Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
After the Arizona loss, how dissatisfied are you with Lane Kiffin?
Trevor Wong, Conquest Chronicles: Extremely. Part of the blame should be on the players for their antics (penalties and personal fouls), but that also falls on the head coach to discipline, prepare and ready the team week in and week out. The target had been on USC's back ever since Barkley announced his return. There shouldn't have been any surprise that the Trojans would be getting the best performance from every opponent. I thought Kiffin had turned a corner, especially after last year, but his decision making, play calling and in-game adjustments have all been questionable this season.
Michael Castillo, Reign Of Troy: Pretty discouraged, considering that it looked as though Kiffin had turned a corner starting with the Notre Dame game last year and heading into fall camp. He's a terrific coach and a great hire if you want a coach who excels at everything outside of handling the media and making in-game decisions. He can recruit like nobody's business and the players just adore him. But really, his in-game decision making is just atrocious at times, and that might be going easy on him.
Lee was having what Kiffin called 'one of the greatest performances in college football', yet there were three drives in the second half in which he never threw the ball his way. Penalties are a result of coaching and there were a million and a half of those in the first half. He went for it on fourth down rather than opting for a field goal, and oddly enough three points were the difference in the game.
Then of course, the Les Miles-esque clock managing on the final drive really put the nail in the Trojans' coffin. Arizona was dropping into a prevent and giving up the underneath routes, yet Kiffin and Barkley took too much time getting plays in, didn't spike the ball and were forced into opting for a Hail Mary pass that should have been a last resort. Kiffin desperately needs an offensive coordinator and until he can shed some ego to give up the poster-sized play chart, he's going to be over-thinking every decision and will continue to make poor choices.
Josh Webb, Reign Of Troy: I realize that this has been a popular subject among people, but it's the most ridiculous thing on the planet. I grow tired of seeing Trojan fans calling for Kiffin's head when they have next to no idea what's going on. If Lane Kiffin was really as awful as the media/fans make him out to be, then why did several Trojan commits take to Twitter after the loss and reaffirm their love and commitment to USC? Why has Lane landed top recruiting classes despite the bowl bans & sanctions? Why has the talent pool, within the limits of the sanctions, grown at each position since Kiffin took over the team? How did Kiffin land one of the most prized running backs in the nation after the NCAA hammered Penn State?
The players love Lane. Do they have some complaints? Sure, but what player doesn't have some input as to how they wish things were ran? Who do you think recruited Marqise Lee? Kiffin can't hold the players' hands. These guys know how to execute plays without committing personal foul penalties and it's on them to conduct themselves as adults. People can whine and complain all they would like that the responsibility is on the coaches, but the only way players learn is by having reps and playing time taken from them. Thanks to the coach everyone should be blaming, Pete Carroll, Lane doesn't really have the luxury to bench every guy acting like an idiot.
Trojan fans bitching about Lane Kiffin should check in with Auburn or Tennessee if they think the current coaching situation at USC is awful. What people fail to realize is that Lane comes with a staff that is invaluable to the Trojans. Ed Orgeron is back recruiting for the Trojans because Lane brought him here as a head of the staff. People should start examining what Lane brings to the table instead of complaining that his roster is too thin to bench players acting like fools.