Lane Kiffin finally gets the ax from USC
Has any college football program in history ever fallen as fast as USC has over the past three years? Ya know, besides SMU post-1986.
I know, I know, they are under sanctions too. But they didn’t get the death penalty. Unless, of course, Lane Kiffin has earned “death penalty” as a nickname.
Well, the son who never earned anything finally got the ax from USC Sunday morning. He didn’t even last the season after an 0-2 start in the Pac-12 following an embarrassing 62-41 loss to Arizona State Saturday night. And college coaches are never fired midseason. The team is 4-7 in their last 11 games.
In 2008, head coach Pete Carroll’s second-to-last season, USC didn’t give up 62 points until the 10th game of the season COMBINED. And they played three ranked teams in that period.
Five years ago, I had heard of every player on the Trojans — offensive linemen, defensive linemen, everyone. Now, I don’t even know their starting quarterback. Cody Kessler? Who?
True story, Kessler wears Mark Sanchez’s No. 6. Yeah, he was good at USC, but that number is cursed Cody. Ditch it now.
Kiffin’s career is about as mystifying as they come. He had a decent career as offensive coordinator for USC, but he never won a title. Norm Chow was the OC until 2005 and when Kiffin took over he had Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett as the core of an unbelievable offense. They were good, but never won a title.
He parlayed it into a head coaching job with the Raiders. Fine, a bit of a risk, but Al Davis does those kind of things. From that point on though, Kiffin exemplified the Peter Principle as well as anyone this side of Jeff Zucker. He somehow got hired at Tennessee after being unceremoniously — actually technically there was a ceremony — dismissed by Oakland after a 5-15 career. His 7-6 Volunteer career, marked by sparring with other SEC coaches, multiple NCAA violations and media outrage got him the head job at USC after Carroll left.
Why God why?
I’m sure Kiffin will bounce back from his second embarrassing firing soon enough though. Maybe he will become president of CNN.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. This UConn alum is hoping Paul Pasqualoni is the next midseason firing.