We don’t yet know if Clay Helton has done enough to earn the full-time gig at USC, but we do know that Helton, along with his staff and players, has done enough to extend the audition.
Saturday’s commanding, runaway win against UCLA means USC, which finished 5-2 after Steve Sarkisian was fired, rallied to win the Pac-12 South. It’ll face Stanford on Saturday with a conference title and Rose Bowl bid in play for the Trojans.
The question in the USC search is whether Helton’s work as the interim, also including the team’s bowl victory in 2013, is enough to offset the desire to have a “name” hire such as Chip Kelly. Those who know the search well have had trouble determining whether that’s chiefly a fanbase concern or if it’s something that guides the search itself.