Today I woke up to the news that I had hoped I would wake up to every Sunday in the Fall for the last two years: Lane Kiffin has been fired as head coach of USC. Happy is not the word I would choose to describe my feelings on this news. I’m never going to get feelings of joy from someone losing their job and income. It’s a terrible thing to go through, and shouldn’t be a source of positive feelings from others. The word that I would chose to describe my feelings, is relief. Relief, that we will no longer suffer under the tyranny of Kiffin and have to watch his ineptitude on display every week watching a team that I have and always will love.
The reason that Kiffin was fired is simple: he’s just not capable of being a head coach, either in college football or especially the NFL. A head coach needs to be seen as a beacon of leadership, someone you go to when times are tough on the field. More importantly, the coach is supposed to come up with a plan, and give his players plays that will set themselves up for a chance to win football games. It was painfully obvious in my two+ years of watching Kiffin as our head guy that he was simply clueless at times, and showed no desire to adapt to the game, simply putting out the same type of mundane play over and over again (cue the USC-Wash St. tape).
Lane Kiffin went 28-15 in his career at USC, but that number is heavily weighted due to an 11-2 opening season where Matt Barkley, Robert Woods, and Marqise Lee were basically able to win games by their sheer physical ability, and were able to overcome the literal crap that was being yelled into their ears by Kiffin. However, shit hit the fan last year. After a 6-1 start, things fell apart when Kiffin was outcoached in a 39-36 road loss to Arizona. The Trojans closed the season 1-5, and look uninspired, and downright awful against Georgia Tech in their bowl game. This was really the low point, because it was clear that everyone on the team had lost hope and just wanted the season to end. It’s hard for us fans to have pride in our team when none of the players do, which is crazy because USC is all about having “Trojan Pride.”
Ok, let’s get the excuses out of the way. Clearly, Kiffin and the team are severely hampered by the ridiculous scholarship sanctions that are still crippling the program almost 10 years after the actions of Reggie Bush. Yes, the team has been ravaged by injuries, and that makes the lack of depth even worse. However, let me say this. It’s one thing if the team is playing hard, and the other teams are simply more talented than us – that’s a team I can be proud of, and stand by through tough times. What Kiffin has done is sucked the life out of his team because he is incapable of putting together a legitimate game plan and executing. More importantly, I’ve never seen a coach who is so downright awful coming out of the locker room in the second half. It seems like a broken record to hear Kiffin say “well the third quarter was ugly for us.” Yeah, obviously. Our opponents made halftime adjustments, and you didn’t, so what would you expect? In the first five games of the year, USC was outscored 35-14 in third quarter play. That simply won’t get it done.
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again: Lane Kiffin is simply not capable of being a head coach at the higher level. He can’t do any of the things that a head coach is supposed to do. He has had success at USC in the past as offensive coordinator, but that was in the days of Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, etc, so I’m sure I could have coached them to the same record with that talent on hand. Kiffin should stick to the one thing he is good at: recruiting, and after reading some of the things he has done to get recruits, it makes sense why that’s his “bread and butter”.
Lane Kiffin is a terrible coach. Lane Kiffin is a liar. Lane Kiffin is a snake and if you are a college or pro football fan: trust me, you don’t want him to have any part of your team. Unless you like pulling your hair out, being frustrated, and hating life in general.
So long Lane! It was not nice knowing you, but it was good to see you leave! Still not convinced he should have lost his job?
What did you think of the firing? Should it have happened last year? What will we see from USC the rest of the year? Let us know in the comments! Buzzfeed does a pretty good job of breaking down some of his indiscretions while coaching.