USC Morning Buzz: Keep An Eye On Luke Fickell

One theory I hear gaining steam is that with Clay Helton a mere figurehead this season, the table is set for USC to hire Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell for 2021.

The basis is that Fickell was hired by Mike Bohn and they already worked together. Maybe Fickell would also accept keeping some of the recent coaching hires easier than other candidates.

It’s worth noting Fickell turned down Michigan State last month, which also makes people wonder about USC reaching out to him.

Of course, the biggest caveat is what happens if the figurehead actually wins enough games to survive? You cannot discount that happening, especially in a conference as inconsistent as the Pac-12.

But when people keep talking about Fickell, it’s worth mentioning it.

22 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Keep An Eye On Luke Fickell

    1. Fickell is a MUCH better than average coach. I’d like to say we could do even better —but with a sexy little president who’s stoked by a man’s “integrification” factor — I know Fickell is the best we can hope for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike at this point in my opinion after all that has happened since the Penn State game including the following season losing to Ohio State because let’s face it that season looks successful on paper but it was a disappointing one if we are being honest. Since that win over Penn State Helton has managed to get worse and I think he should be fired unless he somehow gets the team in the playoffs. Not happening but if they keep him it only sends the message like they normally have that they reward coaches for good seasons and allow them to have terrible seasons with the goal of being a true championship program not at all important to them at all.
        Maybe one season he could win back some fans with a promising turnaround, but he’s two straight horrible years that were embarrassing and the bigger programs would never let these problems continue at their school.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. True, Sam. And what makes things even worse is that recruits (and recruiters) know every word you wrote is on the money…


    1. Helton’s already been told he’s a placeholder for 2020. That’s one of the reasons he was still smiling after the Holiday Bowl blowout….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Steve Lavin took UCLA to the tournament a few times, but after a few years, he was running on fumes, and kept winning enough games to survive. But ultimately, the administration got rid of him, and other then a few peers, no fans, or alum cried foul. So firing Clay Helton after 5 years of mediocrity, would not raise the brows of any alum, or true USC football fans. Does anybody believe that Mike Bohn would renew Helton’s contract if he won 9 games in back to back seasons ? Of course not …. so it’s a no brainer to get rid of that clown after the season.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Les miles’ had a way better resume than clay Helton when he was fired from LSU. He couldn’t get them over the hump so they got a guy who could


  2. So a coach who has never left the state of Ohio, with no recruiting ties to the west coast is the hot commodity? A Midwest catholic family who’s wife will play a major part in the decision for the family will uproot An leave everything they know to follow his ex AD to LA ? I just don’t see this as a good fit for all parties involved .


    1. Why? Catholics won’t leave the mid-west? Money has been a consideration for many Catholic families who have children who’ll need an education…..USC or Cincinnati?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He has never left the state of Ohio ! It’s not about money his history says comfortability an his family is more important!

        I put more credence in him returning to Ohio state when Day leaves for the NFL or him going to Notre Dame after Kelly retires .

        Liked by 1 person

    2. He picks USC over Cincinnati because going 12 – 0 at USC is most certainly a surefire lock for the CFP than if he did that at Cincinnati. Some schools have better brand name recognition. And you can bet the committee will find any reason in the world to keep out a small school like Cincinnati.

      And if he is as good as he thinks it is, he has a good shot at going undefeated in a weaker conference which just boosts his name even more.



      1. This is not about CFP . Google the man read his quotes about family an being comfortable in a situation! He is building a strong program he has 6 young children. Family an his faith are important to him . Read what I’m saying USC is not in his comfort zone based on his history! No west coast recruiting ties , no supporting family system here ! He will have other opportunities for a major program in his comfort zone ! California is not everyone’s nirvana why is that so hard to understand! Plus why as a fan would you want another bad fit for the program! It amazes me how little knowledge people who follow usc have of the college football landscape well general football knowledge to be honest .


  3. When (and not if) they let Helton go, I expect they will announce that we are taking the team in another direction. That’s BS talk for get outa my sight I don’t wanna see you ever again millionaire.


  4. Come on Scott.

    This narrative has been fed to SC fans for years. Helton’s purported buyout is 20 million which is pennies for college football. They did not fire him years ago which means Helton will be here for the remainder of his contract.

    They are trying to bandage the team with a North Texas coach and fired coordinators (sloppy seconds). The best part is that Orlando blames “injuries” for his failure. LOL. It is like saying the team is too “young” and need experience.


  5. According to a knowledgeable source who by the way was right about Bohn Head retaining Gomer, at the first sign of adversity, Gomer will be fired and replaced by Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell. If Harrell is successful, he will be named the permanent coach and the entire staff will be retained (with the possible exception of Drevno) . According to the source, this model was used by Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State to great success. Both pro and college teams are hiring young offensive minded coaches to lead their teams and USC believes that for the sake of recruiting continuity and the fact that Harrell will be in major demand at the pro and college level (if he produces another successful season), that the so called “Clemson model” is the way to go. If Harrell falls flat on his face, then Urban Myer, followed by Luke Fickell will be the top two choices to become the permanent head coach.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.