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Clay Helton Will Succeed as a Head Coach, But Not at USC

When Clay Helton took over as the full-time head coach of the USC Trojans, it was expected that he could hold the program together and return to prominence in college football. However, four games into the season the Trojans have a record of 1-3.

There have been reports of Helton not surviving the entire season as the head coach of Trojans if their losing ways continue throughout the 2016 campaign. I will not be surprised if Helton is summoned into athletic director Lynn Swann’s office and be relieved of his duties as head coach of USC Trojans.

Helton signed a five-year contract at the end of last season when he became the full-time head coach at USC, but only three years are guaranteed. Whenever someone is the head coach of the USC Trojans football program, that person is put under enormous pressure to succeed right away.

You are at the mercy of alumni members and boosters who are expecting the program to contend for a National Title on a yearly basis. For a lot of head coaches, that may be too much to handle. Clay Hayton is probably a good head coach, but he will not succeed at USC.

I believe that if Helton was coaching at places like Wisconsin or Virginia Tech, I believe that he would have those programs contending for a playoff spot. At USC, the pressure may be too much to handle, and his personality may not be what boosters and alumni members are looking for in a head coach.

Boosters are still looking for that celebrity head coach that had Pete Carroll’s swagger. Can you blame them for having that type of mentality, probably not? Carroll brought the program to heights that it had never seen in years. The coaches that have taken over for Carroll cannot replicate the success that made the Trojans in powerhouse in college football.

The program will land five-star recruits regardless of who the head coach is due to its geographical location and brand awareness. It’s more about the person that is responsible for the performance of those five-star recruits. The Trojans next opponent are the Arizona State Sun Devils if they fail to walk away with a victory, Helton could be in serious trouble.


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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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