No college football coach is on a hotter seat heading into the 2019 regular season than USC’s Clay Helton, who many expected to be fired following a disappointing 2018 campaign.
Helton has returned for at least one more season, though, and the Trojans will need to deliver in a major way for him to last any longer than that.
Yahoo! Sports college football insider Pete Thamel addressed Helton’s situation in a lengthy column today.
If Helton does end up getting fired, who will the Trojans target?
Thamel believes there are four major names topping the list, starting with former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.
An early USC list would start with Meyer, Penn State’s James Franklin, former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell. From there, it would include Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, Baylor’s Matt Rhule, Syracuse’s Dino Babers, Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck and Memphis’ Mike Norvell.
Meyer, of course, is the name that will draw the most attention, and deservedly so. If he’s willing to return to coaching, that’s a hire you make 100 times out of 100.
USC will have some recruiting help in that area, too.
Meyer is on a FOX college football pregame show with former USC stars Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart this season. They’ve admitted they’ll be doing some recruiting.
Bush, though, believes Meyer is truly done coaching.
“Bush tells me, incidentally, that he believes earnestly that Urban Meyer isn’t going to go back into coaching, but didn’t dispute my asking if he and Matt Leinart will be talking up USC to him all season,” Daniel Fienberg tweeted.
It’s certainly going to be an interesting fall in Los Angeles.
USC opens its season on Aug. 31 against Fresno State.