Clay Helton's days as a USC coach are numbered ... UNLESS he beats both UCLA and Notre Dame in the next two weeks -- so says Trojan Rodney Peete.
The former USC superstar tells TMZ Sports he's a fan of Clay and likes him personally ... but with the way SC's looked this season -- Peete says the dude is about to get fired.
"I think that over time, it's shown that we've kind of fallen off a little bit," Peete says.
The ex-QB ain't lying ... the Trojans won the Pac-12 the last two years -- but are just 5-5 this year and are in danger of missin' out on a bowl game completely this season.
Peete says it's gotten so bad, SC is probably gonna axe Clay ... unless he can come up with wins against the Trojans' biggest rivals these next two weekends.
"I think he's gotta win the next two games for sure to have even a shot to keep it."
It won't be easy ... the Bruins have been trash this year -- but the game IS arguably the sport's biggest rivalry. Plus ... the Golden Domers are ranked No. 3 in the country right now.
If Clay can't get it done ... Rodney tells us SC doesn't have to go out and get Nick Saban or Urban Meyer to turn things around -- and ya gotta hear why.