After USC’s 1-3 start and with Clay Helton on the most flaming of hot seats, who are the five best coaching options to potentially replace him?
5 Coaching Options To Potentially Replace Clay Helton
It’s not nice, rational, or okay for a coach to be judged by just four games, and to be fair, about 100 other teams would probably be 1-3 right now with Alabama, at Stanford, and at Utah in the first month of the season.
But being the head coach at USC isn’t about being nice, rational, or okay.
USC is supposed to be the program blasting through Alabama, Stanford, and especially Utah.
Clay Helton wasn’t considered to be glitzy enough or big enough for the job when he was the anti-Sarkisian choice by former AD Pat Haden, and now with this disastrous start and more huge games ahead, the pitchforks and torches are out by a Trojan nation looking for a coach worthy of USC.
So if I’m USC AD Lynn Swann – and who doesn’t want to be – and if I decide that this just isn’t working under Helton’s watch, my list of five coaches I’m thinking about goes something like this …
5. Lane Kiffin
Just kidding. Sort of.
I’m a very silly man, but I’m also right.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, never in a million years, but Kiffin actually is one of best options to turn this back around.
Remember, USC was just getting started with the Coma Penalty issues from the Reggie Bush fiasco, and Kiffin – while he didn’t exactly help his own cause – was nailed with no depth, no margin for error, and no breaks once the production wasn’t there.
Think of it this way – USC has a shot at getting Alabama’s next football coach.
Sorry to waste your time. Of course Kiffin isn’t even an option, so …
4. Greg Schiano
By any chance have you noticed what the Ohio State defense is doing with most of its key parts from last year working in the NFL?
Schiano was brought in as the defensive coordinator, and now the Buckeyes are doing wonders with a swarming, attacking, turnover-forcing monster of a D that’s running around with its hair on fire.
The guy won eight games or more in five of his final six years at Rutgers and won his last five bowl appearances. Throw in the pro experience, and what he’s doing in Columbus, and now he looks more than ready to step up and take on a gig as big as USC.
He’s a rental for the Buckeyes – he’ll get someone’s big-time head coaching job next year.
3. Kyle Whittingham
If you can’t beat him – at least this year – hire him.
You blew it when you didn’t get Chris Petersen, USC. Now go after the other guy in the region who manages to do big things without the mega-talents. Give him five-star offensive linemen, and then look out.
Considering toughness is a big issue right now for USC, that gets solved instantly with the Utah head man who’s making old school Big Ten-style football – at least when it counts – very cool and very productive.
2. Tom Herman
THIS is the gig for a guy being hailed by everyone as the hottest head coach in college football.
There’s no more stepping-stone opportunity. There’s no more proving himself. He’s the guy every program with a giant name will be after, and there’s no bigger, better job opening on the horizon for anyone with his talent, his upside, and his star power. If you’re ready to stand out again among the pack, and the Pac-12, this is the obvious choice, except for …
1. Bobby Petrino
Buyout, schmyout. $10 million – and dropping – is pocket change for USC alumni looking to get the program rocking and rolling again.
With only some due respect to Arkansas, Petrino has never really cranked it up at a superpower college football program with the chance to be at a spot that all but recruits itself.
Isn’t this a lot of fun this year watching what Lamar Jackson is doing, along with a killer O line that’s blasting away for ten yards per carry from the running backs, and a defense that’s spending games sitting on opposing quarterbacks?
He supposedly wants to finish his career at Louisville. Whatever.
USC might just break the bank to get the guy who makes the Trojans instant contenders for massive things again the moment he walks on campus.