There have been worse firings, I suppose. But this is up there.
Imagine, not even waiting until the next day. Doing it right there, in the middle of the night, pulling off the team bus and firing him at the airfield. Can't even imagine how that conversation must have gone.
Oh, wait. I can.
Welcome home, Coach. We'd have brought the band, but we have a rule here at USC. We only bring the band when A) you win, or B) the opponent drops fewer than 60 on you. You just missed it.
Oh, and by the way: You're fired.
Listen. Not to defend Kiffin or anything -- the guy was a brat in Oakland and an ungrateful brat at Tennessee, bailing on the Volunteers as soon as USC called him -- but a lot of what happened to him at USC is on Pete Carroll, not him. It was Carroll who got the book thrown at the Trojans' program by the NCAA. Left him with a depleted roster and no depth, and that eventually caught up with the Trojans.
In Kiffin's last game, the 62-41 implosion against Arizona State, he sent 56 scholarship athletes out to face the Sun Devils. In the Pac-12 or any other major conference, that's not enough. It's not enough in non-major conferences. And losing star wideout Marqise Lee in the ASU game didn't help matters any.
Ultimately, though, it's USC, and you still have to win. You can't lose by double digits to UCLA, as Kiffin did last year. You can't lose to Notre Dame, as Kiffin also did. And you can't just blatantly not show up for a bowl game the way the Trojans did in a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech on New Year's Eve last year -- even if it is only the Sun Bowl.
So, he's gone. The speculation book is on who replaces him is now open.