66, what are your expectations for Helton and USC?

By: Waldorf



For days, you have continually posted...30-12, 30-12, 30-12...as if it were some sort of holy mantra that must be recognized by all those critical of Helton as a head coach. 

I've pointed out -- twice -- that Jim Mora had a better record after 42 games, admittedly without any conference titles or Rose Bowl appearances.  But I think Mora's record is important in that he, too, coached a team that underachieved and whose success was due, in large part, to a stellar quarterback who masked a myriad of other problems with the team. 

What gives with the 30-12?  Do you really think that's a record worth hanging one's hat on?  71%?  Really?

While a 71% winning percentage in CFB is certainly good, it's definitely not great.  And for USC, I'd say it's a little below par.  

If you're suggesting that it's premature to fire a coach who has recently guided his team to a conference title, is only a couple of years removed from a Rose Bowl victory, has a 71% winning percentage, and who currently has a young team -- including a true freshman QB -- who very well COULD prove to be quite formidable in the near future then, yeah, I agree 100% with you.  It would be pretty absurd to fire Helton now. 

But I don't think the majority of those dissatisfied with Helton are really suggesting that.  Sure, some of them blow off steam and post things like that, but to me it seems more a sense of frustration from the belief that Helton is not the man who will get USC back into the top realm of CFB.  

The reason so many posters believe this have been posted for quite some time, and IMO if you were to look beneath the vitriol and try to understand some of these points of view, you really might start agreeing with them that Helton is not the guy, and he never will be.  I'm certain you would speak of Helton with more respect (than most of his detractors) if you were to come to that conclusion, but that's hardly the point. 

Seriously, I see a lot of similarities between Helton and Mora as head coaches.  Of course, there is no way that Helton could ever crash and burn on the level that Mora did, primarily because he'd never be given enough time to accomplish such destruction.  Also, Helton is a better coach than Mora, and he has better players overall than Mora ever did.  But if you look at the first three years of the Mora era at UCLA, things were very similar to how things are unfolding at USC. 

I see Helton struggling without a top QB to bail him out, I see him hiring unqualified assistants, I see him making the same kind of gameday mistakes, I see a team that is heavily penalized and borderline undisciplined in terms of personal fouls, I see him starting to lose the team, I see his goodwill starting to wear itself out.  But, most importantly -- and most similar to Mora -- I see him never beating teams in games where USC isn't favored to win.  If there are exceptions, I'm not aware of any.

You may disagree, and that's fine.  If you think Helton deserves another year (or two) to see what he can do with a young roster full of promising athletes, I don't disagree.  But if you do believe that, I don't think repeating "30-12" over and over again is going to convert many naysayers, because frankly 30-12 aint much of a selling point if you ever looked really closely at the issues with your team. 

Bring up the train wreck that is UCLA all you want, but that has nothing to do with my opinion on this matter, and this is not sour grapes of any kind.  If anything, I'm more qualified than most to comment on this because I am capable of being objective on this (contrary to the opinions of some).   

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