Morning Buzz: How High Can USC Climb Poll And Fire The Coach?

It is semi-hilarious that USC will probably climb the College Football Playoff poll Top 25 even with Clay Helton on the verge of being fired.

The Trojans need only beat double-digit underdog UCLA to move further up the poll next week. And if they don’t make the Pac-12 title game, they might move again.

Can you imagine this headline: “18th-ranked USC fires Clay Helton”

Does Mike Bohn need to wait until Utah clinches the Pac-12 South? That won’t come until Nov. 30. That’s too late, in my opinion.

This is why I keep saying Helton needed to be fired after the Oregon game. All this stuff going on now is irrelevant and distracting.

Here’s what Bohn really needs to worry about:

  • Sagging attendance
  • Donor unrest
  • Worst-ever recruiting class

Can Bohn really afford a season with those things strangling the program?

36 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: How High Can USC Climb Poll And Fire The Coach?

  1. Bohn is not a fool especially his financial skill (fundraising). I have to believe he’s already met some big players that have made their feelings known per Helton et. al.. I agree he can’t let this go too much further ‘unless’ he intends to retain Helton.

    Should be resolved by Bohn one way or another by this coming Monday – a slow Thanksgiving week and a shrewd time to sack him (Helton).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bohn got fired for not raising enough money. Bohn needs to prove to SC that he can raise the money, fire the coach, hire the correct coach, and raise more money. I have not seen anything yet. So the question is, is he Folt’s lap dog or is he an AD. We will see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fired? You mean by CO? He got sacked from CO because the two football coaches he chose didn’t produce wins. He is a skilled fundraiser if he weren’t Caruso would never told Folt to hire him

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    2. How about supporting Coach Helton , have some continuity to the program. That is what is hurting recruiting and attendance. Continuous change does not make a champion. Get a guy, give him the tools and make him successful. Show some leadership!!!!

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      1. Helton is incompetent. He’s had 4 years. Worse every year. Now no recruits want to come to USC. Look at our recruiting ranking. Always change a losing game. Our only quality win was Utah. The rest of the conference is subpar. Why would you want to continue this charade??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Over the past two years (plus), the indictments have come down on the Helton coaching philosophy on this site and now every other USC site. It’s a little late to repeat them all. He’s a great guy and likely a good QB coach. He could be a fantastic HC at another school, but USC is a POWER FB school, and he does not embrace that philosophy. Being a nice guy does not take one far in the highly competitive Southland. Being a nice guy who always wins (Walt Alston, JR, etc) takes one far in the Southland.

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      3. He has had ample time to turn the program around. Sadly, the proof is in the national rankings and the lack of titles and the recruiting rankings. In addition, the Coliseum is way down on attendance along with the revenues. I was a Helton advocate until the he mustered up a 5-7 season last year. I spoke with a local powerhouse high school head coach recently who shared with me that the kids are simply not intereseted in attending USC for football any longer. The coaching staff has lost the respect of the Southern California high school football community.

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  2. I think Rob Mullen of the CFP iand Oregon trying to get USC to keep Helton with this ranking.i think Washington all four losses are by a combined total points of like 26 pts. And Washington beat us by 14.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I love a conspiracy theory!
      Plays into my theory that Larry Scott is slowly, deliberately, and methodically killing the NATIONAL USC Trojan brand….

      That said, UW is suffering a down year as Peterson built up his team for last season, including not developing a backup for his much over-hyped QB, Jake Browning. I’m already looking forward to the Huskies visit to Troy next season–with a new HC here 😉 . If Fink only played a lil better????

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s good for Oregon, thus the conference for SC to be ranked. If SC uses that as an excuse to do something dumb, that’s just SC screwing itself again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The direction the football program has been heading for sometime now is the wrong direction. Play continues to be sloppy and inconsistent marred by a multitude of penalties. I’m a season ticket holder and have been for many years. The games lack real excitement and the entertainment value is small. I owned season tickets during the early 2000’s and our games now are nothing like those. We need to bring back those days when we had teams that could vie for CFB championship year after year. Now we play down to the level of the teams we play Which of late has not been too good. Clay Helton’s time at USC has come to an end…he needs to go.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Mike Bohn knows where Clay Helton should be after four years of running the program, because this is USC, not Washington State. So I can’t imagine Bohn risking his reputation on Helton next season, especially since the two key players in the Trojans offense will be entering the draft . And it’s also embarrassing, that Mario Christobol, and his Oregon program, have surpassed Helton in just two years .

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I read the paper this morning and Helton is playing our next game as the whatever bowl. It’s not the intense rivalry it should be. It’s just another chance to win. So these are a few of the items he has convinced Bohn to forgo. The annual Bonfire will be a candlelight vigil. The rally will be a s’mores gathering featuring Graham Harrell crackers (boy that’s racist) chocolate and marshmallow fountains and Traveler will be replaced with a hobby horse upon which a mutt dog will be towed around the field.
    He made these arrangements from his office in that building with the statue of that guy in front of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Trojans have as much talent as anyone in the country, but Helton is a .500 coach. In the Pac 12. Playing Colorado, Arizona, Cal. Losing to BYU. Giving up 56 to Oregon. Barely beating Western Michigan 2 years ago. Recruiting is in the 70s. Attendance is lowest in 20 years.

    No question what has to be done. It doesn’t matter if Trojans are #23, or #22, or whatever.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t think you ever go to the playoff with Clay Helton. But it’s actually pretty complicated for Bohn. The kids are still playing real hard. And Helton charms every administrator who meets him. I already get the sense that Bohn likes him.

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      1. The key point that Daniel makes is that no team will go to the playoff with Helton.

        I would add to that, “come close to going to the playoff”, because recruiting is in the toilet as of today, Helton will aways be perceived to be a weak coach who is on the verge of being fired, and that just can’t work if the program aspires to be top 10.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I want to be clear–it would be a bad idea to bring Helton back. But like it or not, the circular logic that could come into play is, could recruiting be improved with a strong showing of support from the AD? Is the bad recruiting merely the manifestation of the negativity surrounding the program? I think that’s the hole Lynn Swann fell into when he extended him. It’s not inconceivable that Bohn could make the same mistake.

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      3. yes, and this is exactly the problem. Helton has found a way to skate through life being mediocre and getting people to go along with it.

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      4. You’re 100% on target, DF.
        Mike Bohn IS a great guy who worked exceedingly hard to get his chance at a power 5 program at UC Boulder. I sat down to dinner with him, the CU Chancellor, and 20 CU supporters (my son was a CU student at the time and the Buffs were in the big 12). He’s honest, enthusiastic, smart.

        He helped build the MacIntyre/Jim Leavitt group that took CU to the Pac 12 championship game. Problem was, CU admin doesn’t give the AD or HC the cash to retain any semblance of assistant coaches. The Chancellor and BOT shafted him in large part.

        He has a second chance (and knows it) in the Power 5–at likely one of the top 5 or 10 AD jobs in the world. He won’t fair this opportunity. The three prior AD’s had already earned their accolades and millions of dollars.

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  7. This is a corollary post to the “Nightmare Scenario” post of last week….

    Here’s what we do:
    Finish. Finish strong.

    Beat UCLA convincingly Saturday.
    Have an epic end of season banquet on Sunday.
    Monday–do what you gotta do.
    Send CCH out on a dignified, winning note. He deserves it.
    He has run a clean program for many years. He stuck through the Sarkiffin (and Orgeron) $#i+show. Official Graduation rates for our FB players are at an all-time high. His players worked hard for him.

    Tuesday, move up the CFP rankings? Not likely. Nevertheless, it’s easy for AD Bohn to state (at the news conference Monday) that a #23 ranking–while nice–is not what a USC head football coach is hired to accomplish. Anyone can run a clean program and graduate their players–that’s what all the associate staff is supposed to do. Win the Pac 12?–that’s the starting line. If you are a 5 star talent in the Southland, you are only going to USC if they compete for natty’s. CCH understands this, and he will accept his new role gracefully. He’s a quality guy. He was too loyal to too many lazy coaches for too long.

    Finish tackles. Finish the block, finish the run, finish the YAC for receivers.
    Finish strong. Beat the Big 12 in the Alamo Bowl.
    Salvage recruiting.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s easy: with an average top 5 recruiting class the past 4 years, and a top 5 coach, we should be ranked in the top 5, right? Yet we *could* be ranked in the top 25 at the end of this season. That means we don’t even come close in the head coaching department.

    Firing Helton, and hiring the right HC (UM) will immediately solve the recruiting problem, the donor problem, and the attendance problem. It’s the instant trifecta.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I don’t agree that the trojans have as much talent as anybody in the country…at the WR position, sure…maybe, in a year or so the DBs…but, both lines are mediocre to average, at best…LB spotty…do I think a solid head coach could improve this group? …sure, so does everybody not named Helton… but the OL in particular, has been under recruited for years now, and it shows…you can’t load up on wide receivers every year and think that’s going to take you to the promised land…

    Can ch survive this mess? It’s possible…hard to say that sc wants to eat that contract extension bestowed upon ch by the previous AD…
    I have become apathetic to all of it…as has been suggested, Helton should have been canned after the Oregon debacle….if Helton does survive, I won’t be wasting my Saturdays next year watching…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Recruiting rankings are highly imperfect, but IMHO the line is deficient because of lack of coaching, not because the talent is not there.

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      1. I think Chad K could end up being pretty good, and I’ll continue to support him.

        We have no stalwart edge rusher, and I think that really hurts.
        Pendergast changed from a (favored) base 3-4 to a base 4-3 due to lack of LB’s, and our LB’s have not stuffed the run nor protected the edge all year. UCLA will expose that fact yet again on Saturday.

        I’ve like Drevno for many years, and I’ll continue to support him. I don’t think Callaway did Drevno any favors in Callaway’s time here. (Time for Anthony Munoz, Donny Mosebar, Bruce Mathews, etc to start calling some 5 star O line recruits and tell ’em how things are done at USC.)

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    2. agreed on top talent. We have an abundance of skilled players at receiver, tailback, and QB. To think that Slovis is coming of the bench as a freshman is incredible. However, both the offense and defensive lines have been horrible the last few years. The defensive backfield has not been up to snuff. Young this year but were horrible last year. We have not recruited to those positions. Both are better this year but not close to what the standard is for USC lines

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be honest and say no.
        But the Nevada game was a good win. They played SC tough and it was a true road game crowd. The young players kept their cool and that was more impressive.
        But Temple is undefeated without any real test so they could be a mystery in the next game.

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      1. Man, Onyeka Okongwu is almost looking like the teams Most Valuable Player and I say that he brings a lot to the table. It’s still very early but he plays like Kevin Garnett without the deep ball, and his motor and focus is impressive for a 1st year kid this early.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Beat Pepperdine to go 5-0.

      The bigs are playing well, the guards are making assists, not to bad with the TO’s, but need to start hitting some 3’s, or the Bigs will get taken out by smarter, more talented teams.

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      1. Thats a good point.
        Utomi is tested and I think he’ll start showing his range the more touches he gets. He was 37% from the 3pt line so he can drain them fast. Mathews needs to make the shots when he’s open. He’s called “Baby LeBron” and I’m seeing that (no dis), so like you pointed out if you take away the inside strengths and give the offense a hard time then we definitely need the shooting to be there for us. The team looks more disciplined. Not big time but the impulsive shots from beyond NBA range that Boatwright took, the poor ball movement from Porter, etc. aren’t showing up like they did in the past.

        This team has potential to be a dangerous one.

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  10. I suppose we’ll find out how strong Bohn really is shortly. Considering the current recruiting class ranking he must let Helton go immediately. I am a donor of long standing and can’t remember the program being in worse shape

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