The coaching carousel started slowly on Sunday as athletic directors take stock of their respective football programs.
A couple mild surprises however also came Sunday afternoon as both Lovie Smith at Illinois and Clay Helton at USC were retained.
Smith, now 9-27 through three seasons at Illinois, received a two-year contract extension would keep him in Champaign through 2023. Not a bad reward after back-to-back seasons finishing in the basement of the Big Ten West.
Out in Southern Cal, Helton did go 10-2 a year ago but declining attendance and a 5-7 season was thought to likely spell doom. Instead, Helton didn't get a contract extension but did get some love from athletic director Lynn Swann.
Clay Helton is our head coach and he will continue to be our head coach.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) November 25, 2018
Helton has three years and $15 million left on his contract.