“USC Football–Decision Day”
A tough call coming this week for the new Director of Athletics at USC, Mike Bohn.
Just hired from the University of Cincinnati, to fix all the has been wrong at Heritage Hall, he inherits a lot of pressure.
Pressure from the fans, the boosters, the media.
They are all the doorstep demanding a coaching change in the football program.
USC is not what it used to be, but what they used to be, the John McKay era, and the John Robinson era, the Pete Carroll tenure. It seems like a thousand years ago. Nothing wrong remembering the past, but something very wrong thinking you can get back to the past by next Monday.
Clay Helton inherited a mess, twice. Once as an interim coach under Lane Kiffin, who was fired on the LAX tarmac by AD-Pat Haden, as the program slipped into mediocrity.
Hired as interim a second time, when Steve Sarkisian’s life spiraled down into achol incidents on campus, forcing then AD-Lynn Swann to make a change.
Helton, a wizard on offense, has finally righted the ship, going (8-4), blowing out UCLA and likely getting to a decent bowl game.
Not enough say the boosters, the fans, the media.
So Mike Bohn, on the job just two weeks, has to make a decision. Stay with the coach the players believe in, who took a battered team to 5-wins in the last six games, or go out in the market place and find the right big name to take over the position, and start all over again.
Helton went (8-4) with a 3rd string quarterback he helped develop. No one could have thought freshmen Kedon Slovis would throw for over (3,200Y) and 28-TDs coming in early in the season.
They won by developing four young wide receivers, and using a 4th team tailback to run the ball, after a siege of injuries wrecked the potential of the season.
USC is in a lot better place today by virtue of Helton’s steadying hand, his philosophy, his communication skills, his leadership, his offensive staff.
Nothing is perfect nor guaranteed at USC, so there may be changes coming on the defensive coaching staff, which saw it’s side of the ball give up massive yards and points in the Oregon loss and the shootout win over UCLA.
Looming out there, Urban Meyer, but there is so much baggage with him, trailing from Florida thru Ohio State. He may be good, he may win games, but why do I feel he is a snake-oil salesman, and the type of guy who have to go wash your hands after shaking his hand.
This is who you really want to take over what had been a scandal filled program in the waning days of the Pete Carroll-Reggie Bush era?
Helton cleaned up the mess left behind by the losing binges of Kiffin, who is now struggling again at Florida Atlantic, and the beer blast binges of Sarkisian, who wrecked his career with lies and the bottle.
Mike Bohn’s track record is spotty. He was at San Diego State, making lots of promises, but fleeing in the middle of the night. He went to Colorado as they entered the Pac 12-Conference, but the Buffaloes have been underachievers in football. Bohn landed a good coach at Cincinnati, where the Bearcats are (10-1) under Luke Fickell, but the AD missed on other coaching hires prior to that get at UC.
He comes in here with a football program on a roll, and a basketball program under Andy Enland that seems to be headed in the right direction.
The Todd McNair lawsuit and the NCAA sanctions seem behind them. The ‘Pay for Play’ admissions scandal will soon be in their review mirror. The arrogance of the Mike Garrett regime is gone.
Bohn has a football coach a lot of football people, players and families respect. Why make a change right now.
Maybe if the AD is to fire anyone, it should be the ‘Big Cigar’ boosters, the fans, and the LA Times which seems to have an agenda agains the current coach.
Football decision coming. The USC AD-was handed a gift in a program that seems up the upswing. Why would you make any changes now?
Do the right thing, and let Helton complete the project he was promoted to do, clean up the mess that USC football had become.