If you like Tom Herman, you should be open enough to honestly consider essentially the same sort of coach: Clay Helton.
While the blue blood he worked at didn’t appreciate his inability to break through and win championships, Helton did have some really solid seasons at USC. In total, Helton went 46-24 as the head coach of the Trojans before he was ultimately fired two games into the 2021 season.
So, as Mississippi State searches for a replacement for Zach Arnett, Helton is an intriguing, under-the-radar option the Bulldogs should look at. Despite his tenure at USC, Helton has reinvented himself impressively at Georgia Southern over the past two seasons.
Georgia Southern is a team that, historically, loves the triple option. The Eagles rarely threw the ball before Helton’s arrival, averaging just 147 passing yards per game in 2021. Since Helton arrived, the Eagles have transformed their offensive approach.
At 6-4 and bowl eligible for the second season in a row, the Eagles are averaging over 300 passing yards per game and 435.4 total yards of offense per game.
On top of that, Helton now has recruiting connections to Georgia, California, as well as possible connections to Tennessee and Texas from his time at Memphis and Houston. That’s a wide footprint that could help the Bulldogs considerably.
- Quickly found success with Georgia Southern
- Demonstrated ability to hire innovative offensive coordinators
- Would do well with the pass-first personnel still on MSU’s roster
- No experience in the SEC
- Could he recruit to MSU?
- Didn’t break through at USC with their talent
Would Helton be a good fit? Well, so far he seems to be doing a lot better in the South than he was at USC. He seems like a more natural fit at Georgia Southern. Maybe he’s truly comfortable there and is content to stay where he’s having success?