Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Goodbye Lane Kiffin (And What Lies Ahead for USC)

Now that the dust has settled a bit on Lane Kiffin's departure, I'll pass along my thoughts from Bro Jackson on his firing. I've said plenty about him already this year so I'll just bring this point up.

People have mentioned how USC has suffered from scholarship reductions. While that has hurt depth issues, the bigger problem isn't how deep they are. It's how unprepared the current Trojans are. It's how USC has slowly lost its luster with recruits in the area. This is according to 24/7 Sports ranking kids out of California who committed to USC

2011: 5 Top 10, 3 more in Top 20, Antuan Woods at 25 (Marqise Lee's year)
2012: 6 Top 20, Jordan Simmons at 23
2013: 3 Top 10, plus current freshman phenom Justin Davis at 21. As a non-Cali bonus, they snagged the No. 1 QB in the country.
2014 class: 1 Top 20. ZERO Five star commits. Several four stars.

The numbers declined sharply. That's where USC's problem was. Local kids didn't want to go there anymore because the program was getting toxic and as much as losing the fans hurt, losing relevance among recruits hurt. Nobody wanted to play for Kiffin similar to how local basketball talent didn't want to play for Ben Howland at UCLA after a while.

So as I did my current video on where they go from here, that's where they have to start. Re-endear themselves to the public and to the kids. Lane Kiffin's damage can be easily reversed but it might not happen this year. It's like solving pollution - you can't get rid of it right away but every step helps.

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