Santa’s USC Trojans Christmas: Naughty List


Nov 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans coach Lane Kiffin at a press conference after the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Notre Dame defeated USC 22-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

We have previously outlined the USC Trojans that make Santa’s Nice List in 2012, athletes that excelled this year or did something particularly noteworthy this year. Now its time to turn our attention to the Naughty List, reserved for those in Troy whose actions were cringe-worthy, mind-boggling or deserving of a gigantic facepalm. These figures will be receiving nothing but enormous lumps of coal this year for their crimes against the Trojan family.

We present,

The Naughty List:

Lane Kiffin:

Ugh, where to begin with good ole’ Lane Kiffin. Just as we were ready to embrace Kiff as the good guy after leading USC through two years of a bowl ban and to a 10-2 record in 2011, he trolled us extra hard this year and left us all questioning our own judgement. If he wasn’t saying that he wouldn’t vote USC No. 1 in the Coaches’ Poll and then doing so back in August, he was exiting practice early because of questions he didn’t want to answer. It was on his watch that JerseyGate and DeflateGate happened, and a slew of other off the field distractions. And don’t even get us started on his antics on the field; it is Kiffin’s playcalling–or lack thereof, really–that is largely responsible for the poor season USC had this year. He failed to be a leader, he did not create an identity for this team, and as such their play on the field reflected his uninspiring, nondescript personality. The best thing about the 2012 season was when it ended, for it means we have eight months before we have to mentally prepare ourselves for his play-calling again.

2013 is a new year, Kiff. Do better.


When Kiffin wasn’t making us all scratch our heads and ask, “WTF, man?” the USC squad was hard at work underachieving in spectacular fashion. Senior QB Matt Barkley threw more interceptions than he did as a freshman, and he failed to lead USC to victory when it mattered. A number of wide receivers failed to bring down wide-open catches, or otherwise dropped an embarrassing number of passes. The defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed, when just a year ago they were one of the most productive defenses in the conference. It was The Year of the Underachiever all around at USC, and it was awful.

Bubble Screens:

Forget the naughty list; these should be straight up banned from Lane Kiffin’s play chart.

Monte Kiffin’s Defense:

First of all, let the record show that we at Reign of Troy love Monte Kiffin as a person. He is a great man and his legacy in the game of football speaks for itself. But any defense that is set up specifically to beat the spread and routinely fails in spectacular fashion at doing so has got to go.

Sorry, Monte.

All Corners Not Named Nickell Robey:

Because they were so bad this season, we have run out of jokes to even tell about them.

Isiah Wiley and his Tutors:

He had one job to do, which was go to class and perform well enough to be academically eligible. He–and the tutors assigned to help him do exactly that–failed miserably, and in doing so the entire USC cornerback corps failed miserably as well.


Pac-12 Refs:

Does this even need to be explained? We hope Rudolph and his reindeer friends leave the Pac-12 refs a few home-made gifts as well, if you catch our drift.

Glasses Ref:

When you have a parody account created in your honor on Twitter for how awful of a ref you are, that pretty much speaks for itself.

Eric Smith, The Coliseum PA Announcer:

Because he is not Dennis Packer.

The Ball Boy:

It’s because of this guy that Deflategate became a thing. Seriously, defalted balls? Come on, man!

Kevin O’Neill:

For running an offense so boring and lifeless, we would rather watch all of the football team’s losses all over again than suffer through that trainwreck.

Michael Cooper:

Because really, who gets suspended for one game for using an ineligible player in practice. WHO DOES THAT?!

The good thing is, 2012 is over in a few days, so these guys on the Naughty List will get a fresh slate in 2013. Let’s hope they can rectify the respective problems they have caused and give us reason to believe once again.

To see which Trojans impressed us all in 2012, check out The Nice List.