Pac-10 Q&A: USC coach Lane Kiffin

When Lane Kiffin bolted Tennessee for USC, it was the second biggest — and most controversial — story of the offseason.

The biggest story, of course, was Pete Carroll leaving the Trojans for the Seattle Seahawks.

Kiffin, 34, was mostly hammered by the media for spending just one year in Knoxville before leaving the Volunteers following a 7-6 season. His 12-21 record as a head coach, which included a brief and contentious tenure with the Oakland Raiders, was used to bolster his image as a guy whose meteoric climb through the coaching ranks was inexplicable and unjustified.

And yet when the smoke cleared on national signing day, USC once again had an elite recruiting class. And it’s hard to ignore that Kiffin’s staff, though not yet complete, looks to be as good as any in the Pac-10.

Things have settled down a bit, so it seemed like a good time to check in with the Trojans new general.