If It's Friday, It's Time For A USC Notes Column
Usually, when a coach is on the hot seat, you hear the argument, "we can't destroy the recruiting class,” as a reason to keep the coach.
But USC's current class, which recently lost its only five-star prospect (Chris Steele), is so unremarkable that little would be risked by making a coaching change.
The Trojans' class is ranked No. 29 by Rivals despite having 15 commitments. There is even buzz that Mater Dei wide receiver Bru McCoy, who was considered a lock for USC, might end up at Texas.
If it is true Helton will return next season, I can't see much to suggest the Trojans will be better. The offensive line will probably be even worse. And if you want to start reeling off the names of younger players who will be better, how many players have developed under Helton?
How did freshman wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown go from being labeled the best receiver in the program to just another receiver in eight games? I don't think his performances so far are as good as some of the other great USC freshmen in recent years like Robert Woods, Marqise Lee or even JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Is the USC program so fragile that a text message from Neil Callaway's wife can make things unravel?
Doesn't USC athletic director Lynn Swann need to address why he gave Tee Martin a three-year contract extension last winter if he was willing to demote him after just eight games this season?
Swann's reputation with fans and boosters is at an all-time low since he assumed the job. He has angered fans by moving their seats and standing behind Helton. His aloof manner has also turned off some donors.
Has Helton addresed why defensive end Hunter Echols and linebacker Raymond Scott were suspended last week?
I haven't spoken to anyone at USC this week who thinks JT Daniels should start over Jack Sears at Oregon State. It seems another case where Helton will reward reputation first.
Some former USC players were shocked this week when Helton said the players asked to wear pads at November practice.
"I have never heard of players having to ask coaches for more contact," one said.
Let's remember that even within the program, the general disorganization is noticeable.
"Nothing gets done," one source said.
The coaching drama overshadowed the fact that some feel the team could really go into a tailspin if it starts slowly against Oregon State.