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USC’s Clay Helton odds-on favorite to be first Power 5 coach fired in 2019

Jesse Reed
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the 150th college football season gets set to kick off in full this weekend, several high-profile Power 5 coaches are firmly on the hot seat. Among them, USC’s Clay Helton is seen by oddsmakers as the favorite to lose his job early.

According to SportsBetting.ag, Helton is the odds-on favorite to be fired first among all Power 5 coaches in college football.

Clay Helton (USC)5-1
Chris Ash (Rutgers)6-1
Lovie Smith (Illinois)9-1
Gus Malzahn (Auburn)10-1
Kalani Sitake (BYU)12-1
Ed Orgeron (LSU)14-1
Justin Fuente (Virginia Tech)14-1
Willie Taggart (FSU)16-1
Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)16-1
Tom Allen (Indiana)20-1
Kevin Sumlin (Arizona)20-1

So why is Helton seen as the most likely coach to be fired early in 2019?

“USC has a real chance of carrying a losing record after the first five weeks of the season, and that would really put a lot of pressure on the administration,” said Adam Burns, head linesman at SportsBetting.ag.

The Trojans open at home against a tough Fresno State team, then host the always tough Stanford Cardinal in Week 2 before hitting the road for a battle against BYU. Then it’s back home again for a two-game stretch against Utah and Washington, both of which are highly ranked this preseason.

Needless to say, it’s going to take nothing but a stellar effort from Helton’s Trojans to open the season with a winning record against these five teams.

Among the other top coaches seen as favorites to be fired first, it’s not shocking that Auburn’s Gus Malzahn is near the top of the list. He’s been on the hot seat for a couple years now and fans are sick and tired of the Tigers underperforming. A Week 1 loss against Oregon could heat up his seat even more.