You cannot rely on close wins; playing down to your competition will catch up with you

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by Arhedge, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. gubo&palanka

    gubo&palanka Points Member

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    #21
    But we are a laughingstock.
     
  2. nvargas

    nvargas Junior Member


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    #22
    @xuscx , Hackett can't be the standard that we're trying to top. It shouldn't be whether Helton is another Hackett or a PC, but whether he's what the team needs right now and that he's doing right by the resources he's given.

    And it's not so much whether Helton wins/loses close games, it's how frustrating it is that certain games are even close. With the talent on the team, there should be enough quality play and coaching adjustments to pull away from the Arizona's/WSU's of the world. To whom much is given, much is expected.
     
  3. nvargas

    nvargas Junior Member


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    #23
    Laughing stock in a different way. Because we can't seem to get to where we should be, because we continue to get blasted by the good teams on a national stage.

    But not because our players are jumping off balconies to save drowning kids, sexually assaulting women, have drunk coaches, underinflating footballs, firing the HC on a tarmac, having players call the coach a racist...and on and on. I don't miss those days.
     
  4. Arhedge

    Arhedge Junior Member


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    #24
    Clay Helton is not Paul Hackett. That's not fair to Clay, who has won the conference and a Rose Bowl. Hackett would never have done those things.

    At the same time, Clay's team this year has, so far, looked shockingly like a Paul Hackett-coached team. If Hackett were coaching this team, USC would likely be in the exact same place: 3-2 with three ugly wins and two ugly losses. In year three of his tenure, Clay's team should not look like a Paul Hackett team.

    Clay has been very fortunate in close games. Clay is not going to continue to win 75% of his one-score games. Nobody does. And being well above the expected number of wins in one-score games has artificially inflated his record in my opinion. This is particularly true last year, which was about as bad a 10-2 regular season team as I've ever seen. The 2016 season, by contrast, was a genuinely good coaching job. We can debate whether it made sense to start Max, but turning that team around was no joke. And the team played legitimately good football the second half of the year. That was not the case last year. It has not been the case this year. Those who want to keep talking about double-digit win seasons will soon not have that talking point, unless this team dramatically improves.

    It was a mistake to hire Clay in the first place without even conducting a search. There was nothing in Clay's background that suggested he was ready for this job. Clay is the guy you hire if all the more-qualified guys have already said no. But that's not Clay's fault, and it's irrelevant at this point.

    It's pretty clear that major changes need to be made. I don't have a problem with those advocating that Clay should get another year to make those changes. I think you're wrong, because it should have been obvious that he needed to make changes this past year. Coaches who can't see the obvious aren't likely to succeed over the long-term. There was no real excuse for standing pat, and we're now seeing the fruits of that decision. Moreover, it seems obvious to me that Clay himself -- his philosophy, his practice style, his lack of commitment to fielding a team that is designed and trained to bully the other guys -- is the core problem. New assistants can help, but they won't fix the broken fundamentals.

    But one more year? Fine. The administration can give Clay two more years if that's what they want. It's not like I expect them to perform a competent job search whenever they get rid of Clay anyway.

    What I really want is to get rid of the excuses and stop giving the administration cover. Why do I argue so often that Clay Helton is not a good football coach? Because he's not, and I think that's fairly obvious at this point to anybody who understands football, and I'm tired of USC fans and alums giving the administration cover for their lack of commitment to football. If they want to hire and retain mediocre football coaches and not give the resources that the program needs, they can do that. But they should do it without fans and alums cheering their decisions and pretending like good times are just around the corner if we stay the course.

    I will still attend every game I can, and I'll still root for the team. I always have and always will. But the false narrative that Clay Helton is a good football coach who needs more time just throws up a lot of smoke and doesn't provide for the clarity that's needed. Let's face the truth squarely: Sark was a ridiculous hire, Clay Helton was a non-serious hire, this program is suffering from the self-inflicted wounds of an inept and uncommitted USC administration, and the program will never recover unless the people in charge get serious about football. Once the choice is seen clearly by everybody -- fans, alums, school officials, trustees -- then we can see what direction USC wants to go. But school officials don't have to be serious about football and make the necessary commitment as long as they can keep pulling the wool over everybody's eyes.
     
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  5. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    #25
    Right. One of the things which I believe the school administration places a great deal of emphasis on, especially in light of Helton's predecessors, and a scandal outside of football, is - "Don't embarrass the University."

    As long as the football team is not a complete on-field shambles, the administration cares more about Helton being a good citizen, the players staying off the police blotters, and the program just generally running clean. Helton has certainly delivered that, and oh, did we forget that he's also won a Rose Bowl and a Pac12 title?

    So, from a Board of Trustees position, Helton is doing everything right. We football-obsessed fans can see that all is not well in the program, but from a big-picture standpoint, having a 7-5 or 8-4 team that underachieves is preferable to a championship team where the players are routinely arrested, accused of rape, assault, skipping classes, and just general bad behavior which brings more negative publicity to the school when it already has a plateful.
     
  6. xuscx

    xuscx Junior Member


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    #26
    Many great coaches were upgraded assistants, so the idea Helton should never have been hired is nonsense. He is showing his hand this year. 9-3 is safe, 8-4 will be questionable, 7-5 and he probably gets replaced.
     
  7. Arhedge

    Arhedge Junior Member


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    #27
    I think some distinctions are in order. Hiring a promising assistant with a track record of success at a quality program is a legitimate option. That's not what USC did. Promoting from within from a failed regime is a little more questionable. An internal promotion from a failed regime so you can hire an assistant who was an offensive coordinator in name only, since the head coach was always the de facto O coordinator? That was not a sound hire.

    But, again, none of this was Helton's fault. He took a dream job when it was offered. And it's all years in the past now. It doesn't have any effect on what should be done moving forward.
     
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  8. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    #28
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    So, you do well at coming up with new ways of making your position known about the coaching and administrative problems at USC and you are persistent at doing so.

    I take those to be good attributes from someone who cares about the direction of the USC Trojans Football Team in its current status as well as for the future.

    The answers are quite simple, although repetitive, that the same errors are being made over and over without correction.

    Promises and oaths:
    A physical aggressive team with a run emphasis - Maybe for a quarter or two at best.
    A better pre-game preparation routine - Have not seen much difference.
    Better play calling - Every adversary seems to have our playbook.
    Improved game preparation and Physical practices - Hot air.
    Every game said to be hard fought and well played - Me thinks not.
    Inability to win against top tier teams - No physicality, play calling, preparation etc. etc.

    Yes the same old repetition of the same old problem...
     
  9. heyrev

    heyrev Junior Member


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    #29
    I had to laugh...you realize you just described John McKay, right? Nine years (nine!) at Oregon (where?), and 3 years at USC--both programs failed. Result? Named HC at USC.

    Before you scream it, no, I'm not saying Helton will be McKay. Just kind of funny how formulas go boom in the night.
     
  10. Troianus Acies

    Troianus Acies Junior Member


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    #30

    In the hearts of most USC Trojan fans there is the desire that Coach Helton succeeds and becomes one of the top coaches at USC.

    At the same time, there is the issue of pointing out shortcomings that need to be fixed for the team to be successful and to attain the physical toughness and superior play that has been a trademark of USC football as well as its identity.

    I said in more than a couple of previous posts that I would stand behind Coach Helton for 2 years before making any comment about his performance and for three to four years before advocating any coaching change. I have stayed true to both of these statements thus far and intend to continue to do so.

    But, in now being able to make comments about performance, my biggest concern is that Coach Helton has not made any changes or adjustments to the issues that have plagued the team for his first two full seasons. The first year problems are still here and not getting any better. The play of this team is on a downward trend with what appears to be exhausted players by the third quarter, no identity, no significant changes in the called plays (that are obvious to our adversaries) weak secondary pass defense coverage, weak pass rushing and most importantly the lack of a physical and aggressive offensive line.

    Yes, I would love to see Helton blossom into another John McKay. But that can only happen if Coach Helton is up to correcting the obvious coaching problems related to this team.
     
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  11. Arhedge

    Arhedge Junior Member


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    #31
    Sometimes a guy without the resume turns out to be great. That’s not a good reason to start hiring people who lack the paper qualifications, because those people fail more often than not. Sometimes 2-star players become All-Americans too. Doesn’t mean we should trade recruiting classes with Ball State. You know these things, Rev.
     
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  12. nvargas

    nvargas Junior Member


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    #32
    Don't understand the tendencies where posters continue to associate Helton with Dabo Sweeney or McKay, as if it's some cute story with any great significance or correlation. Every coach is their own person and will pave their own way. There are no transitive properties that get applied because both are SC HC's, or because two coaches are southerners with humble, faithful approaches to coaching.

    The point that Helton "could " be another McKay or Dabo by virtue that it's possible is fully conceded - it's possible. In so much as it's "possible" that I can win the lottery. I concede that.

    The more relevant point is in analyzing the leadership characteristics, the strategy being applied by Clay, penchant for assembling quality staffs and having a network of quality coaches, knowing how to squeeze out that last ounce of effort/gameplanning from your back pocket at the right times, and simply having the managerial skills to demand more from the players to run a disciplined program. On all of these, he has not shown to possess these qualities. Can he learn them? It's "possible". But is it probable...and are we patient enough to wait for him to figure it out?
     
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  13. heyrev

    heyrev Junior Member


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    #33
    I didn't say one's habit should be to hire people without qualifications--I'm saying you shouldn't use "improper qualifications" as an automatic reason to disqualify Clay Helton. I gave an example close to home. There's many more.
    Btw, I thought your previous posts were excellent. This last one not so much...
     
  14. oldtrojan93

    oldtrojan93 Junior Member


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    #34
    Bump

    In light of USC's close loss, this post is worth re-reading.
     
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  15. nvargas

    nvargas Junior Member


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    #35
    There are so many of us going back at least two years that complained not only about the poor OL play, but always felt that Tee was a liability and couldn't coordinate his way out of a wet paper bag. We saw through the "Tyson vs. Clay vs. Tee" shade being thrown and identified the common denominator.

    It's weird to fast-forward to now and see all the rest re-use lines, quotes, observations that were first proposed 2 years ago...and many of us took a beating for that back then. We were known as "Helton-Haters", malcontents, etc.

    I just wanted folks to look at the data points staring at them in the face, rather than the wins/loss column. There will be a reckoning when you show all those flaws game-in-game-out. It finally caught up!

    Faith/Family/Football...minus the football!
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

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