The Big LeadThe Big Lead

3 USC Coaching Candidates If Clay Helton Is Fired

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 30: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts to a play during the second half of the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Beaver Stadium on November 30, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Rumors are swirling that Clay Helton could be fired. One Sports Illustrated reporter says it's going to happen, but Pat Forde, who has a long tenure on the college football beat, says not so fast. If the move is made, here are three potential candidates:

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer's name has been floated for the USC job since basically the moment he left Ohio State. He was adamant that he was retiring due to health reasons and wanting to spend time with his family, but has since adopted a never-say-never tone. And then there's also the question if USC wants his baggage. As everyone on the planet knows, he can win football games. What's also going in his favor right now is that he left Ohio State in way better shape than the wreckage that occurred in his wake at Florida.

James Franklin

Franklin may not be available, per se, but it seems like these college coaches can leave for new jobs when they really want it to happen. At Penn State, he may be topped out, with Ohio State remaining a buzzsaw in their Big Ten division. USC could have bigger upside for him, and you can't beat the weather of Southern California. It would be an interesting decision for him if USC were to put him in that position.

Brent Venables

The Clemson defensive coordinator is going to be a hot name in the coaching carousel. The unit has given up just 10 points per game this season. Maybe USC could explore something like hiring Venables and keeping their current offensive infrastructure with Graham Harrell as OC in place?