USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin was told by athletic director Pat Haden that he will return for his fourth season in 2013, per multiple reports. This revelation came from Kiffin after Saturday's 38-28 loss to the UCLA Bruins, the latest in a series of disappointments for the Trojans this season.
USC began the year as the top-ranked team in the country in the Associated Press poll, but the loss to UCLA puts them at 7-4, the first preseason No. 1 team with four losses in a season since Auburn in 1984.
The path for Kiffin and the Trojans doesn't get any easier, as USC hosts the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish next week at the Coliseum. Kiffin, 37, is 25-11 (.694) at USC, with a record of 2-1 against the rival Bruins and 1-1 against Notre Dame.
As Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com speculated, "What saves Kiffin's job is what he did last year under sanctions and how he recruits so well under sanctions."
The Trojans were 10-2 in 2011, and though they were ineligible for the postseason they finished with the best record in the Pac-12 South Division and had wins at Oregon, at Notre Dame, and a 50-0 drubbing of UCLA. USC ended last season ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.
As David Leon Moore of USA Today said before the season, "Lane Kiffin is just flat out getting it done, in recruiting, in organizing and in play-calling. The coaching has been excellent. When a team gets better and better and better all season, that says a lot about coaching."
Despite what this season's disappointment and unfulfilled expectations say about coaching, it appears Kiffin will be back for another season at USC.