USC Mailbag: Mike Bohn In, Clay Helton Out?

Adam Maya

USC has a new athletic director. Will it soon have a new football coach? Here are this week's questions.

Don't be surprised if something happens this weekend if USC loses to ASU. A coaching hire, though, would take time. Even more reason why I believe new AD Mike Bohn might be inclined to act quickly. It didn't go unnoticed that he cited the significance of recruiting during his introductory presser without the topic being raised. There was a sense of urgency in the air.

I was convinced for the longest that Clay Helton would coach through the UCLA game. But the timing and circumstances surrounding this AD hire make him vulnerable. I've had a few sources tell me a loss could be it.

Fifty-fifty seems about right.

Here's a good quote from Bohn on Thursday that doesn't directly address Meyer but is telling nonetheless about the hiring process: 

"The time that it took to pull all this together was tied to building that alignment. Dr. [Carol] Folt and people around her are experts at building team and building alignment ... that's the No. 1 goal. That's why we've taken time through this process to ensure we have the ability to do that." 

Of course.

The name I hear most often outside of You Know Who is James Franklin. Still a lot of moving parts with him, though. If Penn State is in the CFP, he's not available until January. USC can't afford to wait. Jack Del Rio comes up sometimes. Others are mentioned but I don't know that they're even realistic (for various reasons). I'm talking guys like Bob Stoops, Matt Rhule, Matt Campbell and Kyle Whittingham. Expect to hear Luke Fickell's name a bit given the AD hire. Whatever you do, don't mention David Shaw as a candidate.

I understand the spirit of the question, but no. Recruits know change is coming. You're only flipping (or landing) them once you identify your head coach. Even then, I think just a select few coaching hires will make a notable impact before Early Signing Day.

I've been wondering this myself. It's so much harder to tell now that we're not allowed to watch practice anymore. The vibe is obviously different than it was early in the season. Even last week, you could tell they were excited about playing Oregon and trying to get into the Rose Bowl. I imagine it's sunk in that the coaching staff will be completely different next year, which isn't the easiest thing to process right now when there are still multiple games left. It's this reason that makes Saturday awfully tough to predict. Could see a wide range of scenarios play out. Getting Drake Jackson and Talanoa Hufanga back should make a difference.

Harsh. It all depends on who the head coach is in 2020. Think I've mentioned this before but I could see Graham Harrell possibly sticking around if USC has a defensive-minded coach. I believe a lot of the new assistants have done good work and thus could be appealing to a new coach on an individual basis. But as I noted above, expect extreme turnover.

I'm going to summon Bohn here: It’d be premature to be talking about coaches or any situation when Urban Meyer has yet to be hired.

Two very different offensive systems and personalities. I really don't think we'd see that. hard to see Harrell even wanting that, to be honest.

As I reported earlier in the week, I expect Meyer to be offered. What's less clear, and most important in the matter, is what Meyer wants. 

You're making me sad. I hope to bring back The Tenfold eventually. Love doing it. Just haven't had the time. Maybe the offseason? Appreciate the question.

Imagine making three hires among the following four -- Lane Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, Steve Sarkisian and Clay Helton -- and none of them being Orgeron. This is (somewhat) hindsight, but still. USC had its chances. The program's issues have been numerous, and I feel like sanctions aren't given their proper due, especially the further we get from them. But don't mistake this: Head coaching hires have been USC's No. 1 problem in the post-Pete Carroll era.

Didn't get your question in this time? Follow @AdamJMaya on Twitter and drop him a line.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Great feature, Adam! Keep doing it. And despite Haden and all the coaching hires, people seem to have forgotten that 90% of this downturn in on the NCAA! No NCAA and most of this does not happen. Wont spell it out but that is far from subjective as only SMU can compete in CFB history