Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Head Coach Clay Helton has been on the hot seat a while, does COVID excuse him for another year or this a make or break?
We're three years removed from Helton's Trojans taking home the Pac 12 championship and sixteen years removed from USC's last national title (not counting the Dunkel awarded title in 2007). Trojan fans long for the Pete Carroll days of national prominence and national title contention. The school has been mighty patient with coach Helton, most likely due to his loyalty in always stepping up as interim HC amongst the bevy of coaching changes during his time there (Kiffin, Orgeron, Sarkisian). He may be dodging another bullet this year with COVID being a valid excuse to retain his services for another year. Had the Pac 12 actually sat out as originally planned then no worries, but now with a six game schedule announced, it's back to the hot seat for Helton.
Game one against Herm Edward's rising Sun Devil's squad will be the true test for the Trojans; if USC wins then Helton will keep his job. Should USC lose however, Helton is a dead man walking. The rest of the schedule (at Arizona, at Utah, Colorado, Washington State, at UCLA) is very manageable and winning out can preserve Helton for one more year. A loss to any of these lackluster teams would mean the same fate as losing game one; lose two and its game over. We'll see how good USC is this year as they finally have their guy in QB Kedon Slovis and an improved defense. Personally, I think Helton is out after this year but only time will tell. Just feels weird having USC out of the limelight for so long.