Former USC Football Head Coach Clay Helton somehow still has more ranked wins than the Trojans this year. After Oregon State lost to Washington this past week and was bounced from the CFP Top 25 rankings as a result, SC now does not have a single ranked win.
The ranked team that Helton beat (James Madison) is no longer ranked, but they were (No. 25) until Helton's Georgia Southern squad took them down in Week 7. Oregon State was not ranked either at the time the Trojans played them, and they are of course not ranked now. It remains truly bizarre that Helton's 5-4 Eagles have more ranked wins than 8-1 SC.
This of course does not mean that Helton is a better coach than Lincoln Riley, as that's very far from the truth, but just a realization that confirms the importance of Week 12 at UCLA. That will be an opportunity for USC to finally get a ranked win, as the Beavers losing two more games after they dropped Week 4 to USC makes that road win look not as impressive as it used to.
With Notre Dame now 5-3, perhaps that will be another chance for the Trojans to get a ranked win. They play the FIghting Irish in Week 13, and that game's at home. Both are incredibly important games for USC. If USC wins out, they will likely be in the PAC-12 Championship, and if they win the conference they will likely earn themselves a trip to the College Football Playoff.
Both USC Football and Clay Helton have benefitted from their split last season.
USC Football firing Clay Helton last season was very easily the best for both parties. On USC's end, they ended up hiring Riley, who as of this writing has the Trojans in the top nine of the CFP rankings. They're 8-1 through nine games for the first time since 2008. As for Helton, he has certainly been improving things over at his new program too.
Helton has the Eagles playing 5-4 football through nine games, despite inheriting a 3-9 team. Both sides have a lot of respect for each other, and both sides will hope to have at least one ranked win by the time the season is over.