Lane Kiffin, the former Raiders head coach whose high-profile firing in Oakland was the subject of much discussion in the NFL, has now been involved in a high-profile firing that will be the subject of much discussion in college football.
USC announced early this morning that it had fired Kiffin following the Trojans’ 62-41 loss at Arizona State.
When Pete Carroll left USC for the Seahawks, Kiffin arrived with great fanfare. But his team has been a huge disappointment. Last year the Trojans entered the season as the No. 1 team in the country and finished outside the Top 25. This year USC is 3-2 and 0-2 in the Pac-12.
From an NFL perspective, the question now becomes whether Kiffin will find himself on an NFL sideline, and whether some NFL coach will be tempted to leave the pros to coach USC.
Although he’s been a well-known coach for more than a decade, Kiffin is only 38 years old. He still has a coaching future ahead of him, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him coaching receivers or tight ends (the positions he coached in his first four years as a USC assistant) in the NFL next year.
And although USC is down right now, it’s still viewed as one of the marquee programs in college football, and some NFL coaches may be tempted by the opportunity to coach there. The Trojans will presumably promote an assistant to the role of interim head coach for the rest of this season, but next season someone with NFL experience could be on the USC sidelines.