In the end,
The Trojans were coming off an 8-5 season in 2010, their first under
So in January 2011, USC brought in eight players, which counted against the previous year, and then signed 22 in February. Kiffin and his staff were stockpiling recruits for what was expected to be a long slog through the some of the most severe sanctions in college football history.
Instead, USC showed the college football world — and the NCAA — that sanctions could not stop the Trojans from operating at a level similar to that in the
USC finished 10-2, including victories at
Kiffin was lauded for outstanding coaching.
The potential for a national title — and possible
And USC fans — and much of the media — saw no reason that the Trojans would not continue to hum along.
But Kiffin's star faded last season as the Trojans spiraled from preseason No. 1 to a 7-6 record.
Barkley struggled to repeat his outstanding junior season, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against
Meantime, USC fans grew angrier and more impatient as Athletic Director Pat Haden repeatedly backed Kiffin.
Many booed Kiffin’s play-calling during the Trojans loss to
They got their wish early Sunday morning when Haden announced he had relieved Kiffin of his duties.
It's been a while since 2011.