The Lane Kiffin era has finally come to an end as the USC Trojans have parted ways with the embattled head coach following a disastrous trip to Tempe. For many, the move was long overdue as the USC program has been on a downward trend under Kiffin for years and the Trojans have fallen into the middle of the pack in terms of the Pac 12 conference. For a team with the tradition and talent of the Trojans, this eventually became unacceptable. But how quickly can USC repair the damage done by Kiffin?
The good news is that many of the wounds inflicted by Kiffin appear to be cosmetic. At its core, USC is still one of the best jobs in college football with great facilities, excellent recruiting bases and a roster that is chock full of elite talent. There are depth issues across the board, however, as Kiffin focused on the flashy recruits that boosted his class rankings but wasn’t able to fill out the team with much needed grinders, particularly in the trenches. Part of that problem was the scholarship limits placed on the school by NCAA sanctions but those should become less of an issue for the next head coach.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the transition won’t be rough. It’s going to take some time to replenish the ranks and fill out the depth of the roster again, so whoever takes over at USC will need to be ready to take some lumps early. The rest of the Pac 12 has gotten stronger as USC has slipped during the reign of Kiffin and the next head coach will have some ground to make up. They’ll likely have to do it without the services of All-American wide receiver Marqise Lee as well, who is more than likely gone to the NFL after this season.
But the cupboard is far from bare at USC. There is talent up and down the roster that should be the foundation for one of the best teams in the Pac 12 right now. Lane Kiffin couldn’t handle this roster or the job of head coach of the Trojans and mismanaged them into a free-fall over the last two seasons. Luckily for Trojans’ fans and whoever steps in as the next head coach of the team, his negligence at the helm won’t keep the Trojans down for long.