USC Morning Buzz: The Rose Bowl Offered Some Valuable Lessons

Georgia Bulldogs’s Lorenzo Carter (7) blocks a field goal by Oklahoma Sooners’s Austin Seibert (43) in the second overtime of the College Football Playoff semifinal during the 104th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 01, 2018. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

What did we learn from the Rose Bowl? Just how far the Pac-12 was this season from the nation’s elite. You can dissect certain plays but neither Georgia nor Oklahoma seemed to have the chaos or organizational issues that are commonplace at a USC game.

Just getting players on-and-off-the-field looked crisper at the Rose Bowl, especially on special teams. Georgia smoothly went right into its Wildcat. Oklahoma ran a trick play with a TD pass to Baker Mayfield. Remember that trick play USC tried vs. Colorado around the 10-yard line?

Lastly, the speed. When Miami beat Nebraska in the 2003 Rose Bowl for the BCS title, I helped Pete Carroll write a column on the game. He talked about how fast the game looked compared to a (then) Pac-10 game. Even the defensive linemen were faster despite being bigger.

Here we are 15 years later and the same issues are cropping up. Maybe USC will improve and become a CFP contender. But what changes will made to make it happen?

Wolf: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield not great in a great game

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  • RegalTrojan

    What changes should be made to make it happen?

    1) Coaching
    2) Coaching
    3) Coaching

    Then everything else will fall into its place.

    • Stuart Leventer

      There’s absolutely no question. It’s the single most needed element for improving this team.

    • Paul Muad’dib

      I thought it was
      1) Location
      2) Location
      3) And I forget the 3rd one…

      • Michael Guarino

        …It’s “coaching.”

        • Paul Muad’dib

          In the SEC its:
          1.) Roids
          2.) Refs
          3.) Coaching

          • steveg

            Where’s $$$

          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! [It’s right above #1 on Paul’s list, steveg].

          • Michael Guarino

            Seems like a sound approach to me, Paul.
            #SeemsTobeWorking

      • gotroy22

        Connections? It worked for Kiffin and Sark.

        • RegalTrojan

          It’s not what you know, but who you know?

          • gotroy22

            Those two basketball buddies of Pete’s are now multimillionaires.

      • RegalTrojan

        Paul, it sounds like you may be well-versed in real estate. Let me know if you get a good find.

    • David Keeling

      Obviously you left out conditioning, RealTrojan. What I saw yesterday were men of good size on the victor’s side. And they held the smaller-thinner players in check when it counted. Both Oklahoma & Clemson looked spent in the 2nd half. And, very little penalties.

      • GOMER HELTON

        Saw the 2004 Orange Bowl the other day, Iowa was gassed in the 2nd half, we weren’t.

        • Clay Russell

          You’re working harder when you have bigger, stronger men pushing against you all day.

          • timmay

            True but we watched our own D, which was much like the old Hurricanes and the FSU D, in the 4/3 slightly lighter and faster up front, with faster and big LBs and a lot of rotation. Our OL was big but not as big as some during the PC years because they were also had very good feet for a lot of pulling and trapping and zone blocking.

          • Clay Russell

            You’re just substituting exceptional speed and athleticism for exceptional size. The guys you have need to be special and we had a lot of special people back then. We need more special people like Leonard Williams , mike Patterson, Sed Ellis, S Cody etc. I’m stressing size and strength because I keep seeing us getting pushed around. You get more tired trying to keep up with faster guys too.

        • RegalTrojan

          I’ve got a very little doubt Carroll’s 2004 team would’ve humiliated both of the RB teams yesterday pretty easily.

      • RegalTrojan

        I see conditioning as a part of coaching, David. It’s the HC who hires all the assistants including the conditioning coach. The trouble is Helton doesn’t seem to possess the ability to hire the proper help, which is another glaring shortcoming of his.

  • Lunderful

    Does Wolf ever proof read his commentaries? Considering that he dwells in the world of journalism, I’m amazed at the frequency of undetected errors; grammer, spelling, punctuatuion, et al. Maybe he dashes off his comments from a smart phone while standing on a moving city bus. If I were his boss I would have reprimanded him long ago. The Daily News should be embarrassed.

    • rusoviet

      Wolf is good for everyone here who posts – he provides 24/7 constant opportunities allow us to vent and rage and reply.

      BTW slow down yourself when you use ‘grammer’ the next time.

      • Stuart Leventer

        What a bummer!

      • Michael Guarino

        Thank you, Alv.

        • rusoviet

          Back at ya’ Mike – read Whicker’s column in today’s Daily News about last night’s RB

          • Michael Guarino

            Great stuff, Alv!!

    • gotroy22

      No offense, but if you were his boss you would know it is the sports editor’s responsibility to edit the work of the sports writers.

      #thatshownewspaperswork

      • Lunderful

        Your point being, what? Someone, somewhere is on salary at the Daily News to see that the product put in the public domain meets certain standards. Content reviews are obviously missing.

        • GOMER HELTON

          Not enough of them, see my post above.

        • gotroy22

          Newspapers have an organization that includes reporters and editors. The editors are responsible for proof reading all material before it is published. That “Someone, somewhere is on salary at the Daily News to see that the product put in the public domain meets certain standards” is the sports editor in this case. Drop him or her an e-mail.

      • steveg

        Obviously they don’t have editors for this blog. The difference in his print edition and this is night and day so he must have a ton of help for the printed stuff.

        • gotroy22

          The”help” is the job of an editor. The question to ask the Daily News is, “Why doesn’t the sports editor edit the blog?”

      • GOMER HELTON

        I have a relative who writes for this news group. I read one of his columns and mentioned the spelling errors, he told me they don’t have the staff to correct them anymore

        • trojan_1972

          With the exception of a few papers that generate significant revenue via online subscriptions like the Wall Street Journal, copy editors are gone.

        • gotroy22

          They should ask for volunteers among the readers here.

          • Michael Guarino

            We posters should get some of those volunteers too, gt. No one on this blog should be without them from here on. It’s not fair to Lunderful.
            #Can’tYouSeeHe’sSuffering?!

          • gotroy22

            As Ross Perot said, “Let’s hear it for the volunteers!”

          • Michael Guarino

            I’ll take mine in blond, please.
            #Don’tForwardThisToGloriaAllred,gt

          • steveg

            The volunteer blonds are always better than the paid blonds, always.

          • Michael Guarino

            You are a born philosopher, steveg.
            #I’mHavingABumperStickerMade

          • steveg

            Send me one.

          • Michael Guarino

            Okay! On order now! Gold background with Cardinal lettering —-and a nice little portrait shot of Britney Spears over the words ‘blond volunteer.” It should look real classy on any USC student’s bumper.

          • steveg

            Puurrrrfect.

          • Michael Guarino

            Thanks, steveg! [I tried to put all my USC Art classes to use on this project]!!

        • Tebow_Obama

          Free online spelling and grammar check

      • JustOwns

        Nobody edits your krap.

        • SCgrad12

          Someone needs to edit your life…racist loser.

        • gotroy22

          Start doing the opposite in 2018.

      • trojan_1972

        GT22 – previous post on “male patriarchal oppression” was right on the money.

      • Michael Guarino

        Hey! Don’t be so tough on Lunderful, gt. Can’t you see how inconsequential spelling errors are ruining his life? He’s totally right —–people need to be reprimanded! NOW!
        #”ThisCannotStand”
        -PresidentBush

    • Porfirio666

      Scooter is here to tell you the truth. Trust Scooter. Trust Scooter.

      • steveg

        We do, he always has the best most reliable “sources”.

    • Globehead

      A little fact checking wouldn’t hurt either. The Miami-Nebraska Rose Bowl was 2002.

      • gotroy22

        Now that is on the Blogger.

      • ItsAllAboutTheBall

        To say nothing about how all that speed was only on the Miami side of the field that night

    • Tebow_Obama

      “undetected errors; grammar, spelling, punctuatuion, et al”

      “punctuatuion” is it?

      • gotroy22

        Seems everyone needs an editor.

        • Tebow_Obama

          Mine are just typo’s. LOL!

  • JustOwns

    Mo’ Money.

    • Pasadena Trojan

      Just ask Cheetin’ Chip Kelly.

  • Fred Sampson

    Kirby Smart gets it, he’s only in his second year, and look how he gets his team to perform. That offensive line was big, fast, and physical . There’s an interesting article in “The Football Scoop” about what Smart looks for when he hires assistant coaches, and the demands he puts on them, and I must say, it’s the complete opposite of what Clay Helton does.

    • rusoviet

      Fred as many have said repeatedly Helton is similar to a number of individuals in any profession who have been promoted way above their competency zone aka ‘peter principle’. They almost, to a man/woman, select assistants they have no personal knowledge of who will not make them realize how much more they need to learn. Rather such settle for that which begins the slow collapse of a firm, program, team – they hire their friends and relatives.

      • Fred Sampson

        Exactly… on point

    • steveg

      I posted a piece of his on here about what he looks for in a coach. I wonder, was he born with that knowledge or did he learn it somewhere.

      There was nobody on this site more against Helton being hired than I was. USC is not the place for on the job training. We all know he needs all the help he can get and may not make it past 2018. I put a lot of blame on his bosses, he is the sacrificial lamb they threw out to calm the masses and protect their own butts instead of helping him get the staff USC should have had. USC will turn a corner in 2018, they will either respect tradition or not, but for the last time I say Helton has shown character, stability, honesty and withstood the onslaught of the storm he stepped into. If he leaves, the program will not be in a shambles like when he started. For that reason, not his technical skills, I do support him. Like it or not. Now it is time to move on, there is a recruiting class to build.

      • Fred Sampson

        Exactly

      • Brent4c

        Thanks for posting this. If we fired CH tomorrow there isn’t a single coach Fred or Gomer or anyone else can point to who would be better for SC right now. What would happen is the remainder of our class would decommit and we’d lose at best half a recruit cycle. Now none of these people on here think that deeply. They think you can just fire someone and hire a bigger better coach w no negative consequences. They aren’t seasoned enough to realize we had a major haul of O and D lineman this year and with a smaller graduating class out scholarships are a bit more limited. If our O line has not become a force in a year or 2 then it is 100% on this staff but not at this point.

        • GOMER HELTON

          I pointed one out to you, Kris Richard, and you said I was stupid and that he sucked. The Colts are asking for permission to interview him, so he must not suck so much, eh Brenty boy.

          Do you ever have a cogent thought Brent Boy ?.

          • Brent4c

            Never said he sucked Homer…said he was a 2nd year coordinator w no indicators he’d be a good hire at SC. Nice try Homer

          • GOMER HELTON

            Yes you did Brent Boy, yes you did.

            The fact that you want to stay the course with Gomer says everything about you, you accept krap

          • Brent4c

            Seeing I accept you your statement may be accurate! 10-3 is crap? We should get rid of SD also because he was the QB of your crap.

          • Fred Sampson

            Kris Richard is well thought of in the coaching circles, that’s why Pete Carroll gave him the defensive coordinators job over Ken Norton, after the Atlanta Falcons hired Dan Quinn

        • steveg

          There is a glaring need for some serious teaching for the O line, no question. That can be taken care of. I remember with AJ on the kick returns Baxter was a genius. We always taught the return man to count players, USC obviously doesn’t. The other needs are learning HOW to play db, not just be a db. Timing, footwork, and technique need to be drilled into their heads. Remember AJ getting beat a lot and depending on his athleticism to make up for his lack of skills. He finally listened toward the end. Of course we all know the play calling for the most part is predictable and easily defensed if opposing coaches watch film, which they do. Ball handling should taught through endless drills in spring and fall with gaunlet after gauntlet. A lot of USC’s problems are very curable with some good hardass coaching.

        • Michael Guarino

          Do you think we’d lose recruits if we hired somebody like a Scott Frost? On balance — taking into account all the problems that accompany coaching transitions—– do you think we’d be better off with a Helton or a Frost at the helm? I’m not trying to sharp shoot you, Brent. I respect your judgement on this stuff.

          • Brent4c

            I think CFU playing in a power 5 conference every week would have very different results. You can say the same for SFU and CMU last year. They have talent and played the underdog role very well, but the week in and week out would yield different results. This argument was made for Utah a few years ago before they joined the PAC 12. We’ll find out how good Frost is in a year right. I mean if he hasn’t won a NY 6 bowl game and in the playoff by year 2 at Neb he should be fired. That’s the standard we’ve set on here for Helton and Neb has enough name recognition to get kids.

          • Michael Guarino

            Mature answer.

          • Brent4c

            Thanks Mike. Here is a glimpse at the real issue which 3-5 posters on here can’t see. We fired our HC after a debacle at ASU. Despite the criticism this was the right decision. I was at that game and we were in disarray culturally. Maybe this should have been done after the Sun Bowl, but that can be debated. As that year closed out Orgeron took over and while I like Ed as a position coach I don’t as a coordinator or HC at all. Our recruiting was in the toilette as the 2 top OL recruits from LA area were headed to Alabama, Ju Ju didn’t even have us listed and AJax wasn’t seriously considering us. We hired Sark and for good or bad he went out and convinced those guys to come to SC. None of them were coming to SC in November/December of that year. Ed left in a huff, Sark took over and within a year and half imploded. Now I haven’t even gotten to the sanctions part yet which really was a 6 year sentence because it wasn’t like we could sign 45 guys in year 4 to completly replenish our numbers. We had to do it over a 3 year period. Back to Sark imploding making it the 2nd mid season firing at SC in 2 years. Enter Helton who everyone likes to criticize, but he’s won our only RB since PC era and delivered a PAC 12 championship. We were arguably the most dysfunctional PAC 5 program 3 years ago so call me stupid if I cut the guy some slack.
            Those who say he can’t get assistants, well Clancy is a pretty well respected Dcoord. And our RB coach maybe the best in the country. And I wonder if maybe the fact we fired 2 coaches in a 2 year period made some assistants a little gun shy? That is rhetorical as of course no top shelf assistant is going to leave a good gig until we can prove we have our stuff together, of which firing CH does the opposite.

          • Michael Guarino

            I agree with so much of your post —-particularly the praise for Clancy (who would look like Superman if he had the corners to fit his scheme). But don’t you think we could really use some coaching upgrades at o-line and quarterback? Callaway is the kind of gentleman you hate to rag on, but the o-line seems to play without swagger. And I’d like to think that Sam’s problems aren’t all mental.

        • timmay

          I pointed to a lot of coaches. So did others. Virtually all of them are better recruiters. But okay.

          • Brent4c

            Who?

    • GOMER HELTON

      Did you see Smart take full blame for not having his players prepped for the game in his halftime interview ? I can only imagine what Gomer would have said ” Wow, what a beautiful day, did you see the parade this morning ? “

      • Fred Sampson

        Lmmfao!!!

      • ItsAllAboutTheBall

        You forgot “playing against Lincoln Riley, a true giant in the coaching profession”

    • Sebastian Lane

      Having 33 seniors, including 16 senior starters helps. All Mark Richt’s guys. He lost 5 games last year, and now he’s a genius. We’ll see how he does next year with a much younger roster….

      • Fred Sampson

        Nobody does well with a young roster, Mark Richt had that Georgia program in cruise control for over a decade .

        • David Keeling

          Yeah, well we aren’t going anywhere near a nattie with Clay Helton.

          • Fred Sampson

            I agree

        • steveg

          With whose recruits?

      • rusoviet

        Yeah but the difference is Smart’s in his 2nd year w. GA. In 2016 they were 8 – 5 (4 – 4) and boom there they are 13 – 1 (9 – 1)…a severe rise in wins and game management. He won now as to a certain coach out yonder there in southern California well…..

        • GOMER HELTON

          We only hire guys from that powerhouse Western Kentucky !

      • Brent4c

        Don’t add reason and analysis here that belongs on another board. All anyone wants here is kneejerk emotional complaining.

  • steveg

    For Players
    1. Don’t fumble the ball
    2. Sustain blocks
    3. Move the defense out of the way for the run
    4. Learn your techniques, apply them until they are habit
    5. Hold your teammates accountable but encourage them
    6. Understand emotion is 75% of the game (or more, can’t remember) but be strong and humble
    7. Give 110% every play
    8. Practice hard daily, you will never play any harder than you practice
    9. Know your position better than anyone Don’t celebrate every down, get back and ready for the next play
    10. Respect your opponents, study them, learn how to deal with them. Know your shortcomings, and work on them daily.

    For Coaches
    1. Know what you want to do and how to accomplish it
    2. Lead your players but don’t baby them
    3. Make sure your team knows who is in charge, use discipline.
    4. Learn things and teach it. Don’t stand still
    5. Be organized, have a routine.
    6. Build not only the size and strength of your players, but their character also.
    7. Respect tradition but be original also. Each year is a different team
    8. Be positive, elevate the players while displaying your passion
    9. Get emotional and use it to inspire
    10. Have a philosophy for your offense and defense that comes from the input of the entire united staff.

    Some of this is already there, but some needs to be applied or applied more.

    • AtlDDS

      would somebody effort this to the USC football office ASAP, please?!!!!!!!
      Excellent list of behaviors/goals for both players and coaching staff.

      • steveg

        Most from a coaches hand book from a staff I was on, all from memory so it isn’t exact, but then nothing is anymore. lol

        • Michael Guarino

          It’s great stuff, steveg! Thank you for remembering it and passing it on!

    • Michael Guarino

      Wow! Best post ever! I especially love #10 for players: “Know your own shortcomings.” When I was a young attorney, one of the all time great DA’s, Herb Lapin, told me to find the weaknesses in my case and live with them —-night and day —-until I had figured out how to turn them into strengths. Best advice I ever got.
      #ThankYouHerb,WhereverYouAre

    • gotroy22

      11. Don’t grab the other players junk.

      • Michael Guarino

        Yeah —you wouldn’t think that one’s needed. But it’s USC 2018.

      • steveg

        Or if you do make sure it is front of the lgbt section

  • Yale O. Leftwich

    the 4 teams in the playoff are in a different universe from SC, not the athletes, the coaching, the practices,the prep…their timing on offense,and physical ability was noticeable and who said Bama didn’t deserve to be there….not me, I picked them to win it all over Georgia…it will be some game; I didn’t know Georgia could score like that.

    • Pasadena Trojan

      I said that bama should not have been there. I will still stick to this point. They did not show up for the sEc title game. They had an extra week to rest. UCF should have been there. They destroyed auburn who destroyed bama.

      • steveg

        Little UCF took Auburn to school. Tennessee is getting a very good charismatic coach.

        • Arturo

          Think Frost is headed to Nebraska.

          • steveg

            See what getting old does to you? Somewhere I knew that, it just wasn’t there when I needed it. Thanks Arturo.

      • Yale O. Leftwich

        ok we disagree…auburn Bama is like SC ucla,very emotional and lots of upsets like sc ucla 2006…Happy New Year

      • ItsAllAboutTheBall

        Alabama & Georgia are in an all-SEC Title game only because they didn’t play each other during the season. Fricking joke………..

    • rusoviet

      I too did not believe AL had the right to that # 4 seeding – they did not play in a CCG because they did not defeat Auburn who did. AL showed great depth last night but as Pasadena noted an extra week is nothing to sneeze at unless you’re USC with Clay Helton … an extra month woudln’t make any difference

      You let these programs do that and expect more of the stupidity of the pass ‘the princess’ aka notre dame gets annually by not having to play in a CCG but still be considered worthy of being in the final four.

      • Yale O. Leftwich

        ok…I think they did,and they will win it all…Happy New Year

        • rusoviet

          AL you mean – what about the annual ‘gimme’ the Irish get?

  • usc fan

    tick tock tick tock swann is looking at the clock.

    • Tebow_Obama

      What for? Lynn Swann doesn’t know what time it is either.

  • Pasadena Trojan

    Scooter, since you know so much, request that you take over the SC football program and run it the way you have printed in the DN. Let us see how you do.

    • gotroy22

      Could he do worse that Pat Haden?

      • Michael Guarino

        It’s possible, given the latest theories in multi-dimensional universes. But it would take a lot of computation.

      • GOMER HELTON

        Haden not only chose awful coaches he also loaded the athletic department full of people like him, idiots.

  • rusoviet

    Great column in todays %aily &ews by Mark Whicker on the Rose Bowl last night and BTW Wolf’s wasn’t too bad either.

    • Michael Guarino

      Agreed. Two great pieces!

  • Pac12 fan

    Seems like most of the National Commentary is around Rileys conservative play calling affecting Mayfields performance rather than Mayfield himself

    • rusoviet

      Riley did what was against his nature – he went for the ‘safe’ route – he declined to go for a 1st down in 2nd overtime – 4th & 1. Instead the FG attempt….

  • steveg

    Wolf, just to take exception to you, I see Mayfield as the #1 draft pick, the most polish, best pocket presence in the nfl class. Ahead of the project that is Sam, God bless him.

    • Arturo

      I don’t know, steveg, Mayfield runs his mouth and celebrates more than any SC player I’ve seen. That Georgia LB kept yelling, “Humble yourself.” Everybody on this blog gets on Ajene and Jack Jack, why the double standard?

      • steveg

        I sure have not in anyway ever promoted players that run their mouth, especially Jones. Barking up the wrong tree Arturo. I say let your game do your talking and keep the mouth shut. Mayfield has the polish to eventually play in the nfl plain and simple. Great in the pocket with a good arm. Sam we all know is still a work in progress and that is why I personally think another season of playing time will only help him.

    • Michael Guarino

      Sam, unfortunately, is going to be like Richard Burton in the world of theater —-described as a “man with amazing potential” his WHOLE career.

      • gotroy22

        Or a friend of mine who summed up his life, “Great potential, never realized!”

        • Michael Guarino

          Whew. That’s a tough self assessment. I hope you told him he was wrong (even if he was right—–I always give friends a courtesy “oh, that nonsense” when they figure out too late that they’ve chosen the wrong door).

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    “…chaos or organizational issues that are commonplace at a USC game.”

    Nailed it.

  • GOMER HELTON

    Gomer wasn’t extended on his contract, none of his assistants have been extended, that should tell you everything., If Gomer isn’t fired before the season he’s just warming the seat for the next guy, 2018 will be his last at USC.

  • Porfirio666

    Scooter helped Pete Carrol once? And Mary gave birth to Jesus.

    • Pasadena Trojan

      Yes, you are correct, The Blessed Lady, Mary did give birth to Jesus. –

      • Michael Guarino

        The “Porfirio666” handle kinda sez it all, PT.
        #GladHeKnowsEVERYTHING!
        #IThinkThat’sGreat!

    • steveg

      Wolf helped PC. Some tall tails going on here.

  • Tebow_Obama

    So the consensus is that Clay Helton isn’t a good enough head coach for USC, that we can all agree on, but since he has only one year remaining on his contract and seeing how he was named head coach when USC was coming off NCAA sanctions, USC Trojans fans should endure another year of Clay Helton not getting the most out of the 4 and 5 star talent that the Trojans are loaded with in order to show appreciation, again, for taking over the head coaching position while USC was coming off sanctions?

    That appears to be the sentiment from most of you here in this forum.

    Well if that’s the case, then yeah you do, you deserve another season of USC football being mediocre against inferior opponents and having their arse handed to them vs quality opponents…all for the sake of, “Clay Helton can’t coach worth a damn, but since he took the head coaching position at USC (and it’s not like USC didn’t have more qualified head coaches who wanted the job at the time, so it’s not like Clay Helton did USC any favors by taking the job) lets reward Helton and suffer through another year of the Trojans players not learning anything or developing their highly regarded potential talent.

    So much for great expectations.

    • Michael Guarino

      Great piece. You sold me! Let’s keep Clay forever!
      #IDidn’tScoreThatHighInReadingComprehension

  • Tebow_Obama

    You know what, matter of fact, give Clay Helton a contract extension. Trojan fans and university officials don’t seem to mind that Helton can’t coach and that he’s wasting a ton of talent. Clay Helton is a nice man, so he can’t coach worth a damn, who cares.

    As long as the players are happy and don’t have to adhere to any disciplinary actions from Clay Helton and his coaching staff for their undisciplined play that could cost USC games in the future, that’s all that really matters, right?

    Another year of USC football underachieving and they’ll be right there with the rest of the PAC 12, a soft team that has no chance of competing with teams from other conferences, teams that are serious when it comes to football and their programs, who don’t settle for mediocre coaching just because the guy they have running their team “is a nice guy”.

  • Tebow_Obama

    Somebody at USC is going to have to help Clay Helton out and give him some suggestions on who he should hire as the Trojans strength & conditioning coach because if it’s left up to Helton to make the hire he’ll probably put in a call to Richard Simmons.

    LMFAO!!!!!

  • Fred Sampson

    Georgia’s already adjusting their coaching staff, what’s USC waiting for ?!!

    • Tebow_Obama

      Maybe Clay Helton will discuss any potential coaching changes after he schedules the next team free meal get together for friends and family next Friday night.

      • Tebow_Obama

        After he has the team holding hands and they’re done singing kumbaya. LOL!

    • steveg

      Great question Fred, it seems they are so slow at working through the needs of the program.

      • Michael Guarino

        “Slow” is too kind, steveg.

        • steveg

          DOA better?

          • Michael Guarino

            I didn’t want to say it —-but, yeah. Haven’t you met guys like him? People who firmly believe in surrounding themselves with mediocrity so no one’s around to challenge or push them? Staffs like that don’t grow or mature —but, hey, that’s the idea, right?
            No one on earth expects Clay to use the next two weeks getting the best offensive coordinator and o-line coach money can buy.

          • steveg

            A head coach is only as good as his worst assistant. He has to be confident yet gracious enough to let his guys opinions be heard and have weight, That builds a team. If USC cared they would have the entire AD staff working to support the program, getting the best they could get whether Helton is coach or not. Clay doesn’t have the horsepower to get the top name guys, he needs help. The name USC with the tradition they have can help a lot if they apply it.

          • Michael Guarino

            This is borderline but I’m gonna mention it anyway, steveg —–in both of the playoff games, ESPN cut to the sidelines on numerous occasions to show the assistants doing their thing. The commentators showered praise on them and pointed out what they meant to their respective programs.
            They have a LOT of time to talk about other things when USC is playing.

          • steveg

            No question about it MG, some serious changes need to be made. Question is will it happen and when.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Recruiting to end. Plus, Gomer doesn’t see anything that needs to be fixed

      • Fred Sampson

        I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that were true

    • steveg

      They hired a #10 it looks like.

    • RegalTrojan

      Probably another wasted year, Fred.

  • Brent4c

    How many timeouts did OU have to take because the clock was winding down…2 or 3 near the end of the game and OT? Play calling the last minute and OT was awful for OU. Did you even watch the game Scott?

    • GOMER HELTON

      Hey Brent boy, did you see who the Colts asked permission to interview ? None other than Kris Richard

      • Brent4c

        That fantastic for him. So because the Colts asked permission to interview he should be out HC? Should we also consider John Fox, Lovie Smith, and anyone else w NFL HC experience? I suppose you think ASU hit a home run w the Herm Edwards hire. Your a simpleton I get it. You think an organization can just blow people out and start over eveytone there’s adversity. I guess Balt will be firing JH also since they haven’t made the playoffs ina few years and had a debacle to end their season this year. All of these nonsense moves are right in line w your logic.

  • Tebow_Obama

    Meanwhile in other related USC Trojan football news, Lynn Swann is waiting to hear back from Clay Helton on any potential assistant coaching position changes Helton might have.

    Clay Helton has already moved on and dismissed any possibility of considering any potential coaching changes on his staff seeing how he already made one by instituting a QB coach no one ever heard of with zero qualification for calling plays, who will be taking over the pass play calling duty from Trojan offensive coordinator Tee Martin.

    So now Lynn Swann, wondering why he hasn’t heard back from Clay Helton, is in his office sitting and waiting patiently by the phone waiting to hear back from Max Nikias about what he should do about addressing the obvious disconnect there is with Helton and his believing there’s nothing wrong with the coaching staff, but Max Nikias has been too busy designing and going over blueprints for the new Gothic Revival style urinals he’s contemplating having installed at the Coliseum as part of the ongoing renovation and has forgotten that Lynn Swann even works for the university, hence the reason Lynn Swann remains irrelevant.

    • Michael Guarino

      Okay. That’s actually very funny. But look at it from Lynn Swann’s point of view. Helton is the one who’ll have to eat it when things go VERY south in September next year. And maybe Swann yearns for his own time to shine on the tarmac.

      • Tebow_Obama

        The thing is, we all know that things will go “Very south in September next year”…so why wait, why put off the inevitable? Because Helton is a nice man?

        The only thing Swann is yearning for is, for people and Trojan fans to take some time off from asking questions about USC’s football program which he has no authority to do anything about.

        Lynn Swann…Pffft!

        • Michael Guarino

          Lynn has other stuff to do now. X-Files Wednesday on Fox.

      • ItsAllAboutTheBall

        Swann is in a similar situation Elway was in Denver when Tebow won a playoff game, stuck with someone getting decent results but clearly maxed out. Only out for Elway was not just replace him, but bring in an unquestioned legend. If someone like Bill Bellichik or Pete Carroll were interested in coming to (back to) SC, Helton would be gone in 5 seconds. As it is, there is no one out there that makes this a slam dunk change for Swann right now. What’s risky given the Pac 12 Bowl disaster and National Perception, I will be willing to bet that even a one-loss Pac 12 team will be left out of the Playoffs next year.

  • Sebastian Lane

    Maybe it had something to do with the maturity of the players too? UGA has 33 seniors on that team, including 16 senior starters. SC had 13 seniors on the entire roster. It’s not just about coaching, so please paint a full picture….the hack job on Helton is one sided.

    • Tebow_Obama

      Yeah well, if you weren’t learning anything while playing under Clay Helton would you stick around? LMFAO!

    • Tebow_Obama

      Players tend to stick around when they believe they have something to look forward to in terms of the potential of the team to perform at a higher level and possibly compete for a title and or they believe they can hone their skill and become better players with another year of coaching.

      Yeah so, Clay Helton doesn’t offer any of that so there you go. Now you have your answer.

      LOL!

    • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

      I think that players want to stick around under great coaching. They know it makes them more valuable. Under poor coaching, the players want to move on before they get hurt.

  • Arturo

    SC lost the turnover battle in everyone of it’s games this year. One thing about those Carroll teams, they never seemed to turn the ball over much.

    • Tebow_Obama

      USC lost the head coaching battles vs quality teams. It’s a good thing there aren’t many quality teams in the PAC 12.

  • Rock2112

    Having watched an inordinate amount of “bad bowl” and
    “good bowl” football over the Holidays (mostly while under the weather), I can
    honestly say that USC looked the least prepared of any bowl team I saw for
    their game. They lost a game that the stats say they should have won
    handily, due to a bad offensive game plan, poor play calling, sloppy execution,
    carelessness with the football, disorganization, and lack of true heart.
    I blame the coaches primarily for not getting the team ready – the “country
    club,” no-pads, resting approach to bowl prep is a disaster and the results of
    that approach were obvious.

    Under Helton, SC tends to get stronger throughout the
    season, and then look bad in their bowls. Yes, we won the Rose Bowl last
    year, but even that took a miracle comeback after we comically gave up four
    touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays. My working theory is
    that, because Helton runs soft practices (we haven’t really practiced in pads
    since October), we are strongest at the end of the season because at
    least the players have the games themselves to teach them how to play,
    how to tackle, how to take the right angles, etc. Just think about how
    absurd it was during the first quarter of the Cotton Bowl when a coach was on
    the sideline trying to teach Deontay Burnett – a guy who is three years in and may
    be headed straight to the NFL after that game – how to hold a ball securely in
    his arms and not fumble. Seriously???!!! It’s a far cry from the
    Carroll days when our players regularly described practices as much harder than
    games. I haven’t heard a Trojan player say that in years.

    With an 11-3 season, Helton is not going anywhere for
    now, but the noose is tightening with each one of these national embarrassments
    (Alabama, ND, Ohio State). The bigger the game, the bigger the
    flop. Winning the Pac12 is
    always great, but the conference as a whole has a lot of work to do. This
    just one season after there was a legitimate debate whether the Pac12 was
    better than the SEC. And now we’re 1-8 in bowls and there are two SEC teams in the
    Title game! Helton can survive this season, but I suspect Swann is going
    to force some significant staff changes (bye bye Tee Martin, John Baxter, and
    Neil Callaway). Helton has stabilized the program, and he’s done a lot of
    good things for the program. But he is not the guy to take us to the next
    level. He has maxed out.

    • Michael Guarino

      It’s hard to write something that long and be spot on, point for point. Congrats, Rock2112. Great piece.

  • Tebow_Obama

    What’s all this business that Helton “stabilized the program”? What did he stabilize? USC had made two bad hires before Helton. Pat Haden made the worst hire by going with Steve Sarkisian. The USC Trojans team didn’t need to be stabilized, it was coming off of sanctions, depleted of scholarship athletes, but still very talented.

    What needed to be stabilized was the athletic dept. and Pat Haden along with all his mistakes. We’re not going to go over all of Haden’s mistakes, too many too list. So what did Helton do that stabilized the Trojans? Everyone keeps talking about how undisciplined the players are. Everyone keeps saying and writing that the players don’t listen to coaches, that there are confrontations on the sidelines between players and coaches during games. That the players are showboating on the field picking up unnecessary penalties for celebrating after plays, taunting, etc.

    Under Helton there has been some transfers, one stemming from an alleged incident between a player and Helton himself where the altercation supposedly got physical, which Helton denies. One players father came to practice and asked why his highly recruited son wasn’t seeing any playing time and the father was told it was because of injury which turned out to be news to him and his son.

    Another player was arrested for evading police after a confrontation/altercation with his girlfriend, jumping from a balcony and spraining his ankles.

    And yet another player was arrested and kicked off the team and expelled from school for sexual assault charges.

    Are those all incidents showing Clay Helton stabilized the USC Trojans football program? How people keep saying Helton stabilized the program when he still hasn’t established any discipline among his players on or off the field is beyond ridiculous.

    Helton didn’t stabilize anything. Any coach hired in at the time Helton was named head coach would have been minding his and the teams P’s and Q’s coming on the heels of being sanctioned with the NCAA still closely monitoring the Trojans.

    And with any other coach, the first thing they would have done would have been to establish discipline, first and foremost, something Clay Helton still hasn’t done.

    So stop with the nonsense that Clay Helton stabilized the program because it isn’t true.

  • Sas

    I couldn’t look at the tv yesterday and watch any college football. I wanted to. But it was a terrible reminder of the Cotton Bowl.

    • Paul Muad’dib

      Same here.

      • AtlDDS

        I watched Game of Thrones all weekend. No football all weekend.

  • timmay

    Y’all saw those TEs and Full backs and heavy RBs out there blocking, catching and winning with big boy football but some of you still love 7 on 7 coach Clay. Smh

  • disqus_CARwRiuTsK

    the O-line of Clemson looked similar to SC. missed assignments and a step behind. just like with SC, a lack of a decent line limits the running game and puts the whole game on the back of the q-back. and the pass rush is giving them no time to execute. the O-Line needs to be stronger, faster and better trained, but the big missing ingredient is resolve. the line cant just give up when faced with adversity.

  • Old Trojans never die

    When the draconian sanctions were posted the consensus was that USC would take 10 years past the end to recover. We are on track but not not back yet. In some people’s mind this is unacceptable, but really I expect to see a turn around soon and stability is key to it. I hope by this time next year we are looking forward to our next game.

  • UtahTrojan

    I have a hard time believing that wolf helped Pete do anything. I don’t think Pete even knew who wolf was.