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Meyer is the bull’s eye, but other coaches — James Franklin, Matt Campbell, John Harbaugh — are darts. USC can’t miss if it moves on from Helton, or you’re asking the same question in four years or fewer. That’s a huge problem for USC.Tennessee didn’t answer that question when it moved on from Butch Jones, and it led to one of the most disastrous coaching searches of all time. Given what happened with Kingsbury at USC and the pressure mounting on Swann and Helton, they deserve a chance to silence the doubters. If the Trojans start 4-0 going before facing Washington and Notre Dame, then the entire conversation changes.Or, maybe it doesn’t. That’s what happens when it’s a Pac-12 championship-or-bust mentality at a school that might not have the winning hand. If USC doesn’t win the Pac-12 championship in 2019, then what happens next?That is the question after USC athletic director Lynn Swann made comments on Thursday that, regardless of context, put more pressure on coach Clay Helton to deliver a conference championship this season. MORE: Ranking Pac-12 coaches for 2019 season”The expectation is that we’re going to win the Pac-12 championship,” Swann said (via ESPN). “We want to be in the picture and the conversation about the national championship, on the national scene. That’s where it starts.”We’re not going to get there if we’re not winning our own conference, so we’re going to make that step and move it forward that way,” he said. “Clay knows that. Clay knows that’s always the first goal and move it forward from that point.”If it’s Pac-12 title or bust, then what will bust look like?USC has wrestled with that since sanctions levied from the post-Pete Carroll era. Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were fired during the season in unceremonious fashion, and Ed Orgeron and Helton served as interim coaches. Helton seemed to steady the program with a Rose Bowl win in 2016 and a Pac-12 championship in 2017, but the problem is Trojans fans expect those two things in the same season.That’s the biggest issue with the USC coaching job in general. Helton’s accomplishments have been drowned out by a 5-7 season, Kliff Kingsbury’s resignation after serving as the program’s offensive coordinator for 34 days and rampant speculation that Urban Meyer will come out of the studio and take the job by 2020.It’s a question about those expectations. Consider where USC stands among schools that have spent the entire decade as an independent or in a power conference. Here are their records since 2010, via TeamRankings.com:RankTeamWLPct.1Alabama11313.8972Ohio State10417.8603Clemson10222.8234Oklahoma9723.8085Stanford9427.7776LSU8828.7597Wisconsin9230.7548Florida State9030.7549Oregon8930.74810Oklahoma State8532.72611Georgia8834.72112Michigan State8534.71413Notre Dame8135.69814USC7840.661T-15Auburn7841.655T-15Michigan7640.655That is the rub. USC, despite being largely dysfunctional for an entire decade, still has the 14th-best record among Power 5 schools. That’s not the expectation, however. USC is considered by many to be one of the top-five programs of all time, not the third-best program in the Pac-12 behind Stanford and Oregon.MORE: USC 2019: Schedule, roster, recruiting and moreSwann wants USC to be a part of the national scene. If we’re being honest, so does the Pac-12. This is a conference that is 3-6 in New Year’s Day Six Bowls, has not made the College Football Playoff in either of the last two seasons and is considering pushing kickoff times to 9 a.m. on the West Coast to increase visibility. When the Trojans are good, they can kick off whenever they want, with everybody watching. Reggie Bush did this against Fresno State in 2005 well after midnight on the East Coast.That circles back to the pressure on Helton this season — and what USC will really do about it if it’s Pac-12 championship or bust. Look at the first half of the schedule: Fresno State, Stanford and Utah come to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; the Trojans travel to BYU and Washington, then Notre Dame after the bye week. By Oct. 12 we will have a much better idea of where USC stands in that national picture, and where Helton’s future is with the program.Here’s a stat to keep in mind: The last time USC had back-to-back losing seasons was 1960-61 under John McKay. The legendary coach won four national championships after that, however, and set a standard that’s nearly impossible to match.USC won the Coaches Poll national championship under John Robinson in 1978, and Carroll led back-to-back national championships in 2003-04, but every other coach since has struggled with the spotlight. Most of Carroll’s accomplishments have been vacated by probation, and that puts even more pressure on USC if it decides to move on from Helton.Look at the other Power 5 programs with similar records to USC this decade:— Notre Dame fans have this conversation about Brian Kelly every year, and he has led the Irish to a pair of unbeaten regular seasons.— Michigan is going through that with Jim Harbaugh, who left the NFL battles with Carroll for a job defined more by his 0-4 record against Ohio State than for the progress of three 10-win seasons in four years.— Auburn’s Gus Malzahn has coached in a BCS championship game and won two Iron Bowls against arguably the greatest college football dynasty of all time, and he’s on the hot seat week to week.It’s hard to coach at Notre Dame, Michigan and Auburn. USC might be even more difficult because it’s easier to win there. Auburn has Alabama. Michigan has Ohio State. Notre Dame has an independent schedule. The Trojans have no excuses when it comes to dominating the Pac-12.MORE: 2019 Pac-12 predictionsMeyer could do that, and he could probably do it faster than Carroll did. Imagine being Helton knowing that. It’s arguably more pressure than Ryan Day will feel at Ohio State this year.