JUST SAYIN' . . . 4 GAMES TO GO

Time to enjoy these Trojans and join the fun and put the coaching search in a different place from the final 4, 5 or even 6 games.

Haven't had much time for this with all that's been happening on and off the football field the first two months of USC's 2015 season. But there's always time to say -- and ask: What the heck is happening here?

Might as well do it now with Clay Helton off to a 3-1 start as a two-time USC interim head coach. And now every play, play-call, possession, third-down conversion, substitution, timeout and post-practice quote becomes a moment to say it's time to hire him or proof he's not up to the USC job.

And all we can do is wonder if this isn't the Fantasy-Footballization of a world where the key word is "fantasy." And everyone is in charge of their little corner of the football world, changing personnel at the drop of a hat for a team all their own.

*** And yeah, we understand the urge to do that if you're a Trojan fan with the history USC has of swinging and missing with its recent coaching picks. But even with that, why not just do what these kids are doing, some on their third interim head coaching run counting Clay twice. Enjoy it as much as you can and see how far they can take it and not conflate the season and the coach search -- not now anyway . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Think about it this way. You can't call the second play of a possession, or shouldn't, until you see how the first play works out -- did you gain 20 or lose 2? We're not there yet. Let this play out. It's not time . . . Just Sayin'.

*** We're not saying you shouldn't talk about what happens next. Even though it's been made clear USC isn't listening to you, at least not when you come down on what's been going wrong around here and who should pay a price for the screwups . . . Just Sayin'.

*** The good news, however, is there's easily as much good shared intelligence here as in a Korn Ferry search -- and it's a whole lot less expensive . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But one more word on the coaching search: As much as there are some demonstrably bad names being put out there, there really is no wrong answer when you're talking a John Harbaugh, Tom Herman, Justin Fuente, Brian Kelly -- or even Chip. Those names and many more all have reasons to like them and just because someone likes one of them more than another one, that's as it should be. They're not wrong or stupid, they just see things differently from the way you do. That's all . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And don't stop talking or expressing your thoughts. That's what this is about. No time like a coaching search here on The Peristyle no matter how often USC seems to have them. USC clearly needs all the help it can get wherever it can get it even if it acts like it doesn't want it. You just never know . . . Just Sayin'.

*** But better to enjoy USC's improbable journey with this team to who knows where. Enjoy Su'a and JuJu, Adoree' and Cody, Cameron and RJII, and all the fourth- and fifth-year guys like Zach and Tre who have gone through so much and the rest of a team that should make Troy proud for actually "Fighting On," when others might have thrown it in and looked to what's coming next in their separate lives. These guys haven't . . . Just Sayin'.

*** You want to go after someone for not knowing much, how about the folks who are starting to write that if and when the Georgia job opens up, it's a better job than USC. It's not, of course, although USC administrators have to act like they know that . . . . Just Sayin'.

*** Here's our dream scenario for this team: Keep improving, keep playing together, keep getting better coaching and gameplanning, get it together in the weather back-to-back weeks in Boulder and Eugene and finish up at home against UCLA and for once, in the Jim Mora Era, show up ready to play smart and physical football. I know, asking a lot . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And much the way it happened in 2002 to get USC into the Top Four the final week and an invite to the Orange Bowl after the Washington State loss knocked them out of the Pac-12 title, you get help against Utah, get into the Pac-12 championship game for the first time and get Stanford in the rematch, eliminating the Pac-12 from the CFP, although overcoming the officiating in that game might be one of the greatest accomplishments in USC football history . . . Just Sayin'.

*** In that scenario, USC gets back to the Rose Bowl, gets Iowa in a rematch of that Orange Bowl and finishes on an 8-1 run. Not a bad way to go without having to worry about the coaching search. Let that take care of itself, which since this is USC, it will probably have to . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And again, in that scenario, you have all the coaches on everybody's lists wanting to come to USC just to have a chance to win the 2016 national title starting with Alabama . . . Just Sayin'.

*** And then you'd have Clay, as well, who would be 9-1 overall as USC interim coach, which would make the last two USC interim coaches [with CEO] a combined 15-3, a number that makes you think maybe USC should never hire any other way, just for the "interim" . . . Just Sayin'.

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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