Podcast: Southern California coach Clay Helton on the Pac-12’s return

The feeling around Southern California is "one of joy and happiness" at the thought of being able to play seven games and compete for the College Football Playoff, coach Clay Helton said on the newest episode of the Amway Coaches Poll podcast.

"We’ve got seven opportunities. We’ve got to make the most of each one of them," said Helton.

"The College Football Playoff committee has the hard job. Especially this year because you’re going to have teams that have different number of games, a different situation, and it’ll be a tough job. I don’t envy their job."

The Pac-12 will begin play Nov. 7 with a schedule of seven games, two coming against crossover opponents from the opposite division. 

No. 17 in the preseason Coaches Poll, the Trojans will have a new defensive coordinator, former Texas assistant Todd Orlando, to go with an offense capable of being the most prolific in the Pac-12. Sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis tossed 30 touchdowns in his first season.

Trojans head coach Clay Helton (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)

The pressure is on Helton to deliver a strong season after losing five games in 2019, two coming by a field goal. But the last impression was a bad one: Iowa beat the Trojans 49-24 in the Holiday Bowl to end the year on a sour note.

"At USC, you know the expectations are championships. It doesn’t matter, the situation you’re in," Helton said. "I like our football team. One of the tings I was going to be very disappointed in is if we didn’t get to play, people would not know this team and these players."

Also on this week's episode, a breakdown of what happened during Week 5 of the season and an early glance at what's to come in Week 6.

Follow USA TODAY Sports colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

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