Kliff Kingsbury

USA Today

Fight On, Trojan Fan

Don't blame Kliff for bouncing.

January 09, 2019 - 12:04 pm

Now that the news is official in Arizona, it means one thing here in SoCal: 


Trojan fan, how does that grab ya? After losing five of six to end the season, the one W you did manage was landing Kliff to fix your offense. And the dude didn't stick around long enough to coach a practice. 

Remember that "stability" AD Lynn Swann was talking about when he made the decision to stick with Clay Helton as head coach? That SC was gonna roll with their dude and just surround him with better coaches? Well, that better coach just treated his time with the Trojans like a frat dude on spring break. A couple weeks in the sun, a couple nights in the club, and first chance to bounce and get the hell outta there he was gone.

And don’t blame him for doing it. Of course, he left. Everyone would be. He just parlayed getting fired at Texas tech into a head coaching job in the NFL. That’s not easy to do. In fact, that is the greatest example of falling forward I have ever seen. It’s like a magic trick. And with a contract buyout of only $150k, there was no deterrent to bouncing; just as there was no way USC could really expect this guy to stay when he was offered an NFL head coaching job. 

So….Don't blame Kliff for bouncing.              

Don’t get it twisted. I get trying to bring this guy in. USC has hit rock bottom. They had to try something. And for a moment, there was even some positive buzz around the program when he arrived. But just for a moment; because that’s how long he was there.  Then he bounced. And they look even worse now than they did before they brought him in. 

All that leads me to one pretty simple question: What the hell has happened to USC? 

A decade ago, Pete Carroll won his third straight Rose Bowl. That was his SEVENTH STRAIGHT SEASON of finishing in the AP Top 4. Nattys were being won. Heisman's were being stacked. There was no place better on the planet to be a college football player. They would play anybody. And they won every big game they played that wasn't against Vince Young. 

Sure, Peter sometimes played fast and loose with NCAA rules and sometimes his guys would lose games they weren't supposed to.  

But, now SC isn't just losing games they aren't supposed to lose -- like getting clowned by a 2-win UCLA squad. They're losing offensive coordinators before they can even move into their office.

What a decade for SC. Peter bolts for the NFL. The NCAA drops the hammer on Troy. Kiff got gassed on the tarmac. And Sark got blasted on the job. 

And now Clay Helton KEEPING HIS JOB looks like an even bigger disaster than it did when the school dropped a press release that ethered the guy: Remember that one? "We acknowledge and understand our deficiencies in areas that include culture, discipline, schemes, personnel and staff."


Losing assistant coaches happens. Look at the Nicktator. Dude is running a revolving door in and out of Tuscaloosa. But you can't lose an OC before he even coaches a practice. And you sure as hell can't lose him after you hyped that hire like it was the biggest thing to hit SoCal since Botox and silicone. 

So Fight On, Trojan fans. And just hope that Urb feels rested and recovered 12 months from now.