Talk about a stunning piece of news on a random Monday in September: USC has fired head coach Clay Helton.
The news was officially announced by athletic director Mike Bohn on Monday, less than 48 hours after the Trojans got embarrassed by Stanford 43-28 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Defensive backs coach Donte Williams will take over on an interim basis.
Put simply, this news is both shocking and not shocking at all.
On the one hand it isn't shocking, simply because Helton hasn't been very good, and this was about as embarrassing a loss as you could possibly imagine. The Trojans came in as a 17-point favorite only to lose by 14, in a game where they trailed by as much as 29 points in the fourth quarter. The score was not at all reflective of how bad the game was.
It came after an uninspired stretch over the last few years, where Helton narrowly avoided being fired several times. Helton easily could've been let go after the 2019 season, but Bohn had just been hired a few weeks earlier. Then Covid hit, and the Trojans went 5-1 last year, but even in that stretch, needed several fourth quarter comebacks to avoid a 2-3 season.
Overall Helton was just 19-14 since Sam Darnold left the program following the 2017 season.
Still, it's surprising that it happened just two games into the season.
You can listen to reaction from yesterday's show here: