Whether you like him or not, USC fans will be seeing Lane Kiffin as the head coach of the USC Trojans when the 2013 season starts in September.
Mark Saxon and ESPN Los Angeles report:
Kiffin told reporters after the game that he had a recent conversation with [USC AD Pat] Haden that assured him his job was safe. Haden, who initially declined comment as he came off the Rose Bowl field following Saturday's loss, later confirmed Kiffin's account in a text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
"Absolutely," Haden said in the message.
Is it a smart move to bring Kiffin back for 2013?
However, is this the right move for the Trojans program going forward?
In the preseason polls, Kiffin did have USC No. 1 in the AP poll and No. 3 in the USA Today coaches' poll. In only three seasons with the school, Kiffin has a 25-11 record, including last year's 10-win season.
It must also be remembered that Kiffin took over the program as it began serving its penalties from the NCAA after infractions from the previous regime. USC faced two bowl bans, a loss of 30 football scholarships and four years of probation.
It's amazing that Kiffin was able to build this year’s team up to a BCS championship favorite in the preseason.
Should USC cut its ties with the head coach after failing to live up to the preseason hype?
They could still do so, and it would probably be met with approval after the way the Trojans lost by 10 points to in-state rival UCLA Saturday afternoon.
However, would it be the smartest move for a program that Kiffin has been working to rebuild while working within the parameters that the NCAA has put against him?
Well, per Rivals, USC has raked in the No. 1 (2010) No. 4 (2011) and No. 8 (2012) recruiting classes in the nation the last three years. The Trojans are also projected to be No. 1 in the upcoming 2013 recruiting class.
Kiffin will be brought back next year and it’s a smart move. He knows how to bring in talented recruiting classes, while winning ball games.
One bad year that didn’t live up to expectations shouldn’t earn him his pink slip. And, as you can see above, USC's AD doesn’t believe that he should be fired either.