Now that Hue Jackson has been fired by the Cleveland Browns, there is much speculation (and fear) that he could replace Clay Helton as the next head coach at USC.
I wrote on Saturday during USC’s loss to Arizona State that saw the Trojans fall to 4-4 on the year and all but eliminated from winning the Pac-12 South that it was time for Clay Helton to go. It’s just painfully obvious that Helton won’t be the guy to take USC back to competing for national titles on an annual basis.
He’s got a Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl win the last two years, which is really not what you’d expect of a coach living on borrowed time, but it’s a tough business and the USC faithful appears ready to make a move.
As a pre-emptive strike, Helton relieved offensive line coach Neil Callaway who will be replaced by running backs coach Tim Drevno, and Helton will take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
Barring a complete 180 that sees the offensive line play with some physicality and toughness and an offense that shows some imagination and efficiency and production, I think Helton is out at USC. It might be an incredibly short leash, but if the USC job does open up, there are already USC fans pontificating if Hue Jackson could be his successor.
Jackson was fired by the Cleveland Browns on Monday morning after losing to the Steelers to drop to 2-5-1 on the year and 3-36-1 during his time as the Browns head coach. That wouldn’t exactly be the type of candidate that would catch the attention of USC athletic director Lynn Swann, but for whatever reason, Jackson always gets brought up for USC jobs. I don’t really get it.
Jackson only served coached at USC from 1997-2000 where he was instrumental in coaching and developing Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 pick Carson Palmer, but it’s not like he was some special part of the Pete Carroll coaching tree. USC has already taken a couple of trips down the former USC coordinator path recently with Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both unmitigated disasters. I don’t think they are ready for history to repeat itself with Jackson.
Nevertheless, there is a part of the fanbase who thinks it might happen, or at least, could be a possibility. If that’s the case, please send your thoughts and prayers to USC fans, because no one should be subjected to that type of torture.
There is no real logical candidate for the Trojans should they part ways with Helton at season’s end. I know there is a bigger part of the fanbase who’d love to lure Carroll back to town, although that’s probably as likely as winning the Mega Millions lottery.
That could benefit Helton since there is no logical slam-dunk candidate to replace him. Then again, that shouldn’t stop them from firing him if they are convinced he’s not the guy either. And if they do, I don’t believe for a second that Jackson would get the job.