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After Ugly Loss to Rival Stanford, USC Fires Clay Helton

After a wonderful weekend of college football, some huge news just broke. After their ugly loss to Stanford over the weekend, USC has fired head coach Clay Helton. USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn announced the news on Monday afternoon. The Trojans looked good in their week one win versus San Jose State. However, this past weekend against rival Stanford, they were dominated. Quarterback Kedon Slovis was 27/42 for 223 yards and one touchdown, but one interception. Helton was 46-24 as head coach, which is very good for a college football coach. However, it’s not up to USC standards.

Athletic Director Mike Bohn had this to say during the announcement:

“As I committed to upon my arrival at USC, during the past two off-seasons we provided every resource necessary for our football program to compete for championships,” Bohn said in a statement announcing the dismissal. “The added resources carried significantly increased expectations for our team’s performance, and it is already evident that, despite the enhancements, those expectations would not be met without a change in leadership.” (Mike Bohn, USC AD, ESPN)

What’s Next For the Trojans?

Donte Williams will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. He joined the USC coaching staff in 2020 as the cornerbacks coach and defensive passing game coordinator. This summer he was promoted to Associate Head Coach. However, Williams may not have much of a shot at becoming the full time head coach because of how prestigious the coaching job at USC is. A nationwide coaching search will take place over the next couple of weeks and months.

Three Names To Keep An Eye On

Matt Campbell, Head Coach, Iowa State

Campbell had a rough weekend. His Iowa State Cyclones failed to defeat in state rival Iowa over the weekend. The Hawkeyes have now won six straight in the rivalry. Campbell has done everything for Iowa State football, and have built them into a yearly contender. However, what is there left for Campbell to do? He would be a great fit in Southern California. He’s a great recruiter and program builder, so there is really no reason the Trojans don’t at least reach out to him.

Luke Fickell, Head Coach, Cincinnati

Fickell has done an incredible job building up the Bearcat football program. Since taking over in 2016, Fickell has a great record of 37-14 with the Bearcats. He’s a great recruiter as well, so putting him in a spot like Southern California would only help him get high level recruits. However, Fickell may be waiting for the Ohio State job to open up. Not that anyone believes that will happen anytime soon. Last year his Bearcats won the American Athletic Conference, and ended up playing Georgia in a New Year’s Six Bowl. They would end up losing a tight game. Currently Fickell has the Bearcat team ranked 8th in the country.

James Franklin, Head Coach, Penn State

After an abysmal 2020 season, the Nittany Lions are back to their old selves this year. However, even though Franklin is happy at Penn State, he might jump at the opportunity to coach the Trojans. To be the head coach of USC you need to have charisma, and kind of live a celebrity life. Pete Carroll was the perfect example when he was dominating the Pac-10 with the Trojans. Franklin and USC would be a great fit, and like the other two coaches mentioned above, Franklin can use his recruiting prowess to keep some of the California high school players in state.


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