We’re only 2 weeks into the 2021 college football season, but we’ve already had our first major FBS coach fired — USC’s Clay Helton.

It seems everyone and their dog are issuing statements and opinions about the USC opening, so who am I to not share my own opinion?

Thus, let’s kick off this week’s Mailbag with my pick for who should be the Trojans’ next head coach:


You’re Mike Bohn, the USC athletic director. Who would you hire to replace Clay Helton?

To me, the answer is simple. I find myself shuddering as I type this, but I actually agree with Colin Cowherd. (I feel dirty now.)

Cowherd said this week that he thinks the Trojans need to hire an NFL guy. He says he’s sick of hearing about Matt Campbell, James Franklin and others as the top candidates for the job, and I kind of get that. Campbell and Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell don’t have ties to the Los Angeles area. Neither does Franklin.

Now, here’s where I will disagree with Cowherd (whew). Cowherd mentioned Anthony Lynn, Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy as potential candidates. Get out of here with that.

I know the timing will be tough with the NFL season in full swing, but I’d go all-in on Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy. He’s one of the best offensive minds in the game. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and went to Bishop Amat High School, so he knows the recruiting landscape.

Yes, it will hurt the 2022 recruiting class and 2022 if you don’t have a coach in place until potentially February. But, getting the hire right is what’s important. If Bieniemy is the right guy (and I think he is), you wait for him. Plain as that.


Which game involving an SEC team is most likely to end in an upset this week?

I’m not going to pick Florida or Auburn here. I don’t think Florida will keep it within 2 touchdowns against Alabama. And, I think Auburn is in for a rude awakening at Penn State after starting the year against Akron and Alabama State.

So, I’m going to have to turn elsewhere for my potential upset pick.

Mississippi State has impressed me this year. I thought for sure they were going to lose to Louisiana Tech in Week 1 before they put together the biggest comeback in school history. I picked NC State to win last week, but the Bulldogs dominated.

But, I’m going to have to go back to the well here. Per the DraftKings Sportsbook, Mississippi State is a 3-point favorite at Memphis this weekend. I don’t think that’ll be an easy road trip for the Bulldogs.

Give me Memphis to pull off the win on Saturday afternoon. But, if the Bulldogs win again and improve to 3-0, I’ll start to believe in them. I promise.


Auburn goes into Penn State this week. Alabama travels to The Swamp. One could argue those are 2 of the toughest road environments in all of college football. What team has the best home-field environment in the FBS?

Penn State is certainly a top 5 environment, as is Florida, in my opinion. I mean, just look at this insanity from the 2019 Michigan-Penn State game:

For Florida, I absolutely love the new Tom Petty tribute at the end of the third quarter:

I also don’t think Lane Stadium, where Virginia Tech plays, gets enough credit. The Hokies have one of the best entrances in college sports:

But, as far as the best home-field atmosphere in college sports, I’m going to have to go with Mizzou.

Just kidding. I’m not that much of a homer. The answer is LSU. Nothing beats Death Valley on a Saturday night. Nothing.


What egg do you take first from a fresh carton? I start in the middle, taking an equal number from each side to maintain the weight balance.

That’s how my wife does it, and I definitely understand the logic. I honestly just take them out of one end, not a care in the world about weight balance.

Instead, I’m just careful in the kitchen. I’m not picking up cartons of eggs all willy-nilly and getting surprised by the weight distribution.

However, to avoid having my wife get frustrated with me, I have been trying to do it your way, Dobbe. I’m such a good husband.

The more important question, I think, is how you cook those eggs once they’re safely out of the carton!

Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.