Arizona State ushers out Kiffin era at USC


Breaking down The Associated Press college football poll after Week 5 of the regular season.

In and out

No. 22 Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 — and helped move Lane Kiffin out of a job as Southern California coach.

The Sun Devils struck the final blow of Kiffin’s tumultuous tenure with the Trojans in a 62-41 victory Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.

“That’s the last thing I’m worried about,” Kiffin said when asked about his job status after the game. “We have to find a way to coach better, to play better.”

Count Todd Graham’s Arizona State program among those coaching and playing better than USC these days in the Pac-12 South, joining UCLA and maybe even Arizona.

Over in the northern half of the Pac-12, Oregon and Stanford have pretty much left the Trojans in the dust since Pete Carroll departed after the 2009 season.

This is unacceptable for one of the crown jewels of college football, so athletic director Pat Haden pulled the plug on the Kiffin era at USC (3-2) in the early morning hours Sunday.

Kiffin was 34 when he replaced his former boss at USC, skipping out on Tennessee after just one season in Knoxville.

He was never embraced — anywhere. He managed one terrific season — 10-2 in 2011 with the Trojans still serving an NCAA postseason ban.

But last year USC started No. 1 and ended the season unranked.

The Trojans came into this season with more modest