The score was bad enough–62-41–against. which was the final count for USC against Arizona State on Saturday night.
But that was only the start of the carnage which befell the men of Troy.
Soon afterwards, USC athletic director Pat Haden made a move which many people had been speculating about.
He fired USC coach Lane Kiffin.
This was the Lane Kiffin, who remarkably has been the head coach of an NFL team (Oakland) an SEC team (Tennessee) without any reasonably positive credentials on his resume.
This was the Lane Kiffin, who Haden had said had a 150 percent of his support in an an off season in which the Trojans had started the year ranked No.1 in the country and slid to a 7-6 record.
This was the Lane Kiffin, who couldn’t pick a starting QB when this season began, who watched the Trojans slog to a win over Hawaii, lost to Washington State, beat BC and then lost to Arizona State, which made the Trojans 0-2 in the Pac-12 for the first time in 12 years.
Haden, who generally seems to know what he is doing, didn’t want to let the Kiffin controversy swirl for two weeks–USC has a bye next week.
So he made the move sooner, rather than later. Haden told Kifin on the charter flight back to Los Angeles after the loss on Saturday night.
Now USC and haden can take their time and find a new head coach for what is (or will be after the NcAA scholarship penalties end) one of the best jobs in America.
And with only 5 games played, there is enough time this season for the Trojans to still have a respectable (bowl) season.
Haden will hear about and probably look at wide list of names which include Washington (and former USC assistant) Steve Sarkasian, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. He also should consider Maryland’s Randy Edsall, who knows how to build and rebuild at the highest levels.
With Kiffin now out, look for the next boiling pot to be in Texas where coach Mack Brown has heard similar questions about his future.
A blow out loss to Oklahoma in the next few weeks or a lesser regarded opponent–Iowa State on Thursday night might heat things up considerably.
How good are these guys? Alabama’s 25-0 shut out of Mississippi was a statement game for the Tide defense, whch has now had 9 shut outs over the past five seasons–more than any FBS team…Oregon fumbled the ball away four times and still beat California, 55-16 in monsoon like conditions in Eugene on Saturday night. Cal, it should be pointed out, also lost four fumbles…Clemson continues to look like the real deal with big wins over both top notch and second tier competition. The Tigers’ 56-7 romp past Wake Forest included 4 TDs (3 passing, 1 running) by QB Tajh Boyd…Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has yet to step into a losing locker room with the Buckeyes who beat Wisconsin 31-24 which was their 17th straight game since Meyer took over the program last fall.
Stanford continues to prepare for what looks like the Pac-12 game of the Century when the Cardinal take on Oregon on Nov. 7th in Palo Alto. Stanford rolled up 556 yards in offense in a 55-17 rout over Washington State. It was Stanford’s 12th straight win…Watch out for those Dawgs. Georgia QB Aaron Murray continued to wipe out he can’t win the big game theory by sparking a game-winning drive in Georgia’s 44-41 victory over LSU in an SEC Instant Classic encounter…It took awhile for Johnny Manziel to settle things, but Texas A&M lasted Arkansas 45-33. It was the eighth straight game in which the Agg0ies have topped 40 points, which is a school record…Stunner of the Week: West Virginia 30. No. 11 Oklahoma State 21. This is the same West Virginia team which was shut out by Maryland last week…Go figure. Oklahoma has only beaten Notre Dame twice in their 11 game series, but both wins were in South Bend, including Saturday’s 35-21 win…It doesn’t get any easier for the Irish who will face a very dangerous Arizona State team in Arlington, Texas next week….Washington continues its role as dark horse in the Pac-12 after a 31-13 win over Arizona on Saturday night. The Huskies fate will be determined in their next two games against: Stanford and Oregon…In case you missed it–and since the game was played at night in Hawaii, you probably did, Fresno State continued its unbeaten season with a a 42-37 win over Hawaii in game which produced nearly 1000 yards in offense.
How bad is UConn? The Huskies began by losing Towson, got some respect back by taking Michigan to the final seconds last week before dropping a 24-21 decision. But they lost all of that respect with a 41-12 loss to Buffalo, a team which had given up 70 points a week earlier in a loss to Baylor…Is Oregon State–the same Oregon State which opened with a loss to FCS Eastern Washington–a player in the Pac 12. We will see. The Beavers have now won 4 straight games following a 44-17 rout of Colorado. With winnable games the next two weeks against Washington State and California, Oregon State could be 6-1 going into a home game against Stanford.