The Clock Is Ticking On Discipline

Before the NCAA had football players sign a letter of intent, they were not bound to a college until the first day of classes.

At USC, the coaches used to take it easy on the freshmen during training camp and then on the first day of classes, legendary USC assistant coach Marv Goux (pictured) would tell them, “no more prime rib or apple pie at Julie’s (restaurant), you guys belong to me now.”

That would send a scare into the freshmen because no one was more intimidating that Goux.

Even in the USC athletic dept., an employee told me how in the early 1960’s Goux would gruffly kick them off the “ditto machine” when he needed to use it.

I mention all of this because as of today, there is not a shread of evidence there is any more discipline within the USC football program than three weeks ago. Despite Lynn Swann’s statement about the football team’s shortcomings, nothing has changed.

Clay Helton has not hired anyone who will bring discipline to the program and the holdover assistants are not going to change anything.

Where is the Marv Goux? Or even Ed Orgeron?

Clay Helton just wants to be the players’ friends. Kliff Kingsbury seems like a nice, soft-spoken guy. Clancy Pendergast has no personality.

The culture has to change at USC and someone has to shake things up. Right now, there is no one to do it.

Something better happen or you will see JT Daniels smiling on the sideline while his team is losing to Notre Dame in the final minute again next season. And worse, the players, who do not listen to Helton, will do whatever they want.


15 thoughts on “The Clock Is Ticking On Discipline

    1. Or at least someone like him, completely unlike what we have…

      I’ve written in this space before that Swann has failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity by hiring Todd Haley – not only a recognized professional (not gimmicky “Air Raid”) offensive mind who worked with Kurt Warner, Matt Cassel, Ben Roethlisberger, and most recently (apparently) did the groundwork with Baker Mayfield in this Browns turnaround season (Mayfield clearly did not like Hue Jackson, but I haven’t hear him say anything negative about Haley). The two keys about Haley were that he was motivated to regain an NFL head coaching gig (which is supposedly what precipitated the problems in Cleveland, which is supposedly, according to some of the USC media sycophants, one of the strengths of the KK hiring, which is mind-boggling in its ignorance of organizational dysfunction – which, if rumors were to turn out to be accurate, may have already come to fruition). like PC was, and, as demonstrated during his tenure as head coach of Kansas City, he demands discipline and performance and doesn’t care about seniority or playing favorites (as would stand to reason in a Belichick disciple) – he took over a team that was at the end of what was then the worst 33 game stretch in NFL history (3-30), and by his second season had won a division championship (with Cassel as his quarterback setting franchise single season records).

      We have become a “once was” program…


  1. I don’t want Clay Helton to change anything, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Kliff Kingsbury jumps to the NFL at the last minute like he’s rumored to be. That way we can finally stop the bleeding when Helton gets fired before seasons end next year, because the honeymoon is over with that new schedule

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SCooter, what is a “ditto” machine? You are correct, there is no Goux or Orgeron. I’m hoping the new dline coach and Drevino become one.


  3. What exactly is the purpose of this article? I remember when I first met you way back in 2003 at the Auburn game in Auburn I thought you were an alright right dude. Everything you post now though is so negative dude! What happened in your life?


    1. In 2003 the only people saying anything negative about USC football were fanboys of teams they crushed.

      This blog is about the state of USC football, since 2009 what has happened that really deserves positive spin?

      -Haden hired 2 under qualified coaches who had to be fired midseason.
      -Haden accepted the results of the ncaa appeal refused to counter sue the ncaa like penn state did.
      -Sam Darnold, adoree Jackson, and juju, and Ronald Jones were rad, this blog gave them props.
      -Haden hired a 3rd under qualified head coach, and for the second time overlooked coach O who seems to be doing well at LSU now (not nick saban well, but better than sark or Helton)
      -Under heltons leadership we watch the team (and players who were freshmen studs) get progressively worse and less disciplined from years 1-3, and show up embarrassingly unprepared for any non-cupcake team
      -Swann gives Helton an idiotic contract extension a season after barely winning the pac-12 in one of its weakest eras in the past 40 years. Followed up by an embarrassing bowl loss to Ohio state then a 5-7 season in the easiest pac-12 we’ve seen maybe ever.
      -administration is so caught up with the follout from the doctor assaults that they’re ignoring the fact that a successsfull football team is one of their best fundraising assets to pay those settlements.

      Not a lot of positive aside from a rose bowl victory that i credit to dam Darnold, not Helton.


      1. Perfectly said…

        I would only add that it is annoying when Helton/Pendergast defenders try to run the Rose Bowl and Pac-12 championship up the flag pole – that Rose Bowl victory is not the equivalent of the Rose Bowls of yore – USC didn’t even win its division that year (since Helton didn’t start Sam until a 1-3 start brought up the spectre of a quick firing…and this in spite of having Adoree, JuJu, RoJo, Uchena, and on and on), and the team they played, although technically the Big-10 champion, wasn’t exactly a Woody/Bo (or now Urban) team (we saw the next year what would have happened if it was an Urban team) – they staged a miracle comeback against Wisconsin, and it was Ohio State that was selected for the national playoff…the next year’s championship was in one of the weakest conference seasons ever, included one close win after another, attributable primarily to Sam, and resulted in an end-of-year “coaching” thumping (anyone else ever wonder what the score would have been had Urban been coaching us, and Clay them?)…

        And what happens when you are increasingly less successful, to include beatdowns in games of national import (Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas)? And the word gets out that your coaching staff doesn’t develop players? So a players chance of making the NFL/being a high draft pick are diminished?

        The players start going elsewhere, and you end up in a downward spiral…as all long-time fans know, this has happened at least twice before, and there is no guarantee that the damage can be fixed…how many times do you get lucky enough to get Pete?


      2. Yes indeed, extremely accurate, and depressingly so.

        On a positive note, Kingsbury’s comments today suggest he is committed to SC.


      3. All that and the pundits are still wondering why SC’s recruiting class is ranked so lowwww. If a kid has the aspirations to play big time CFB, and/or the talent to play at the next level, it’s difficult to justify attending USC in its current state.


      4. Unfortunately our best hope for the upcoming signing period and season is:

        1- SC finishes around 20th in recruiting, but with a full class of guys who chose USC because a. It was their dream school or b. They have a chip on their shoulder for being over looked by Alabama and Ohio state and only having offers to NM and Colorado st.

        2- SC starts the season looking like a fermented beach diaper, starts 1-5 and the coliseum is empty. Helton gets fired and Kingsbury is named interim HC. Maybe he turns the season around, maybe not, he brings tackling back to practices. They’re better than with Helton.

        3- Administration gets the final tally for the sexual assault settlement (I hope it’s high, what happened is disgusting and embarrassing as an alumni). They come to the conclusion that it’s bad form to use donated funds to pay the bill and their biggest revenue asset is a dumpster fire, they begin a real coaching search because they can no longer afford not to.

        4- the 2019 season ends up being an extended interview for Kingsbury, who is not seen as heir apparent, but as a candidate, and at the end of the season his qualifications are compared against the list of candidates that had been in development since week 6. Kingsbury gets his interview and is expected to have a plan in place for a defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, ST coach, and all of the other assistants – the quality of his proposed staff compared to other candidates is a major consideration for the hiring committee.

        5- this time next year SC has a new coach who is a known quantity, recruiting is back around 10-15 due to lack of time, but it’s a good class that addresses needs and future needs.

        6- in 2020 SC only loses to Alabama by 13, but they played hard. The difference came down to a fumble recovery for a touchdown for Alabama and 2 iffy offensive pentalties on SC touchdowns. The rest of the season is fine.


  4. nice catch on J.T.’s laughing it up on the sidelines vs the Rudys, wolfman!

    it’s still true that NOTHING gets by you!!

    my trOXan buddy swore after that game both Hell-TON and Pender-gasp were GONE. HAWR-HAWR!!!

    Yesterday U has never been so low…first OJ and Reggie outraged the country, now the Sexual Abuse scandal has trashed SC’s already tattered reputation. who in their right mind would actually send their little girls to a school that covered up years of abuse?? how many more weirdos remain undiscovered???



    1. Welcome back, Chaz. Was it the baby blue’s W over SC this season that gave you the confidence to crawl back to Flow’s blog? “We gots to know.”


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