A Season Of Disappointment

Photo published for After playoff elimination, USC points toward other remaining goals

From Day 1, I’ve written that anything less than a College Football Playoff appearance means this season is a disappointment. When USC was 4-1 and 5-1 this season, Clay Helton said the Trojans were having a better season than last year, when they started 1-3.

But USC also finished last season ranked No. 3 in the nation. So any ranking worse than that is also a sign the Trojans are having an inferior season.

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Sunday Night With Clay Helton

Clay Helton said Notre Dame ran some new schemes against the Trojans that helped them run the ball better. He also said there were more instances of players getting beaten physically than assignment errors and credited Irish QB Brandon Wimbush for the defense’s problems.

Helton said cornerback Iman Marshall had an MRI on his knee today. I’ve heard he will be out 3-4 weeks, which could mean the regular season.

I asked Helton if college football pundits overestimated USC by picking them as a top-four team.

“I’ve always thought it’s not my job to worry about anybody else’s opinion,” Helton said.

One opinion who does matter is athletic director Lynn Swann. Helton said he and Swann meet every Monday to go over the previous game.

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The Latest Line

USC opened as a 3.5-point favorite over Arizona State. Remember, USC is 1-7 against the spread this season. Also, I hear cornerback Iman Marshall could be out 3-4 weeks with an injury.

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Where Is The Emotion?


I also heard from former players that there was no emotion on the sideline. That coaches do not chew out players when things go wrong. That there is no sense of urgency. I could go on and on.

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What Is USC Good At?

Related imageUSC is poor at the line of scrimmage. The special teams are a circus. It can’t stop the run (546 yards in past two weeks). The secondary is extremely average (or less). The receiving corps has not developed since spring.

The two saving graces were quarterback and tailback. Now they are overcome by team issues. Maybe I was wrong when I said USC does not improve. Maybe USC gets worse.

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USC Morning Buzz: The Charade Comes To An End At Notre Dame

Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Stepherson (29), defended by Southern California cornerback Isaiah Langley (24) catches a 23-yard pass for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

USC was exposed after seven weeks of indifferent play and leadership, as I wrote in my analysis from South Bend.

Excerpt: This coaching staff does not improve players. It does not coach them up or dress them down when things go poorly. The Saturday night massacre at Notre Dame was a disaster because there was an alarming lack of emotion on the sideline.

If you cannot win the line of scrimmage, you cannot play with the nation’s best teams. You can prance around the dreadful Pac-12 South but that is hardly the goal, unless you listen to Clay Helton.

Wolf: USC charade comes to an end at Notre Dame

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Discuss The Debacle

The chickens came home to roost. I’ve been saying the same things week after week after week. But tonight USC played a real team that would not forgive mediocre play . . . or coaching.

What a joke of a performance for a team picked to be in the CFP. But what do you expect when USC never improves.

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