If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

A columnist said this week that USC fans get indignant over Clay Helton but make no sense because, “after you buy out Helton, who do you hire? I don’t think you can get Dabo.”

Here’s a quick point on that theory: Helton is a below-average coach. If you hired a competent coach, USC would be much better off. Media people need to read this to understand how bad Helton has become at running USC.

You want names to replace Helton? No problem.

Kyle Whittingham (Utah). Imagine what he would do with more talent and he knows Southern California. He should haven gotten the job in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator). He will probably become an NFL head coach soon but the Bishop Amat graduate would be a natural at USC after coaching at UCLA and Colorado. “He’d be an awesome head coach,” Patrick Mahomes told Yahoo. “He has that mindset, that work ethic, and that determination that you need to be a head coach in this league.”

Brent Venables (Clemson defensive coordinator). He makes $1.7 million. USC can pay him $5 million if it wanted. Is he familiar with Southern California? Who cares because he will make the defense a lot better and can hire a good offensive coordinator. In other words, he’s better than Helton.

Dino Babers (Syracuse). I like coaches who get better in Year 2 or 3. Babers has improved at Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green and Syracuse. He is also from San Diego and spent three seasons at UCLA so he knows the area. If you want to rip his head-coaching accomplishments, ask yourself if Helton would do as well at those schools?

Jack Del Rio. I’m not a fan but do you think Helton would have had similar NFL success? He would at least have 11 men on the field more often and hire a better staff.

Urban Meyer. Call him and let him turn down the job. Then call Whittingham.

  • This won’t make recruiting services happy but does it really matter what a recruit for next year says about USC right now? If Helton is not the coach, a recruit is likely to take another look at USC. If Helton survives next season, forget it.

For example, Calabasas has five-star wide receiver Johnny Wilson and four-star wide receiver Jermaine Burton. Neither is really considering USC right now. But that might change if a dynamic coach gets hired.

  • Helton is hiring people for quality control jobs like NFL teams. Former Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden will be special teams quality control analyst. Hopefully he will be forced to count how many men are on the field for special teams after USC had eight men on the field for an extra point and 10 men on another extra point vs. Stanford in 2016 and 10 men on the field for multiple special teams plays against Notre Dame last season.

John David Baker is an offensive quality control analyst. He was a quality control coach at North Texas, where Graham Harrell was the offensive coordinator. John David Baker, meet John David Booty!

  • Things were different back in the glory days. When John McKay coached at USC, he would go to the old Sheraton-Town House hotel on Wilshire Blvd. after every home game and speak to the Cardinal and Gold boosters.

For years, USC stayed at The Town House on Friday nights before home games. Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her first marriage to Conrad Hilton Jr. at the hotel in 1950.

Can you imagine Helton going to a hotel to meet angry boosters after a game?

  • Incoming USC football/basketball player Drake London had 35 points 20 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks in Moorpark’s 65-40 victory over Portola on Tuesday night. But how will USC get the most out of him? It’s hard for someone to practice football all fall and then suddenly switch over to basketball. Maybe London is so athletic it won’t matter.
  • Last weekend, a large group of former USC players got together for dinner at Trani’s in Long Beach. Among the players who attended were Brad Budde, Ennis Davis, Brad Leggett, Pat Harlow, Mark Carrier, Chris Claiborne, Nate Goodson, Dave Cadigan, Jordan Austin, Sam Anno, Khaled Holmes and Kris O’Dowd.

25 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. I know many are tired of Wolf’s constant insistent beating the drum re. Helton but a line from the above is all so very true –

    “If Helton is not the coach, a recruit is likely to take another look at USC. If Helton survives next season, forget it.”

    I stated I put this all on Haden and another bluntly said it was Swann’s mess and only his….that person is right … this is ALL Swann’s mess….Swann a worthless, lazy golf swinging piece of filth.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well he did inherit the mess, and he too has a boss, and we do not know what that boss has to say…although I would have quit if I was told to retain helton and screw football …or , maybe helton is the ‘figurehead’ of the team only, and we do not know all the behind the scenes …it is a mess, regardless.
      But it is a fact, the teams previous recruiting has the team with loads of talent, it has been the fake coaching of helton that has ruined it …that could all change ,we will know come spring/fall practices.Hope’springs’ eternal…fight on regardless

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Swann didn’t inherit a mess, he inherited clay Helton, who had a few years left on a contract that could have easily been bought out and replaced on swanns first day on the job. Swann signed him to a crazy long contract with a crazy buyout – after a season where we won the rose bowl instead of going to the CFP when Helton played max Browne over Darnold the first 3 games.

        And Helton inherited a team that had been well recruited, but lower on bodies due to prior years sanctions but had been built back up into a very high quality roster – Darnold, Jackson, juju, rojo, etc.

        The only thing the coaches or administration ‘inherited’ was a deck stacked in their favor and an opportunity to do something with it. Swann failed. Helton failed.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. It is interesting that the one position coach who stood out under Helton was Deland McCullough (running backs). Not only did he leave after a year under Helton he went to work for Eric Bieniemy at the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. This story is sort of a parable (a real life story used to illustrate a lesson). So follow where McCullough went might be the moral of the story. But, of course, Bieniemy would have to be interested in SC and the culture would have to probably change from Title 9 compliance officers who seek out college football players to kick out of school for, what, saying a bad word to another female athlete, to justify their existence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If Lynn Swann is in charge of hiring the next USC football coach, then we are doomed. Because his evaluating skills are just as bad, if not worse then Mike Garrett, and Pat Haden. It’s still a mystery as to why Swann extended Clueless Clay’s contract, what measuring stick did he use to evaluate him ? A qualified athletic director would have waited to see what Helton could do without Sam Darnold, because that 5-7 record is exactly who Helton is.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think 5-7 is generous just due to the quality of players USC is able to get purely on name recognition and location. If he were 150 miles south at San Diego state he’s probably maxing our at 3 wins


    2. True on all points, but Swann had/has a boss…one who hired helton with his AD Haden,then Swann under that boss extended helton, then SC became a mess in many areas,still is. But none bigger than helton himself as to how to run and coach a football team. Not too many people would walk away from millions/yr,and many justified extension due to the Pac12 title and Bowl win…over looking what many of us saw in SC getting weaker and weaker….this year it finally collapsed, with no Sam.


  4. Eric Bieniemy would be perfect for southern cal. Eric Bieniemy was a Colorado Buffalo when Bill McCartney’s teams were winning league titles and cash payments and rape charges against players… The QB was having sex and impregnating the HC’s daughter.
    According to sources, Bieniemy demanded cash and white women on the recruiting trip… As a top 10 recruit, he signed with Colorado who were 6-6 before he got there.
    He is perfect for southern cal! Ring in another era of on field “success” and SANCTIONS!



    1. Ted – you must have a very, very short memory. The bruin “Louis Vuitton” hoops team nearly destroyed diplomatic relations with China.

      The NY Times headline that will live on forever:

      “How Trump Helped Liberate UCLA ‘Knuckleheads’ from China”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. 67, please remove your head from your rectum.

        Those “Knuckleheads” paid dearly for there transgression. Mucho worse than the usual Clown U punishment meted out to stupid bozo players: 1 unsupervised up-down and can’t play in next games first 15 seconds,

        Clown U, home to that incredible Toejam HERO, Josh Shaw and the bozo video STAR, Osa Messina.

        Clown U gives corruption a bad name. Three cheers for Geo. Tyndall, MD!


      2. The best part was how that ‘entitlement clown’ Ball moved on because his rear end of a horse father already had the next con job set up…..bel-air tech and the ‘Big Baller Brand’ …. smoothest con since ‘the peckerwood’


  5. The potential HC list above is inaccurate.

    If anyone knows anything about the narrow mindset in Heritage Hall then that list should be comprised of former clueless USC assistants (Kiffin, Sark, Helton, Hackett, JRobII, etc.). USC’s next embarrassing HC hire will be someone they shake from the USC tree and who knows the words to the Fight Song.

    USC rarely, if ever, looks beyond USC for football head coaches. It’s not in USC’s decision making process to do a “national search” despite what they say in public.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Wolf.. Dabo wouldn’t want to come to SC. He’s fat and happy at Clem where the NCAA allows him to serve up PED’s to the team. He could do that in the SEC also with zero repercussions. Try that at SC and it would be massive sanctions/scholly reductions, yada yada..

    RE: Helton/Swann …. without a full house cleaning, it’s probably over..

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think I read that Coach Helton has a $15 million buyout clause in his contract. If true, I’m not sure why USC felt it needed to include that in the contract, but it has to have a bearing on the school’s willingness or unwillingness to let him go. I’m not someone who wants a coaching change right now, but the training wheels are off now and I need to see something this year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really can’t say I’ve been real impressed with one fricking USC Athletic Director decision since Pat Haden disciplined Sark [for being drunk at public functions, games and practice] by having him do 3 pushups for Cody Kessler.
      Btw —Somebody please tell me what they think of Dan Weber’s article today. He’s discovered (thru a Freedom of Information Request!) that USC isn’t even allowed to obtain information from their own league on how much money is being generated by the Pac 12’s TV deals.
      Weber: “How could that be, we wondered. Even for private schools USC and Stanford, didn’t they owe some level of transparency to their communities?”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Amazing that Larry Scott is getting away with this kind of crap, Tim.
      The Pac 12 is in worse hands than USC —Swann is clueless, but Scott is venal.


  8. Too much hand wringing and Bolivia ting here. Let’s get real. Let’s not fool ourselves. Right now NOTHING MATTERS. SC football is in a prolonged state of dry rot, and it doesn’t get any better during the off season or next season. Look at the schedule. Look at the HC (if you can bare to). Look at the morale. SC will lose 7 games at minumum in 2019. Only then will there be any real change. Don’t hold your breath!


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