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USC players reportedly happy to see Lane Kiffin fired

Lane KiffinUSC Trojans fans weren’t the only ones happy to see Lane Kiffin fired on Sunday. Apparently many of the players were, too.

Los Angeles Daily News Trojans football reporter Scott Wolf said on Sunday that one player told him Kiffin “lost the locker room.” That’s not a surprise considering the team went 7-6 last season and got slaughtered in the Sun Bowl.

USC really should have fired Kiffin after that debacle. Not only did his players get into a fight following that game, but Kiffin and one of his assistants did too.

Then in the offseason, Matt Barkley was critical of Kiffin, saying the coach focused too much on Marqise Lee, which came as a detriment to the rest of the offense.

Of course things did not improve this season. USC had the home loss to Washington State in the second week of the season, narrowly escaped Utah State, and then got crushed by Arizona State on the road. They were 3-2 overall and 0-2 in conference when Kiffin was dropped.

One player reportedly told Wolf that Kiffin being fired was a weight lifted off them. You can interpret that many ways, but it’s clear the player felt that having Kiffin gone was good for the team.

Rich Hammond of the OC Register says athletic director Pat Haden said the reception from the players was “great” when he met with them to share the news.

Wolf also said a player told him he resented how Kiffin would only focus on certain players, like Barkley.

Whether they didn’t like the way he coached or just thought it would be better for the program if he were gone, it’s obvious many players were happy to see Kiffin fired. We also know there are recruits who wanted him gone, too.

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Jack Del Rio supposedly spotted in LA, meeting with USC?

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, according to a tweet from University of Houston tennis coach Patrick Sullivan.

Here’s what Sullivan tweeted:

Jack Del RioSullivan speculated that Del Rio could have been in LA to meet with USC about the football team’s coaching vacancy, which is exactly how everyone should interpret the spotting.

The Trojans fired Lane Kiffin on Sunday morning following the team’s 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Saturday night. Del Rio’s Broncos crushed the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20 on Sunday in Denver.

Del Rio, who was an All-American linebacker at USC and played baseball at the school, has been mentioned as one of the candidates to fill the vacancy created by Kiffin’s firing. Del Rio was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2011. His career record was 68-71, and he led the team to the playoffs twice, where they went 1-2. Del Rio was also mentioned as a candidate for the job that went to Kiffin after Pete Carroll left for Seattle.

The Broncos ranked fourth in the NFL last season after allowing just 18.1 points per game. The team’s defense has played well through four games this season despite not having top players Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Del Rio’s contract expires after the season. He reportedly would stay with the Broncos through the season, meaning USC would have to wait for him to join the program if they want him as coach.

“There isn’t anything to say. It’s all speculation at this point, I’ve got a job to do here, my focus is right there,” Del Rio said Sunday, via ESPN.

In addition to Del Rio, Jeff Fisher has been mentioned as a candidate for the job. Like Del Rio, he is a former USC player and longtime NFL coach. He is said to be uninterested in the job. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is also said to be a top target of the Trojans.

Lane Kiffin fired at Landmark Aviation Terminal in LAX; decision made in third quarter of ASU rout

Lane KiffinTerribly disappointing news out of USC this morning. Unfortunately, athletic director Pat Haden decided to fire Lane Kiffin as head football coach of the Trojans following the team’s horrendous 62-41 loss at Arizona State on Saturday night.

Haden stood behind Kiffin multiple times even when people questioned whether the coach deserved his job. But Haden cited things like graduation rate and Kiffin’s ability as a playcaller when deciding to keep him on as coach. He even kept Kiffin after the team’s embarrassing 10-7 home loss to Washington State in their second game of the season. But the rout at Arizona State was too much.

According to LA Daily News writer Scott Wolf, Haden made the decision to fire Kiffin when the Sun Devils went on a 28-0 run in the third quarter. He reportedly met with advisers in a tiny room and decided then that Kiffin had to go. USC was down 20-14 at halftime, but the Trojans scored early in the third to go up 21-20. They then allowed four straight TDs to fall behind 48-21.

The 62 points were the most USC ever allowed to Arizona State. Also in the Kiffin era, Oregon and Stanford set records for most points scored in school history against USC.

The story of how Kiffin was fired is as memorable and embarrassing as it gets.

According to Wolf, Kiffin was pulled off the team’s bus at Landmark Aviation Terminal in LAX to meet with Haden. Kiffin apparently thought it would be a routine, brief meeting and even left a bag on the bus. Kiffin told the bus driver to wait for him, while USC officials told the driver to head back to campus to drop off the players. It was during this meeting that Haden told Kiffin he was done and gave the coach the option of being terminated or resigning. Kiffin chose to be fired.

Ed Orgeron will be the interim head coach, which is also a joke. He’s as clueless about running a team as Kiffin.

Kiffin’s firing has been long overdue. I never would have hired him as coach in the first place and thought he would bring USC down the way he did. As a Bruins fan, I can only hope the Trojans botch the next hiring, though I don’t think we’ll be that lucky.

And from now on, I will always think of Lane Kiffin whenever I’m near Landmark Aviation Terminal at LAX.

Steven Spielberg roasted USC with great zinger

Steven-SpielbergLegendary film director Steven Spielberg was on hand at USC, which is considered by many to have the top film program in the country, earlier this week to speak to a group of students. Naturally, students had a lot of questions to ask about his experiences and how he managed to advance his career to the point where he is worth roughly $3 billion.

At some point during his Q&A, Spielberg decided to showcase his knowledge of sports. In particular, he let everyone know that he still keeps tabs on the Trojans after receiving an honorary degree from USC in 1994.

Burned. For those of you who don’t get the reference, USC lost an embarrassing 10-7 game to Washington State in its first home game of the season a few weeks ago. During the loss, fans busted out a very audible “Fire Kiffin!” chant to express their disgust with head coach Lane Kiffin.

Well, done Spielberg. Well done, indeed.

Recruit Demario Richard: I’ll consider USC if they fire Lane Kiffin

Lane KiffinLane Kiffin is already on the hot seat after his USC Trojans suffered a disastrous home loss to Washington State last weekend, and tweets like the ones sent by running back recruit Demario Richard might help push the coach out the door.

Richard, a senior back at Palmdale High School in Calif., tweeted on Wednesday that he would consider USC if they fire Kiffin.

“If Kiffin Leaves USC might have a shot at gettin me,” Richard tweeted.

Why did Richard send that tweet?

“I felt like it needed to be said . Everybody is scared to say it so imma say it,” he wrote.

Richard said on Twitter that he didn’t like Kiffin because he felt the coach disrespected him at an event. He also said he doesn’t have an official scholarship offer from USC because he turned them down.

Richard deleted the tweets and has deactivated his Twitter account.

Richard is a 4-star running back according to ESPN and Scout, while Rivals has him as a 3-star back. He is weighing scholarship offers from almost every Pac-12 school, as well as other programs like Tennessee, Michigan State, West Virginia and Nebraska.

I never advocate for schools to let individual players control programs, but the Trojans athletic department needs to give a lot of consideration to Richard’s words. Kiffin went 7-6 last year and got demolished in the bowl game. His offense looks terrible through two games this season. If they don’t turn it around, it will be hard for the program to justify keeping him for a fifth season.

Below is Richard’s highlight video so you can see the guy behind the tweets:

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Lane Kiffin denies USC players held meeting; USC players say otherwise

Lane KiffinLane Kiffin seems to have been caught being dishonest with the media once again.

The USC Trojans football coach, whose head is wanted by the school’s fans, denied that the Trojans players held a players-only meeting on Sunday, the day after the team’s embarrassing 10-7 loss to Washington State. Kiffin denied this despite understanding that it was a PLAYERS-ONLY meeting and that the meeting could have taken place without his knowledge.

Three different reporters covering the team said Kiffin denied that a players-only meeting took place. OC Register reporter Rich Hammond was somewhat forgiving to Kiffin, noting that the coach said he didn’t think it happened.

Both LA Daily News reporter Scott Wolf and FOX/Scout reporter Lindsey Thiry say USC wide receiver Marqise Lee emphasized it was a players-only meeting.

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USC fails to cover after giving up late touchdown to Hawaii

lane-kiffinUSC got its 2013 season off to a good start with a win over Hawaii on Thursday night, but they left some gamblers unhappy. A lot of money went on the Trojans to cover a spread that was anywhere in the range of 22 to 24 points and they failed to do so. Was covering on Lane Kiffin’s mind?

USC led 23-5 with a minute left and was still trying to score a touchdown. Rather than burn out the remainder of the clock, the Trojans seemed adamant about adding to their 18-point lead. There has been some speculation that they were attempting to cover the spread for any alumni who bet on them, and it appeared they were going to do just that when they scored on a Justin Davis run with 42 seconds left in the game.

The late touchdown gave USC a 30-5 lead. However, the Trojans’ defense failed to do its part and allowed Hawaii to score on a 60-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing possession with 30 seconds remaining. Final score: USC 30, Hawaii 13.

And with that, we already have our first bad beat of the college football season. We have featured plenty of unlucky gambling losses in the past and will have many more in the future. Buckle up.