch the 4th rate performance on the field…a team in complete disarray (though, to be fair, victimized by injuries),…play calling you’d expect to see at the JC level. A wasted season.

    https://reignoftroy.com/2018/10/28/usc-football-stood-out-vs-arizona-state-asu-loss-trojans/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. USC is lucky they’ve colored the seat a pale shade of red as it looks like there are fans there from a distance. Football funds the entire athletic department.

      Anyone see that weepy piece by that hockey ‘expert’ Helene Elliott in today’s Times going on about how much the kids love Helton? Yeah that’s enough for me to want him to stay right where he is – a clueless ‘uncle yee haw’ with an ‘attaboy’ for all and everyone gets a participation trophy after they lose out to earn a bowl – any bowl for the 2018 season.

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  4. It’s now over. Swann has no choice, the groundswell is too large. 40000 is apathy, that is not something to gloss over or ignore. Not to mention the guys and gals with deep pockets are most likely where the joe six pack fan base is, we are tired of this staff. Now we get to see what Swann can do. Do a real search, interview mutiple candidates, use USC connections to be on the committee. Have Del Rio or Jeff Fisher on the hiring search committee, not as a candidate. Don’t go to the USC coaching well, it is dried up. If we get this right we can compete immediately.

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      1. I agree – if Miles had any real skill he would have been picked up by now. He doesn’t and unlike former Baylor Coach Briles – Miles has no ‘MeToo’ issues to deal with soo to echo ‘Live at Budokan’ why isn’t Miles employed? Because he’s not that good and more than Gene Chizik – won an NC at Auburn – was a DC at NC through the end of 2016.

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  5. Kiffin’s personality deficiencies made it so that he just couldn’t get out of his own way. Sark was a drunk, so who knows whatever positives he’d have brought. In Helton’s case, he just doesn’t have it. Not the only guy in the world who “yes-man’d” his way to the top of his profession. However, most yes-men aren’t exposed every week on national TV.

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  6. Beginning of the end? More like the end of the end from your perspective, Scottie. You’ve wanted this guy out of the door since well before the win at Washington couple of years back. You want to put an exclamation point on this sucker. It may well be time for a change, but “the beginning”? Lulz…..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Think there’s a difference between defending Helton … and checking Wolf on his relentless negativity. Makes it hard to evaluate the situation clearly. At what point is nuance factored into the equation?

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  7. The lack of discipline, preparation and physicality is concerning under Helton. But it feels a little bit like the end of Robinson II. Are we confident Swann won’t find someone like the next version of Paul Hackett? This program has had one coach since John Robinson left the first time in ’82 who has departed voluntarily. Helton has the second best winning percentage (70%) besides Pete Carroll. Truly, every time we run a guy out of town, and we do it a lot, it’s one bad hire after another — Ted Tollner (overmatched), Larry Smith (poor cultural fit), Robinson II (past his prime), Hackett (totally incompetent), Carroll (great, but luckier than we’ll ever likely be again), Lane Kiffin (total asshole), Steve Sarkisian (obviously not well) … and now the kindly but seemingly overmatched assistant from Memphis. I’m not saying change isn’t needed. But maybe step back a little bit and look at the process a little more holistically? Maybe the problem isn’t just the coach?

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    1. USC has hired ONE head football coach since Howard Jones who didn’t have some connection to USC, that was Larry Smith. USC is USC, lazy, they get lucky now and then but for the most part they hire ex USC players and assistants because ” They get USC “, talk about arrogance and stupidity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What was Mckay’s and Robinson’s connection? They both are from Oregon U. However, they were assistants to usc before being head doach

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    2. Most of your comments were right on- except Carroll. It could be argued that those Carroll led teams would have won 2 or 3 more championships in a playoff format. They destroyed teams. As an encore, he won an NFL title and should won one more. Luck? No way.

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    3. 1. Start with no hitting in practice, who ever played the game who didn’t like contact?
      2. Our backs are contacted by a defensive player after a yard and a half on average,
      that’s a reflection on the heart of our line. Fourth and one yard and our line failed!
      3. Coaching, these young men are not ready to play.
      4. USC has one of the best football traditions in the country and we can’t find a coach?

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  8. Agree with Daniel. Problem is systemic and rolls up to Board. Nothing happens without their approval, including selection of U pres. Buck stops there. Haden’s lack of due diligence is on them. Shame on them. As successful people in their various fields, they know there is no substitute for competence. They subordinated their authority to Haden and blindly approved his horrific coaching recommendations. Sadly, this board is MIA, and LS is as incompetent, if not more so, than Haden. Yikes!

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    1. The BOT is full of PC dopes who are more interested in what the LGBTQ community thinks than what the alums think, USC football is DEAD unless they get lucky again because these lazy cheap asses won’t pay for a top coach (and staff) let alone due an exhaustive search for one

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      1. Honestly I think the BOT (and by extension Nikias) is more interested in seeing USC as a top 10 academic institution than a top 10 football program. Our expectation is to see a quality football program, their expectation is way different. Gomer is a nice man, he runs a clean program, he keeps us out of the front page of the Times. For the BOT that seems to be enough

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      2. What in Dog’s name does this have to do with the LGBTQ community? Are you weirdly obsessed…or just disenfranchised?

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  9. Although I agree with the need for a replacement of coaches I disagree with the low attendance being the coach’s fault. I believe that the crowd came expecting a better showing from the team and thus came in spite of the other distractions. There was a convention in town. There was a World Series game in town. And the game was a prime time locally broadcast where people could sit in comfortably in air conditioning. I think there were too many opportunities to not go. In the long run it may help drive out the bad coaching, but it probably won’t be the harbinger of the end.

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    1. In a metropolis of 10 million people you might think that more than 40,000 people would want to go to a USC game on a Saturday afternoon. And if SC fans prefer to “sit comfortably in air conditioning” then THEY are part of the problem.

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      1. Not really – ever wonder why stadiums aren’t any bigger in 2018 than they were in 1920? Population has exploded but if anything overall smaller venues (new Ram stadium +/- 70 k). People go when they see a winner – ask those clowns over at the place where the Peckerwood’s shrine is and look at the handful that go to the Rose Bowl to watch that train wreck of a program – they’re not winners period.

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      2. Smaller stadiums? Only Stanford out of all the PAC-12 teams has reduced its stadium seating. The Coliseum really had to be downsized. Like the old Stanford Stadium, it was always poorly configured for football, and way too big. Meanwhile, almost every other CFB program has updated and expanded their stadiums. No matter how you spin it, when only 40k show up, and 15k of that are ASU fans, you have a big problem.

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  10. Replace the head coach. This isn’t about being the Pac-12 Champs every year anymore. This is about being a program that can reload every year on the Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State level and compete for the playoffs on a yearly basis. That is the level we need to be at now..

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  11. Old Trojan Never Die,

    I respectfully disagree. When the fans have seen Helton against the bama, Ohio st. Stanford, Utah, and the boondocks of the renovating of the coliseum, fans are turned off. Don’t blame them. I’m very un happy being moved from Section 11, row 46, which is equivalent to the back of the end zone to Section 17, row 74, where even with binoculars everything looks small. Why deal with this. It is easier to stay home. I don’t blame them

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    1. It looked to me like more than half of the seats between the end zones on both sides of the field were empty. Those are good seats, close to the action (as it were) with great sight lines. Why were those seats empty? Where were the students? Even that section was 1/3 full. Here’s the reason: the team, under Helton et al, is a catastrophe…painful to watch…a shadow of real SC Football.

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  12. Clean house with the exception of Clancy. His defenses have the ability to be and have been at times lights out. Tee Martin and Helton need to go. USC recruits itself. There’s too much talent to be where they are as a program. These coaches never have the kids mentally ready to play, never mentally up for the challenge. We’re going to get every teams’ best game. Every team plays us hard. When are they going to get it? Can’t fault the kids, they have no leadership. The coaches don’t instill that “fight”, it’s not their personna. They don’t utilize their players correctly and capitalize on their strengths. Sam Darnold disguised the coaches inept ability and still was a interception machine. Mr. Swann, let’s go! Let’s get it!

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    1. Clancy gets used and has been taking to the woodshed by every coordinator this year. Heck, UNLV ran for over 300 yards on the D. Who has he shut out? Much like the offense being saved by Sam Darnold last year, the D was being saved by Rasheem Green and Uchenna Nwosu. They are all gone and now both are being exposed.

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  13. What do Lynn Swann and Jimmy Dugan “A League Of Their Own” have in common?

    They apparently had the same contract…

    Jimmy Dugan : It was made very clear to me what I’m supposed to do here. I smile, wave my little hat… I did that, so when do I get paid?

    LOL!

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  14. Yesterday was a long day’s journey into night for me as the entire city was 0 for Saturday as far as I was concerned. The Trojans, Dodgers AND Lakers all took it on the chin. Anyway, I’m going to skip the palace intrigue and politics as it seems that ever since 4th and 1 to Lendale White, the entire university has been foundering. I can’t know what’s going on behind closed doors and speculating isn’t fun for me. I can’t relate to the powers that be at USC, but I can relate to the players and coaches. As such, there’s no conceivable scenario in which I would root for the Trojans to lose. There are games still on the schedule and I still want to win them. The game is what’s accessible to me, so forgive me for not calling for people to lose their jobs.

    With that said, I think USC should be starting Jack Sears at QB. He made adjustments in one half that I’ve been waiting half a year for JT to make. I suspect this will be another example of Coach Helton’s conservative thinking and unwillingness to deviate from a pattern. Perhaps it’s the kind of dogmatic thinking that’s inherent in the son of an O-line coach. However, I’m pretty sure he’s dead set on having JT start if he can go. Why? I wasn’t burdened by seeing JT play behind a relatively perfect O-line at Mater Dei and I don’t have his 5 stars in my eyes either. Sears was throwing a little high because of adrenaline, but he has a good arm and he’s a gamer. Helton needs to let whatever it is go and start Sears as he gives us the best chance to win.

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  15. Here is a simple observation. Every year, we have a top ten or better recruiting class. They are not rated that way because we are inflating the guys’ ability; they are rated by the same people who rate every other college team’s recruiting class. So, to repeat, every year we have a top ten rated recruiting class. So why do we not even perform at the top twenty level, year after year? If it is not the talent, then it is the coaching, unless I am missing something. I am just a fan. I am not expert enough to tell you what the coaches are doing wrong, but it is clearly on them.

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  16. Scott is so full of garbage because we all know there isn’t ONE legitimate
    “college coach” texting Scott, let alone texting him on a Saturday when they’re all coaching or preparing for a game… Always making stuff up to support his agenda.

    What Scott really means is “I have this idea of some potential coaching candidates that I want to put on my pay site, which nobody will pay for. And the only way I can legitimize my agenda is to fabricate a thought that other coaches feel the same way I do…”

    Scott, let’s face it, your reputation for truth in stories, legitimate sources, and your famous ‘texts’ from ‘nfl coaches’, ‘college coaches’, ‘former players’ and anyone else you make up, is about as reliable as your AP vote, which is non-existent now too!

    Like

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