When Will Clarity Come?

Utah’s win over Colorado keeps USC out of Pac-12 title game

Ryan Kartje (LA Times)  —  All along, no matter how unlikely, the conference title game remained a possibility for USC.

With just one upset of Utah, USC would be in. With just a single loss, the Trojans would stay a part of the Pac-12 picture.

It was a longshot, especially as Utah emerged as a conference juggernaut, dominating its opponents down the stretch. As the season drew to a close, even USC coach Clay Helton seemed to understand that. But for weeks, USC held onto the hope that some other team would defeat the near-unstoppable Utes.

On Saturday, those hopes flatlined in Salt Lake City. Utah handily beat Colorado and earned an expected trip to the title game with a 8-1 record in the Pac-12, ending USC’s chances of conference supremacy, while rendering its hard-earned, South Division tiebreaker unnecessary.

The victory set Utah on a potential path for the College Football Playoff, provided it beats Oregon on Friday. For the Trojans, the only team to beat the Utes this season, it officially ended any hopes of advancing further, while also reiterating long-raging questions about Helton’s future.

The Trojans’ regular season ends at 8-4, with a likely berth in the Alamo Bowl or the Holiday Bowl ahead, but one far more pressing issue to face before then.

Athletic Director Mike Bohn. (Photo/Lisa Ventre, University of Cincinnati)

Questions about Helton’s status are expected to be answered in the coming days, as new athletic director Mike Bohn assesses his options. Last week, in an interview with The Times, Bohn said that the department wasn’t on “a specific timeline that would do anything to jeopardize momentum or opportunities that exist.”

But now that some of those opportunities have faded with Utah’s win, a decision could come sooner rather than later.

Never had hopes for the Trojans been higher this season than when they met the Utes in an instant Pac-12 classic in mid-September. Down its top two quarterbacks, USC turned to third-stringer Matt Fink, who proceeded to torch the conference’s top defense for 351 yards and three scores in an unlikely upset at the Coliseum.

But USC never quite matched that performance again. The Trojans lost three of their next five after that.

When Bohn first took the job, he challenged his embattled coach, noting that “good programs finish strong.” USC responded by winning three consecutive games, leaving Helton’s future uncertain heading into bowl season.

But after Saturday night, with its coach’s status in limbo, at least one aspect of USC’s future was clear.

There would be no trip to the Pac-12 title game.

latimes.com

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TrojanDailyBlog members  —  Always feel free to add information or topics to the TDB which don’t necessarily pertain to any particular moderator post or member comment.

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Scipio
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I think USC is trying to put the tooth paste back in the tube.

Scipio
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Off topic BTW, but it saddened me to see John Robinson wearing LSU colors and Marcus Allen standing beside him on the sidelines of the LSU game.

Steveg
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Got to remember it is a job to them. If he worked for ND he would be wearing ND colors. Allen is a close friend of his.

Scipio
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You’re right. It’s just a job. I understand that, but as a fan it just…..

Jamaica
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This just keeps dragging on with these articles…. But this season ended up a mirror of what we have seen in the recent past. USC feasting on below 500 teams in this very mediocre conference and yes winning against the division winner Utah at home on a Friday night. But still not even a division winner with all that is available to a USC HC. Helton can’t manage to beat the better teams. He has had 5-years to develop this program with recruiting, developing & coaching. And there is little to show for it other than a freshman sensation QB,… Read more »

Scipio
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SI is reporting Helton is out and the announcement will be Monday

Scipio
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My point is they are not backing down

Rock2112
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Right. Looks like a buyout issue. Number goes down tomorrow, so they need to say he was fired tomorrow and we didn’t effectively do it today.

Steveg
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When the Scoop has it, we will know it is true.

Rock2112
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Did everyone notice that Maya has been very quiet since breaking his news and having everyone in the world accuse him of being an idiot (one USC person even said MAYA is the only one who will be fired today). He has not backtracked, nor reacted. I think he is just waiting knowing he WILL be right, even if it takes a day or so. Then he can tweet out an “I told you so.” Look, obviously, USC knows what it’s doing by now. If that is to retain Clay, they would have just reacted to the report by saying… Read more »

Steveg
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The guy came out to early and burned himself, if I were him I would lay low and wait and see too. Everyone thinks they have to have the “Scoop”, when in fact all it does is piss people off. I can’t see how anything would compromise negotiations with Meyer, seeing that that is locked down solid and nothing has leaked there. Anyway, they need to release Helton before they announce any hiring anyway. Patience my friends, we are getting to old for all this drama.

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If nothing else, this report has forced the issue with SC. SC has gone from a “wait and see” position with the press to “let me answer your question” position. SC may have wanted to take their sweet time but now they at least have to have a response. With coaches falling life flies this weekend, that to may put pressure on them, because those openings are going to go to some coach. Heck, Texas just fired their DC.

Steveg
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I read that Graham Harrell is their top prospect to take over the OC job at Texas.

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Right SteveG. I just read over at the Longhorn Burnt Orange site Harrell is interested in the position, If true that means CCH is going to get canned, and Texas is a good gig if you can get it. I think Harrell sees moving to SC was a mistake and is getting out while the getting is good. I think his coaching accounted for two of our wins this season BTW.

Rock2112
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Plus, we can expect Chip Kelly to fire his DC and we need to hurry to make sure they can hire Clancy to replace him!

HOF19
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Why did the Boston College Fan Base want their head coach fired ????????? …Too many 6-6 seasons . THEY WHERE TIRED OF IT BEING ACCEPTABLE THAT THE BAR WAS NOT SET HIGHER ! ……..(Sound Familiar ? )

HOF19
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Well my some of my Family members got the news they wanted (Boston College Fans ) >>>>>> (And everyone seems to be confirming this ) >>>> SOURCE: #BC has fired Steve Addazio. In seven season, he never had a winning record in ACC play. Yahoo’s Pete Thamel had the news first.

HOF19
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At least it looks like I got the Boston College news right. >>>>>> Boston Globe >>>>>Boston College fires coach Steve Addazio

By Julian Benbow Globe Staff,December 1, 2019, 22 minutes ago

HOF19
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I guess I owe apologies >>>>>>>>>>From LA Times >>>>>>Clay Helton remains USC’s football coach — for now https://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/story/2019-12-01/clay-helton-remains-usc-football-coach-for-now

HOF19
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Still having doubts …..One reason why …..Can not find A HINT of this anywhere on ESPN.COM .

Rock2112
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I have read all the quotes of denials. None of them say he is being retained. They say he hasn’t been TOLD he is fired, nor has the staff. They also say he may still be retained, and that indeed it MAY be likely he will be retained. They say the report is false. But Maya’s report was that Clay WILL be fired, not that he has been. So he pissed off USC by breaking it before they did it. And there may actually be implications for the negotiations with Meyer’s camp — i.e., we might have been saying we… Read more »

usc50
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Bohn is doing the right thing by dismissing Helton.
It is time.
USC must go in a direction where there is hope to be great again.
Not to be happy being in the middle or bottom of the pack.
The present direction will just lead to more decay of the program.

Rock2112
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SI is now behind Maya’s report, and further reports that URBAN MEYER IS OUR TOP TARGET, with a hiring anticipated for the end of this coming week!

alfa1
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My guess ESPN jumps on this next….if Meyer can be seduced by the challenge this is BIG !!!

alfa1
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Football scoop has the story, Pete Thamel and Pat Forde are checking, staff not informed on any change yet, but it’s got the interest of some major writers, this will probably cause SC. to move rapidly on this. Its your move now AD Bohn.

HOF19
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The Media people of USC.FOOTBALL.COM want Helton gone more than anyone I know ……….. They are not buying this …………..(YET) .

Rock2112
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Maya is still an up and comer. He wouldn’t get this wrong. But he definitely violated USC’s notification clock and they are trying to unring the bell. That’s my sense.

alfa1
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Two Things…HOF, when in the last year has Abraham or Spratling scooped anything regarding SC Football…huh?
Rock, Maya May be out front on this, and the School is trying to slow it down.
If Maya is wrong, Bones will make statement to the USC Trojans blog today stating otherwise for disseminating to the Trojan Family.

USCJojo
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Maya was correct with the Bohn hire. He was the one stating CH was getting fired and Meyer was going to be sought after.

HOF19
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Don’t want to bum everyone out (and maybe I should not have jumped the gun ) But some doubt about the truth of this is starting to seep into me .

HOF19
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I will say this is if this news starts to grow legs Bohn will have to say something to either confirm it or shut it down and until he does it will be hanging out there (especially if say ESPN starts reporting it ).

alfa1
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Maya isn’t the the personality to sensationalize a story to get recognition, and especially while representing Sports Illustrated. Isn’t Morris a hold over from Haden and Swanns regime. If Helton is released, I imagine Morris’ time will be short on staff as well.

Rock2112
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Maya is citing “multiple sources.” He wouldn’t break this without legs.

alfa1
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Agreed ! He’d be a fool if he tried…This has implications in the National Conversation, not just local concern. Meyer comes onboard, the top programs have been put on notice….Look Out !

HOF19
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Assistant AD Gavin Morris just tweeted something about ‘Fake News ” just came out .

Rock2112
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Probably saying this since they would like to meet with the staff and break the bad news, and this is jumping the gun. Of course, often the “multiple sources” are the staff members themselves, who need it out there to hope for offers from other schools to land elsewhere.

Trojan5
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OK. Adam Maya of SI is on record that SC will dismiss Helton. Announcement to be no later than Monday. Adam posted 15 minutes ago, so his news is fresh.Let’s all sit back and see if Adam is right. Or if any other reporter will go on the record in disagreement.

HOF19
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That’s how I do it ……… Keep an eye on LA Times see if they will go on record to back this up !

HOF19
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Twitter account titled USC FOOTBALL NEWS has this >>>>>>>USC Football News‏ @USCFootballNews · 11m11 minutes ago

BREAKING: USC Dismissing Clay Helton https://www.si.com/college/usc/football/usc-dismissing-helton/ … [SI citing multiple sources who say announcement will come by Monday.

HOF19
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Reports Helton getting dismissed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jamaica
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Just got it on my cell phone….. horrayyyyyyy! Don’t anyone feel sorry for Clay Helton, he got millions just by being at the right place at the right time. Now we can move forward to bigger better USC football! so happy. Christmas has come early.

HOF19
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I want him gone also but I will feel better if say the LA TIMES confirms this .

Rock2112
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YES! Thank God.

HOF19
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BREAKING: USC Dismissing Clay Helton https://www.si.com/college/usc/football/usc-dismissing-helton/ … [SI citing multiple sources who say announcement will come by Monday.

Golden Trojan
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Notice that SDSU beat BYU last night 13-3. Maybe Folt and Bohn can take Helton and SC to the Mountain West. Oops, probably not win the division there either!

HOF19
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What if some reporter goes up to Bohn and says >>> “You know some fans are wondering when there be an announcement ” and Bohn replies >>>>>’We do not see ANY REASON for any announcements ……..at least not in the next month ” . <<<<< (That in itself would be an announcement )

Steveg
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Just patiently waiting to hear those magic words, “We are going in a different direction”.

alfa1
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I wonder if we will get the standard fare, Sunday “Fireside Chat” with Helton this afternoon.

TrojanRJJ
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If Bohn and Folt want to see the future of SC football if they keep Helton, they should have watched the Stanford/ND game. If there were 25,000 at the game I would be surprised. Jon Wilner once again nailed it. He compared the cost of keeping Helton to the cost of replacing him. Much cheaper to replace him. Wilner saw the issue very clearly- if SC wishes to compete with Cal and Stanford and occasionally win the PAC, then keep Clay. If S.C. wishes to compete with Ohio State and LSU and Clemson, Clay is gone. Allen has stated the… Read more »

LawyerJohn
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Take your SC-football anger-and-depression and multiply it by 10. That’s how Alabama, and especially Michigan, are feeling this morning. Maybe sucla, too.

Jack B
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Do 90% of the ALA and MICH fans want Saban and Harbaugh fired today? Not even close. You’re way off as usual LJ.

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At Alabama, I am sure they still want Saban. But Jack, I think Harbaugh is starting to get something of a warm seat. I remember that we had long losing streaks almost concurrently with ucla and ND, but those streaks included two or three SC coaches, not just one.

You are right about LJ. Is he Scott Wolf’s dad or something?