Others wanted Bohn to roll the dice and row the boat by hiring Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck, who at the very least would turn stale press conferences into Disney Plus-level premium content (though it has been nice being able to copy and paste Helton’s phrases from week to week). But any chance of that ended when Fleck signed a contract extension last week that will keep him in the Twin Cities through 2026. “But Alicia, USC was THIS CLOSE to digging up the remains of Howard Jones, re-animating him and surrounding him with a staff from the SEC West,” tweets user kingcambie. “It was going to happen!” Unless quarterback Russell Wilson abruptly retires to be a stay-at-home dad or Amazon buys out the Seahawks and outsources their coaching to Bangladesh, this isn’t happening. But USC fans can keep dreaming. To cope, I usually watch the first hour of ESPN 30 for 30’s “Trojan War” and drift off to sleep before the NCAA intervenes. Trevor Denton is a senior writing about sports. He is also a former sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “T-Time,” runs every other Thursday. The other day, I was scouring Twitter for any new information on the head coaching search, and I came across this gem from a USC fan, in response to beat writer Alica de Artola, who was trying to curtail fan expectations. First of all, Dad, if you already have the answer, then why are you asking me? And second of all, please stop. Florida Atlantic has put up a solid 23-13 record during Kiffin’s tenure, but he’s shown no signs of maturing from when he called for a 76-yard field goal as the Raiders’ head coach. He still tweets more than his own players and burns bridges at every stop. Special thanks to the king of cambie for inspiring me to come up with this list of the most unlikely candidates to replace Helton. I can’t tell you who USC will hire, but perhaps ruling out a few names will end those recurring nightmares of Jeff Fisher leading the team out of the Coliseum tunnel. Here we go. New athletic director Mike Bohn is officially on the clock, and that’s bad news for head football coach Clay Helton. Unless the first quarter of the Arizona State game was the only USC football Bohn has ever seen — in that case, brace yourself for a five-year extension. Every time my dad calls me, he asks me who I think USC’s next head coach will be. Every time, I tell him I don’t know. And every time he responds, “You’re bringing back Lane Kiffin.” USC had its chance to give Orgeron the keys to the program back in 2013 when he led the team to a 6-2 finish as interim head coach. During Orgeron’s run, which included an upset over No. 4 Stanford, then-athletic director Pat Haden said, “I had 136 pro-Coach O emails today. Those were just emails. That doesn’t count the tweets, letters and phone calls. In my day, they sent ‘em by carrier pigeon. Now, I get ‘em four or five ways.” Honestly, why not? He’s a steady presence. He has the most wins in USC history (127). He understands the program by virtue of constantly lingering around. Give the man his job back. Let’s leave this idea on the tarmac once and for all. The only silver lining is that, at age 68, Carroll is youthful enough to coach into his mid-90s. Maybe he’ll come back around 2040, but don’t even count on that. Why’d he have to go, I don’t know, he wouldn’t say / Reggie did something [not even really] wrong, now I long for yesterday. Since the BYU loss, fans have speculated over USC’s next head coaching hire. Most are clamoring for Urban Meyer to ride in on his white horse, win a few national championships and retreat to CBS Sports when things inevitably go south. This would give him the coveted three rings at three different schools and three retirements at three different broadcast networks (college football’s version of the EGOT). LSU head coach Ed Orgeron The John McKay statue outside of the John McKay Center And yet he ignored all of those messages — through all four or five ways they were delivered — and hired Steve Sarkisian, who, um, wasn’t really head coach material. Now Orgeron is the head coach of LSU, a job the Louisiana-born part-man-mostly-alligator was put on this earth to do. Since taking over, the Tigers have gone 28-7 and just took down No. 2 Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium over the weekend. I’d be more upset about it, but it’s hard to argue with destiny. Orgeron will be coaching the Tiguhs until the bayou dries up and Haden’s decision remains one of USC’s worst in recent history, which says a lot. Former Rams coach Jeff Fisher Just no. The last season Fisher led a team at the Coliseum, it finished 4-12 even though that same team had enough talent to make the Super Bowl two years later. Fisher can rest easy knowing he’ll forever go down in history … as the losingest coach in NFL history (tied with Dan Reeves at 165 losses). Fisher will be name-dropped in every USC head coaching search until the end of time, all because he played for the Trojans in the early 1980s (The Trojan Family is real! Fight On!). At least it’s impossible to go 7-9 in college football, if USC does somehow end up with Fisher. Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin A lot is up in the air, but one thing is certain: No one knows anything yet, and it’s causing the fanbase to lose its collective mind.
THE GAME: The Angels lost to the Oakland A’s 4-2 on Friday afternoon in the final spring training game with their regular lineup in Arizona. Most of the Angels regulars will be back in Southern California when the Angels play their Arizona finale on Saturday. Neither team used one of its major league starting pitchers, in part because they will play again next week in the first series of the regular season.PITCHING REPORT: Left-hander John Lamb gave up two runs in four innings. Lamb, who has already been told he will not break camp with the team, was starting because Garrett Richards pitched in a minor league game. Lamb gave up nine earned runs in 15-1/3 innings in big league exhibitions this spring. … Keynan Middleton gave up a homer in his inning. He has allowed seven runs in 10 innings this spring. … Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless inning. Although he gave up two hits, both were infield hits. … José Álvarez pitched a scoreless inning. Álvarez has allowed three earned runs in 10-1/3 innings this spring.HITTING REPORT: The Angels’ everyday lineup did not score a run in three innings against Jesus Luzardo, who is one of Oakland’s top pitching prospects. Mike Trout, who had not struck out all spring until Thursday night, struck out against the 20-year-old in his first trip. … Albert Pujols hit his first homer of the spring, not including one he had hit earlier in a minor league game. Pujols has twice in the past week hit in minor league games, to accelerate his at-bats as he tries to find his swing. “I think he made some adjustments,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He worked hard. His timing is coming. His last 15 at-bats, both up here and the stuff he’s doing down (in minor league games) are really paying off.” … René Rivera hit his second homer of the spring.DEFENSE REPORT: Left fielder Justin Upton tried to make a leaping catch against the fence, but the ball hit the fence and went for a triple. … Trout made a nice catch coming in on a sinking liner. UP NEXT: Angels (Tyler Skaggs) vs. Diamondbacks (Kris Medlen), Saturday, 1 p.m. PT, Tempe Diablo Stadium, Fox Sports West/KLAA (AM 830). Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Biggest breaks: The Bears’ first-place schedule brings the Saints to Soldier field, where the Chiefs, Chargers and Cowboys also will have to visit. Those four playoff teams combined for a 23-9 record on the road last season, but the elements always play a role in Chicago. The Bears have a loaded home schedule, one of which they can take advantage.Bottom line: It all starts with the opener against the Packers at Soldier Field to start the NFL’s 100th season, a marquee event in the Thursday night spotlight. The Bears can create momentum by taking down the new-look Packers and their nemesis Rodgers in that spot. Knowing the tougher schedule behind the Green Bay game, Chicago needs to have it.Still, the Bears are the deepest team in the NFC North, and if they go .500 or better on the road, they will be in good shape to get back to the playoffs. Record prediction: 10-6 The Bears will look to take the next step after winning the NFC North and returning to the NFL playoffs last season. Their schedule for 2019, though, won’t make it easy.Chicago re-emerged last season with the help of coach Matt Nagy, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and a swarming defense led by Khalil Mack. The season ended in disappointing fashion with a wild-card playoff loss to Philadelphia, but the Bears have the pieces in place to replicate that run. On the Bears’ schedule for 2019 are games against teams from the AFC West and NFC East, but some breaks in their schedule make it favorable in spots. MORE: Who has the hardest NFL schedule in 2019?Las Vegas oddsmakers like the Bears to win 9.5 games this season. Here is a closer look at Chicago’s schedule — now a first-place schedule — for 2019.Bears schedule 2019Bears regular-season schedule:Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, New York GiantsAway: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington RedskinsWeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTVWeek 1Sept. 5 (Thursday)vs. Packers8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 2Sept. 15at Broncos4:25 p.m. ETFoxWeek 3Sept. 23 (Monday)at Redskins8:15 p.m. ETESPNWeek 4Sept. 29vs. Vikings4:25 p.m. ETCBSWeek 5Oct. 6at Raiders (London)1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 6BYE—Week 7Oct. 20vs. Saints4:25 p.m. ETFoxWeek 8Oct. 27vs. Chargers1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 9Nov. 3at Eagles1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 10Nov. 10vs. Lions1 p.m. ETCBSWeek 11Nov. 17at Rams8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 12Nov. 24vs. Giants1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 13Nov. 28 (Thursday)at Lions12:30 p.m. ETFoxWeek 14Dec. 5 (Thursday)vs. Cowboys8:20 p.m. ETFox/NFLNWeek 15Dec. 15at Packers1 p.m. ETFoxWeek 16Dec. 22vs. Chiefs8:20 p.m. ETNBCWeek 17Dec. 29at Vikings1 p.m. ETFoxBears preseason schedule:Week 1CarolinaAug. 8-12 (TBD)Week 2at N.Y. GiantsAug. 15-19 (TBD)Week 3at IndianapolisAug. 22-25 (TBD)Week 4TennesseeAug. 29-30 (TBD)MORE: Full 2019 NFL preseason scheduleToughest tests: Chicago faces the NFC champions from the previous two seasons, both on the road, in the Rams and Eagles, teams that have combined for a 25-10 record at home. The annual trip to Lambeau Field is never easy, either, and Aaron Rodgers has a new coach in Matt LaFleur. Chicago has lost four of its last five games in Green Bay.Oakland and Denver are good for an upset or two at home each season, it seems. The Bears will have to side-step those potential bids.