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.