Morning Buzz: The Current Model How USC Gets Better

With coaching staff issues, discipline issues, organizational issues, strength issues and issues with fundamentals; USC seems to rely on a simple formula for success:

  1. Recruit players
  2. Recruit better players
  3. Recruit even better players
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  • GOMER HELTON

    Gomer needs to look at tape of the 2 playoff games and see what championship teams look like, play like, act like, etc. Hell, just pull out game film of PC’s teams, the early years that is, and see what great teams look like.

    But, Gomer thinks all is well, no changes need to be made, no new coaches, no new S&C coach, no organizational changes, no changes in the way they practice, call plays into a game, nothing. The only way Gomer will change coaches is if Swann won’t renew their contracts, which Swann hasn’t done as of yet.

    2018 will be a tough season to endure, but just tell yourself that Gomer is just warming the seat for the next guy , because 2018 is Gomer’s last at USC.

    I wish Swann would pull the plug now, but it doesn’t seem like he will, maybe after the Feb signing date, we can only hope.

    • Fred Sampson

      I don’t think any changes will be made on Clay Helton’s coaching staff

      • Michael Guarino

        I have that bad feeling too, Fred. For us fans, it would be a little like we’re the parole officer and Helton is the con on parole and he just walked into a meeting with us wearing a gun and saying, “and what are you looking so P.O.ed about?!”

        • Fred Sampson

          He would have let them go early, so they could look for other jobs, because the longer he waits, it lessens the chances of them finding employment

          • GOMER HELTON

            This is going to come down to Gomer disobeying Swann, and then Swann not extending contracts, we’ll see how that works

          • Michael Guarino

            I think you might be overestimating Swann, Gomer. For all we know, Helton has convinced him he’s got the “best staff in America.”
            #YouKnow,TheOneFromWesternKentucky

          • steveg

            Good point Fred.

          • Michael Guarino

            Maybe —-for once—Clay can put the needs of the team ahead of the needs of his staff, Fred. Not being able to get that priority straight so far has been Helton’s biggest and most unforgivable mental block. Any top coach knows which comes first. What the hell is the matter with him?

          • Sylvester

            Why would we care about coaches who performed crappy at their jobs while “coaching” at SC ? Swann needs to bite the bullet and get rid of Helton. He was horrible as a player at Auburn and Houston, and only got his job at Houston because his Dad was head coach. And, while they were both there at Houston, the team was horrible. Helton has a horrible football IQ and no imagination or serious work ethic to get our team up where it needs to be. He’s been at SC since 2010 and last year his butt was saved by Darnold, Jackson and Juju Smith Schuster.

          • Michael Guarino

            Yes and no. Helton has a great work ethic. But anybody who called him an innovator would need their head examined. Elite coaches are 5 steps ahead of him on every play.

          • SucKiffin

            lazy practices … a lot of time off, minimum Bowl practices
            Gomer gets his work ethic from his mentor Sark , a notorious lazy arse

        • steveg

          I am hoping it is just the great minds working slowly. If nothing changes it will be a long year ahead and an unenthused following
          .

          • Michael Guarino

            That’s my hope too, steveg. I keep telling myself, “well, it takes a lot of time to go over all those candidates for Offensive Coordinator, O-Line coach, DB coach, etc….and, wow, then you gotta contact everybody and see what will bring them to USC….and then we gotta crunch the numbers…” If it turns out, we’re just sitting around hoping for the best, it will not be pretty next year at Palo Alto….or on the return trip from our rematch with Tom Herman.

          • steveg

            If there is no change throw your expectations out the window, take up a new hobby next fall and try not to get to excited or wrapped up in the team.

          • Michael Guarino

            Ha! Exactly what I’ve been telling myself. If Helton puts staff ahead of team (again), he deserves the results —-but the team and the fans don’t.
            #AndSwannIsABigFraudIfHeLetsHimDoIt…

          • steveg

            That is what I said a few days ago, it is crunch time and we shall see what Swann is made of. Is he an AD or another Haden.

          • Michael Guarino

            Put me down for another Haden.

          • gotroy22

            Easy to say now, hard to do in late August!

          • steveg

            I know 22, once fall camp starts I’m always in no matter what, but it sounds good.

          • Michael Guarino

            Yeah, you’re right, gt. We’ll all watch the whole damn thing play out regardless of whether changes are made or not.
            #ButThey’llBeALotOfComplaining

      • GOMER HELTON

        Yeah there will. Some assistants have expiring contracts, they won’t be renewed, Gomer will have to make changes. The RB coach last year was sent packing when Swann didn’t give him what he wanted, bam, total upgrade with the new RB coach. Gomer didn’t want to lose Robinson, Swann didn’t care, he didn’t pay him.

        Clancy got a 2 year deal when he came back, as far as I know it hasn’t been extended, renegotiated, nothing.

        • SucKiffin

          Nothing will save Gomer from a miserable season next year … the guy is Helfrich without Mariota

      • Pasadena Trojan

        Fred, we would have heard some grumblings by now, unless they are waiting for Christmas break to end next Monday and then drop the hammer. But they might wait until after Monday and see who is available due to the championship game.

        • Pasadena Trojan

          If that is the case, then why in the heck am I spending a Brink’s truck of money for season tickets, C&G, and then the personal licensed seat to offset the expense of remodeling the Coli?

  • troof

    I think the move is to promote Tee Martin to Head Coach. CH is fine at many things but the disjointed offense and repeat mistakes are inexcusable. USC easily has top 5 talent but gets outclassed against top 5 caliber teams. Why? Coaching is the main reason. If you fire Helton and hire from outside, things may implode. If you fire Helton and hire Martin, recruiting may improve, we retain talent and we have one cohesive voice, not fractures of leadership guiding us. And heck, maybe Tee is the coach we needed all along. It’s worth a shot for this season and if it fails, you start fresh with coaching next season, hire Gus Malzahn then.

    • GOMER HELTON

      Tee11 promoted to head coach ? Did you hit your head this morning ? Tee’s got the IQ of a rock

      • troof

        Could this team make any more mistakes or look less cohesive on offense than it already does? Give me a break.

    • Michael Guarino

      Ed? Is this you?
      #SoHilarious….BestYet!

    • steveg

      Funny, after all that I am sure Malzahn would be the first in line to apply for the job.

  • Ray

    4. Develop players.

  • GT

    It is not always the team with the best athletes that wins championships, but the team that plays well together and has solid fundamentals. This comes down to coaching. Top teams that have mostly 4 and 5 star players will be seperated by coaching.

  • Ed Garrett

    so the cue clucks clan only allows white poeple to join??? what abuot some of my imajinary freinds??? gee thanx alot! smdh!

    • GOMER HELTON

      Yeah, only white people Ed. If your imaginary friends are white and racist they have a chance, do they like to wear white sheets ?

      • Pasadena Trojan

        I tired to get my nephew to join the Black Panther’s group up in Oakland but they would not take him because he is white. I was gonna’ sue the gang for racial discrimination.

        • Ted

          Black Panthers are not a gang Pig! It is a party for self-defense! It means PIG that the Black Panther Party declares you try to brutalize our community, you try to take our weapons, we’ll shoot you!

          Brother Malcolm said we should stop sangin’ and start swangin’

          -Huey Newton-

  • marvienna

    Part of the problem is the extreme obsessiveness of recruiting. Some equate the recruiting season as just as exciting, if not better, than the football season and the actual playing of games. That is utterly stupid and following recruiting of high school kids is an idiotic hobby.

    Whenever a coaching spot opens up, you invariably hear first someone asking if a possible candidate can recruit. That shouldn’t be the first question. The first question should be if he can coach – do the X’s and O’s, manage a team/position group and teach fundamentals. If the end game is simply getting all the 5 stars you can, then of course you start to neglect coaching, discipline, organization and fundamentals because you never cared about those skills in the coaching candidate you hired in the first place.

    Like the fans, USC started to care too much about winning in February at the cost of winning in September, October and November. Case in point is keeping Tee Martin around. He can recruit but he sucks the big one as an OC. He is one guy who should be dismissed from the coaching staff. Yet USC wants to keep him around because of recruiting while turning a blind eye as to whether he is actually a good X’s and O’s guy. (He is not).

    It’s why I’ve always called CFB recruiting the most worthless pseudo – spectator sport ever contrived. Because CFB recruiting means nothing if the staff can’t coach them up.

    • steveg

      I agree a lot more with Kirby Smart; Kirby Smart: “I always judge a coach by two things – how hard do your players play for you and how well do you recruit?”

      Some how I think a lot of people would disagree with you, I do agree about the x’s and O’s and it wouldn’t bother me if Martin left. But he would just go to ucla and steal some of our kids.

      • gotroy22

        You don’t think he’d go back to the SEC?

        • steveg

          Maybe as a position coach, but I am sure Chip would put him somewhere on staff at ucla just to try to get some of our guys.

      • marvienna

        If you are worried about Martin poaching recruits, then why even bother with the phrase “USC recruits itself?”

        If that is true, then it shouldn’t matter that Tee Martin would end up at UCLA.

        • steveg

          I am concerned that USC would lose some valuable players as anyone should be. USC does recruit itself to a point, and that point has gotten smaller over the last 5 years.

      • marvienna

        Kirby Smart does have it right. I just have a problem when recruiting alone becomes the priority. So much more that people become willing to overlook coaching deficiencies.

        Case in point is Adrian Klemm. Guy is a former OL coach but not very good. But can recruit. Yet, when UCLA fired him (some NCAA trouble) I’ve heard USC fans say that we should bring him to USC, maybe even to coach our OL! The guys sucks and some fans wanted to throw his name out there!? Just for the recruiting?!

        If you suck as a football coach (inspiring kids, teaching fundamentals, etc.) then there is no reason that your recruiting ability should give you consideration for a job, especially at USC.

        • steveg

          That is very agreeable.

      • SucKiffin

        I’m sure Kirby was the 1st to say this lol

    • Saul Goodman

      Closely following high school kids because of recruiting isn’t just idiotic, it downright borders on pedophelia. At the very least, it’s freaking creepy.

      • steveg

        Hate to hear what you think of high school coaches then. lol

        • Saul Goodman

          Some are creeps; many are wonderful mentors to young people. However, that’s very different from grown men paying for websites to follow teenage athletes.

          • steveg

            I follow the schools offers, commits, priorities, and at times the crystal ball on recruiting. I don’t pay for any informaton. Does that make me a pedophile for knowing who the school is recruiting?

          • Saul Goodman

            I get it. I am on this blog after all. There are just some people who know way too much, and are a little too into recruiting. Just my opinion.

          • SUCLA

            You’re sick Goodman for even bringing up crap like that. I guess anyone who follows HS football is a pervert in your mind. Recruiting and signing day is fun to follow, as is the NFL draft, spring practice, fantasy football, etc.

      • SucKiffin

        Remember what Darnold said of Sark ‘ that guy is a creep’

  • Michael Guarino

    I like the formula. A lot. At some point [i.e., (4) recruit players so wonderful they are coaching-proof] it’s bound to pay dividends.

    • gotroy22

      Isn’t that how Grant won the Civil War?

      • Michael Guarino

        That’s definitely the way General Lee saw it (oh, sorry —-there was no General Lee).

        • steveg

          He is still up on the side of Stone Mountain, nobody will pull him down from there very easily.

          • Michael Guarino

            Lee did everything he could to promote harmony as the war came to a close, telling his officers that we were one country again and not to engage in skirmishes but to return to their homes and abide by the terms of peace. He showed more political courage than anybody serving in Congress today, Democrat or Republican.

          • gotroy22

            I am so old I remember when Democrats considered Lee and Andrew Jackson to be American heroes.

          • AtlDDS

            I see him up there all the time!

        • Eastern Ave.

          Lol! Classic…:)

      • GOMER HELTON

        No. Grant won because he killed the South with his breath, look it up, true story !

        • Michael Guarino

          Like Dennis Hopper as Clifford in Tarantino’s “True Romance”, I can see you “love history!”

          • gotroy22

            Was he as creepy in True Romance as he was in The Sons of Katie Elder?

          • Michael Guarino

            No, gt—–this is one of Dennis’ rare heroic rolls. He purposely irritates Christopher Walken so that Walken will kill him and he won’t be tortured into revealing his son’s whereabouts to the mob.
            You want Hopper at his creepiest, it’s gotta be Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

          • gotroy22

            Yes with the nitrous! Remember the opening scene when the camera shows an idyllic 1950s America small town but continues panning until it shows a peaceful looking home but then continues scanning until it shows the bugs engaged in mortal combat in the lawn? You knew to buckle your seat belt and prepare for a good old fashioned creepfest!

          • Michael Guarino

            It was nice seeing Frank take a bullet in the forehead for all the crap he caused and hearing Laura Dern talk about, after the darkness clears, comes the sunlight and the robins. (If you ever see the movie again, check out how David Lynch introduces Laura Dern by having her blond hair emerge from the shadows —beautiful scene).

          • gotroy22

            I will have to watch it again soon, it is a classic. I always love movies with Isabella Rossellini.

          • Michael Guarino

            Well, there’s plenty of Isabella in Blue Velvet…..

    • SucKiffin

      Never worked for Kiffy or Sarky … he’ll they were handed the 2005 offense and found a way to lose

      • gotroy22

        They left Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush on the sidelines on 4th and 2.

  • steveg

    The early signing period screwed up just about everyone with a bowl game except OSU. For some reason they got most all of their class to sign early. Maybe it was part of the deal, coming here, sign now.

    • hoohoolianFUCLA

      We signed as many as we possibly could, not knowing how many slots are still available since they all depend on alternate departures from the program (EEs to NFL, tansfers, etc.)

      15 -16 is what I expect in this class, with getting only 12 being as likely as getting 19.

  • LamontRaymond

    It’s so obvious that Mr. “Inside USC” is about as far from “Inside” as you can get for a beat reporter.

  • hoohoolianFUCLA

    Recruit all you want, but crappy coaching and poor game planning won’t make anyone happy except people who hate us.

    Even Pete Carroll couldn’t make some 5-star incoming players into college stars or NFL draft picks.

    • Jack B

      Actually, Pete signed a lot of incredible high-rated recruiting big-time flops. But he was a good gambler who inspired his players to perform well.

      Remember in his first 2001class (Matt Leinart and Shaun Cody, but more failures then successes) when he want all the way to Massachusetts to sign little ATH Frank “The Flash” Candela, a 23-yr old freshman who played pro baseball for 4 years before signing with Carroll? Candela quit the team the first day of camp.

      Pete Carroll had popped Candela’s highlight tape into a Best Buy while he was Xmas shopping and called up Candela from the store and asked him if he wanted to be a Trojan. Candela heard shoppers in the background cheering the tape and he committed right there on the phone. Old Pete really had the touch.

      • timmay

        The talent was stacked, as it is now but with different results. Even players that transferred out because they couldn’t start are on NFL rosters. Brice Butler talked about it when he transferred saying it just so much NFL talent (that was being coached in a competitive environment) that being great could still wind up leaving you on the bench… Gomer’s solved that problem by minimizing on the talent available. lool

        • steveg

          Quite a bit of talent has been brought in and some game changers are on their way, not sure what you mean.

      • Tebow_Obama

        “Actually, Pete signed a lot of incredible high-rated recruiting big-time flops.”

        If there were so many, start naming them. You named one. You = FAIL!

        • Jack B

          My favorite Carroll flop is WR Whitney Lewis. Do your own homework Spanky. There’s a thing called the Internet for those too stupid to remember.

          • Tebow_Obama

            There’s two players you named out of the “lot”. If you did your homework or knew anything at all, you would know that every college football team in the country has big time recruits that don’t pan out.

            Care to go for three? LOL!

          • SucKiffin

            Everyone would had missed there

        • hoohoolianFUCLA

          QB Aaron Corp
          OT Thomas Herring
          DE Jeff Schweiger
          TE Dale Thompson
          WR Vidal Hazelton
          WR Whitney Lewis
          LB Luther Brown
          CB Antwine Perez
          LB Chris Galippo

          …and I won’t count others who were recruited but really didn’t get coached by Carroll and Co.

          Some of the above might also have been recruited but not coached (Corp and/or Gallippo), but most were.

  • Tebow_Obama

    Up until this past season the Trojans were second only to Alabama in the number of 4 and 5 star recruits on roster. The Trojans players aren’t the problem, it’s the lack of development of the players due to second rate coaching that is keeping the team from reaching it’s potential.

    Clay Helton can’t even decide who should be calling plays for the offense. The season started with Tee Martin as the play caller, then it was Clay and Tee, then it was Clay, Tee and Tyson Helton calling plays. Then it was Tee calling the run plays and Tyson calling the pass plays.

    Then Tyson leaves and for the biggest game of the year, Tyson’s replacement as QB coach, (some coach no one ever heard of) is given the pass play calling duty for the Trojans biggest game of the year vs Ohio St. in the Cotton Bowl.

    The Trojans made it to the Cotton Bowl in spite of Clay Helton’s coaching, so can we stop asking what the Trojans need to do to in order for the team to get better, the answer is obvious and it’s been staring everyone in the face since Pete Carroll left, hire a head coach with a winning track record who knows what he’s doing…problem solved.

    It’s as simple as that…it ain’t rocket science.

    • Pudly76

      Funny because I thought we were on sanctions and were getting less scholarships..but you say we had more five stars than OSU and Georgia etal? I say you’re throwing crap against a wall to see what sticks.

      • Tebow_Obama

        Well, there was your first mistake, trying to think.

        Alabama boast an impressive number of top recruits on the depth chart, but so do the Trojans.

        Crimson Tide roster is loaded with talent.

        After perusing the depth chart, there can be no question, Alabama is a physically talented football team.

        Of the 55 players on the two-deep, 42 of them were four or five-star recruits. That’s 76 percent.

        Impressively, 13 of those players are five-star talents, while 29 were four-stars.

        55 players on USC’s two-deep, not including the kickers or the repeat
        appearances by Chuma Edoga and Rasheem Green. Of those, 39 were four or
        five-star recruits coming out of high school.

        In other words, 70 percent of USC’s two-deep were top-flight recruits.

        That’s incredibly close to Alabama’s percentage when you consider the fortunes of the two programs over the last five years.

        While the Tide outmatch USC on five-star recruits, it’s not by all that much. The Trojans boast nine five-stars to Alabama’s 13.

        In truth, USC’s recruiting averages have been among the best, despite
        the scholarship reductions and instability around the program.

        See what you get for thinking? The only one spewing crap around here is you. You have no clue what you’re talking about.

        • Pudly76

          You do your math like a democrat with someone else’s checkbook… what about the rest of the roster?? bama got about 23-26 extra 4 & 5 star athletes over the three years and the age of the roster especially on the three deep is the biggest difference..using the 2 deep only feeds your agenda, how many toatal is the question and the age of the five stars on the two deep.

          • Tebow_Obama

            Well which is it, 23 or 26?

            Try none of the above. Who knew Alabama was allowed “extra” 4 and 5 star athletes?

            How do you figure that Pud, did you pull that bit of nonsense out of your arse just like everything else you write here?

          • Pudly76

            You do the math, we were short scholarships and they got the full class..I’m just assuming you’re percentages are right, there’s no way we had as many as they.

          • Tebow_Obama

            You’re the one having problems with your own math. None of what you came up with adds up and you know it.

          • Pudly76

            In 2012 bama had 12 more recruits
            In 2013 bama had 14 more.. using your own percentages that’s 20 more 4-5 stars just those years
            And that’s just two of the years.

          • Pudly76

            Hey, hillbilly, no reply to the numbers? Oh yeah! Forgot you just throw crap. The reason we only have 10-11 open spots now is a direct reflection on the number of seniors and rs juniors we don’t have that should be 4-5 star players that osu and Bama have.

      • timmay

        Tebow Obama is right, check the numbers. USC lead the nation in starts per recruit during sanctions. Before the sanctions Lane loaded up on the top recruiting classes to weather the storm and first year out of sanctions pulled the top recruiting class. Gomer has inherited a team that is second only to Bama in 4/5 stars, check Rivals…

        • Pudly76

          Kif did try to front load, but according to scout the 12 &13 classes only had 14 and 11 recruits respectively, check bama and the buckeyes..why do you think we have so few openings on the roster this year without guys leaving early or transfers? That’s a full class short, and that’s the truth..I don’t care who coaches, but you’ve got to compare apples to apples.

          • timmay

            Pudly, check Rivals: USC front loaded with a #1 class with the highest star rating, had the highest 4/5 star rating through the time on sanctions and signed a #1 class with the highest star rating coming off of sanctions. No one ever accused CLK of not being able to recruit. It took a dive when he was ushered out but it was still a top 5 class. But that was five years ago, and SC never dropped below the average roster size of the PC period during the sanctions itself. You have your years way off, if anyone had an issue with that it was Kiffin, no one else, and not today.

          • Pudly76

            Tim, I’m not arguing the percentages. I’m saying the total numbers hurt us and still do.. in the years 2012-13 bama had a total of 26 more signees and using his own percentages that amounts to 20 more 4-5 star players that would have been on the roster for us the last two years, and those guys are seniors and juniors with experience not frown-soph like most of our team was. I’m not making excuses but experience matters, take into account that over half the buckeyes starters had already graduated, how many seniors are we losing this year, 10-11, and how many of them played much? It makes a difference. Doesn’t matter who coaches them. And again, I don’t give a cahoot who the coach is or will be.

  • Tebow_Obama

    You could give Clay Helton every #1 position player coming out of high school and every #2 position player coming out of high school for all positions on a football team with three years of his coaching and they’d still struggle against soft teams in the PAC 12 and lose in a bowl game vs a quality opponent.

  • usc fan

    Do you guys think kiffen went to USC football practice to just talk to friends. Really. Lol. He was talking to swann most of the time while there. Guess they were talking about the tee off time lol.

    • Tebow_Obama

      No, that second rate coach Lane Kiffin came to pander and grovel for a job just like Jack Del Rio did. Both of them with high hopes of keeping their names batted around in the media with hopes of collecting a big paycheck neither one deserves, at the expense of USC of course.

    • steveg

      I thought you guys were tight buds, didnt you talk to him and find out? Actually, what practice was that, for the CB?

  • Paul Muad’dib

    The current model for how Scottie Doo gets Inside USC better:

    1. Repost unedited stories that other sites already posted about.
    2. Repost worse unedited stories that other sites already posted about hours ago.
    3. Repost even worse unedited stories that other sites already posted about days ago.

    • steveg

      You left out his “sources”, his contacts with nfl scouts, and of course the always factual “I heard”.

      • Paul Muad’dib

        I know, I was just trying to make it look as ridiculous as the actual post.

  • schammer47

    And just Win, Win, Win. I.E. The 3rd most highly rated 2017 Bowl Game. And the PAC12 Championship with a fantastic goal line stand. Coach Helton’s first two seasons as USC’s Head Coach should turn a lot of heads. Win, Win. Win.

    • Tebow_Obama

      The Trojans have won in spite of Clay Helton’s coaching. And Helton has been a coach at USC since Lane Kiffin was head coach. And Helton still can’t figure out who should be calling the offensive plays.

      Lucky for Helton that the Trojans overall talent and Clancy’s defense saved Helton’s arse in a bunch of those games during the season and gave Helton every opportunity to get his act together in the second half vs Ohio St. in the Cotton Bowl when the Trojan defense shut the Buckeyes out, but Helton and his 3 week into the job QB coach and pass play caller for the biggest game of the year weren’t up to the task.

  • bb

    Then they don’t have to do anything Wolfie because you always say SC recruits itself.