As the College Football Playoff Rankings are revealed today, the Pac-12 conference is once again sitting on the outside looking in. The outlook for the conference is at its bleakest, as since the inception of the College Football Playoff the Pac-12 has been represented only twice. The lack of success of the Pac-12 on a national scale goes hand in hand with the struggles of the USC Trojans. Sam Darnold and the Rose Bowl win over Penn State seem like an eternity ago, as the Trojans finished the 2018 season 5-7, and missed a bowl game for the first time since 2000. A 5-7 season at USC means changes needed to be made for the USC Trojans Football program.
USC’s offense struggled mightily last season, finishing 82nd in total offense and 91st in scoring offense. With a team as talented as USC, those numbers are simply unacceptable. With receivers like Michael Pittman Jr., Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Tyler Vaughns, and five-star quarterback J.T. Daniels, an offense that talented with those numbers is not going to cut it. Athletic Director Lynn Swann has made the decision to stick with Helton as the coach for the 2019 season, but that does not mean there were going to be no changes made.
Quickly after Swann made the decision to keep Helton, the Trojans fired offensive coordinator Tee Martin, defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford, and defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze. After firing offensive line coach Neil Callaway in October and watching quarterbacks coach Bryan Ellis leave for the offensive coordinator job at Western Kentucky, Helton’s staff is going to undergo a major overhaul, replacing five positions. Most importantly, Helton will have to find someone to inject life in a lifeless, but talented offense. Kliff Kingsbury is best man available that will be able to rejuvenate this talented USC offense.
Kingsbury was fired from his position as the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but not for lack of offensive firepower. Kingsbury went 35-40 as the head coach of Texas Tech, finishing in the top 11 in total offense for six straight years, including the top ranked offense in 2016. Kingsbury has coached and help develop players like Case Keenum at Houston, Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans at Texas A&M, and Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech. With the talent USC has, Kingsbury can shape an offense that can help bring USC back into contention for the Pac-12. Hiring Kingsbury would signal that the Trojans are serious about returning to the top of the conference.
USC is an attractive place to work, but Kingsbury is said to be one of the most sought after coaches in the country. Kingsbury should be at or near the top of the list of every school needing someone to run their offense. Kingsbury is also said to have interest from the NFL level as well as Rams head coach Sean McVay is said to be interested in bringing him in on his staff.
Although the services of Kingsbury are heavily sought after across the football world, USC and Clay Helton should put the full court press on and do anything that they have to do in order to bring Kingsbury into the fold.