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NCAA Football Pac 12 FootballUSC Trojans

Lane Kiffin to Return to USC in 2013

Jayne Kamin-Oncea – US PRESSWIRE

USC lost to UCLA and with that any hopes of a trip to the Rose Bowl, but athletic director Pat Haden, said that Lane Kiffin will “absolutely” return to the team in 2013.

Kiffin’s Trojans have been one of the nation’s biggest disappointments this season after starting the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, but following Saturday’s defeat to rival UCLA, the Trojans are now 7-4.

As if that record didn’t leave a foul taste in the mouths of Trojans and their fans alike, they face the No. 1 team in the country in their season finale when they take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at home.

Not often that Notre Dame is faced with playing the role of spoiler, but that’s what they will try to do on Saturday to avoid falling to 7-5 in Kiffin’s third season at the helm.

I think it is the correct call to keep Kiffin as head coach because I do not believe that three years is enough of a sample size to adequately judge a head coach. Kiffin has not endeared himself to the local media, but has been good enough to get another year to right the ship.

However, one Kiffin does need to be fired and Lane needs to fire his dad, Monte Kiffin, from his defensive coordinator position.

The Trojans defense has been brutal this season, and at times has been historically bad like when they gave up more than 700 yards and 62 points to Oregon earlier this season.

The more likely scenario is the senior Kiffin retires and Lane finds a replacement rather than faced with the awkward task of firing his dad.

This move will placate to the number of Trojan fans who are demanding a change at the head coaching position, but in fairness the offense which Lane is also the offensive coordinator has not been the problem for USC.

The offense will lose Matt Barkley and likely receiver Robert Woods to the NFL, but Heisman candidate Marqise Lee will be back next season and will be the cornerstone of the Trojan offense next season.

Nevertheless, if the Trojans don’t vastly improve in the fourth year under Kiffin, then there will be no more scapegoats and Kiffin should be scanning the classifieds.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.