LOS ANGELES — Monte Kiffin caught a dose of “Unfinished Business” with USC also.
His recent resignation and announcement of a return to the NFL actually comes a year later than intended, he says.
Kiffin had opportunities to leave USC last January but with the announcement of T.J. McDonald and Matt Barkley returning for their senior years, Kiffin, like most of the country, figured 2012 would be a special year for USC.
Had he left after the 2011 season, he could have been able to leave on top, so to speak.
The Trojans were on cloud nine and after defeating UCLA 50-0 to end the season and were the darlings of college football.
Instead, Kiffn’s term as USC’s defensive coordinator has come to a screeching halt.
The Trojans started the season 6-1, but then came a slew of spread teams: Arizona followed by Oregon, Arizona State, and UCLA.
They won just one of those games, and including the loss to Notre Dame to end the regular season, USC dropped four of their final five games.
Spread teams have been an Achilles heel for Kiffin’s defenses during his tenure at USC. The Trojans scored 51 points against Oregon but gave up school records of 62 points and 730 yards. Just once in the final five games of the season did the Trojans allow less than 400 yards of total offense to the opposition.
Kiffin contends there was no pressure from his son – and head coach – Lane, nor from the USC administration to step down. It simply was time.
“10-2 is a lot more fun than 7-5,” Kiffin said. “That says it right there, you know?“
Kiffin assumes the blame for the Trojans’ losses took this season, however, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
USC is minus two in turnover margin, which is 67th in the nation. Their 31 turnovers are tied for 112th in the country among 120 FBS schools.
One of Kiffin’s former players with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Derrick Brooks, via Twitter said he never bought into Kiffin coaching in college. There are plenty of rules as a college coach that you have to adhere to that aren’t present in the NFL. Brooks pointed out the fact that college coaches only get to work with players for 20 hours per week.
“There’s a lot of rules in college that you have to have,” Kiffin said. “In the NFL, they come by a lot in the office to hang out.
“It’s hard here because they have things called class and tutors and study hall and things like that, so it’s a little bit different that way.”
There was talk of Kiffin returning to the NFL as a consultant of some sort. However, with nearly 50 years of coaching experience in the NFL, he says he hopes to return as a defensive coordinator.
“I’ve been a defensive coordinator for quite a while,” Kiffin said. “I think that’s probably the first thing I’d look at.”
As for his replacement with the Trojans, Kiffin says whoever that is has plenty of good players to work with.
“They’re going to win here for a long time,” Kiffin said. “SC’s SC, but I’m fine.”