There is no way to sugarcoat it: it’s time for Helton to go.
“I’ve been here 10 years,” head coach Clay Helton said after USC was massacred by Oregon Saturday. “I believe in being a servant to this university and to the young men that are here. Each and every day I wake up and represent them and our school, and I will continue to do that each and every day. And I’ll fight like hell with the people I believe in, and the people I love, until they ask me not to do it anymore."
I’m glad that Helton will continue to give everything he has to this team, but his effort only goes so far without results. In the past two seasons, USC hasn’t had the results. They have had copious amounts of talent at every position and nothing to show for it. The Oregon loss blatantly exposed the biggest problem with USC under Helton: discipline.
Oregon exploited USC’s Achilles’ heel for three quarters, pounding the Trojans with touchdown after touchdown.
USC was never going to beat Oregon with the Trojans’ hobbled roster, but what coach allows 21 points scored in the final three minutes of the first half?
There was no damage control. The train fell off the track, and the game spiraled further and further out of control. USC allowed eight consecutive touchdowns. Eight. Consecutive. Touchdowns.
I can’t even remember the last time I have seen a team allow eight consecutive touchdowns in a game, and I’m a Lions fan.
The Trojan hopefuls will reference the first quarter as a high point for USC. If you look closer, USC was never in the game. Yes, the Trojans went up 10-0 in the first quarter, but Oregon didn’t capitalize on several opportunities -- most notably missed tackles.
Once again, hats off to freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis. Each week the young-slinger proves himself as a valuable asset for USC. His ability to maneuver the pocket and evade tackles resulted in USC’s first touchdown. Under a coach that can command the talented roster, Slovis will be a very successful quarterback.
You can blame the offense for its inefficiency or you can blame the defense for its inability to stop a drive, but the common denominator is that USC is too talented to get massacred by any team, especially on its home turf. The Trojans haven’t lost this badly at home in a decade. It is time for a change.
With a new athletic director to soon fill the void left by Lynn Swann, expect some changes coming to Heritage Hall.
Anytime a new head coach is brought into the question, Trojan faithful beg to return to the Pete Carroll era. Sorry, that’s gone. Carroll is a once in a lifetime coach. The goal in the head coach search should not be to find the next Pete Carroll. It should be to find the best coach for the university.
Urban Meyer is not the answer.
Meyer is one of the greatest collegiate coaches of all-time, but a flashy hire is not the move for USC.
USC is a university in shambles both athletically and administratively. The school needs stability, and Meyer doesn’t fit the bill. Regardless of how you interpret Meyer’s “scandal” that pushed him out of Ohio State, any form of outstanding controversy is not a good look for USC.
I have been at USC for five semesters, and in that time I have seen a meth-smoking dean, a predatory gynecologist and two of the nation's largest athletics scandals -- both of which hit USC hard.
I’m not saying Meyer will bring another scandal to USC; I’m saying the university just can’t take the chance.
Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck is a fantastic candidate for USC, though current reports point him towards the Florida State vacancy. His unrivaled intensity turned Western Michigan from a nobody 1-11 MAC team to a respectable opponent in just four seasons. Now, his Minnesota team is currently undefeated in 2019.
USC doesn’t need a tenured coach that could potentially carry controversy, it needs to enfranchise a coach like Fleck that has proved his worth with teams below USC’s level. Fleck has the coaching ability and enthusiasm to breathe life into a deflated Trojan team and fan base.
USC, it’s time for change. Mr. New Athletic Director, there’s a lot of work on your desk. The first order of business is to restore this university both administratively and athletically.