USC, which was ranked 14th in the AP poll going into the game, lost at home by two touchdowns to Stanford. The Trojans were favored by more than two touchdowns over the Cardinal, who were coming off a blowout loss to Kansas State in Week 1.
After back-to-back double-digit win seasons in 2016 and 2017, Helton has gone 19-14 since. USC went 5-1 in an abbreviated 2020 season, but that has not translated to a good start in 2021.
Los Angeles Times columnist Brady McCollough wrote on Sunday that the USC administration has to act boldly and move on from Helton.
“USC should be better than losing 42-28 to a Stanford team that just got waxed by Kansas State,” McCollough wrote. “USC should be better than watching most of the best players from its own backyard playing in all the big games across the country Saturday after Saturday. USC should be better than living in fear of having to buy its way out of mediocrity — the school and its donors certainly used to have the money.”
I don't call for a man's job lightly, but at this point it's not even controversial to say that Clay Helton must be fired. The clock's ticking, Mike Bohn and Carol Folt, to show you care about your fans.
— Brady McCollough (@BradyMcCollough) September 12, 2021
It feels like unless things go really south in the coming weeks, USC won’t fire Helton until after the season. But with the program continuing to underachieve, it really does seem like a change is necessary.
The new AP poll will drop at 2 p.m. ET. We expect USC will fall out of the rankings.