Kiffin says he will be back as USC’s coach

USC’s Lane Kiffin has told reporters at the Rose Bowl that he has been assured he would return as the Trojans’ football coach.

Kiffin’s comments came in the wake of a 38-28 loss to UCLA on Saturday afternoon that made the Bruins champions of the Pac-12 South Division and gave them a spot in the conference title game.

USC opened the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll, but the Trojans have lost four Pac-12 games — to Stanford, Arizona, Oregon and UCLA.

The Trojans came into Saturday’s game ranked No. 18 in the BCS and could fall out of the Top 25.

While his team has not performed up to expectations, Kiffin has found controversy off the field. He lied about voting USC No. 1 in a poll early in the season, became embroiled in a tiff about media access and the false accusation of a reporter who wrote about an injury, ruffled feathers by changing the numbers of players during a blowout win over Colorado and most recently denied he had anything to do with a student manager deflating footballs below regulation level during a loss to Oregon.

His father, Monte, has also been criticized for the performance of USC’s defense in losses to Arizona and Oregon.

After Saturday’s game, UCLA coach Jim Mora credited Lane Kiffin as a “great play-caller” and Monte Kiffin for having “one of the great defensive minds” in football.

— Mike Hiserman