Coaching departures cause headache

LOS ANGELES -- Everything seemed to be going so swimmingly during the offseason for the USC Trojans, a team that got a big endorsement this week when ESPN national columnist Mark Schlabach revised his 2012 Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 and elevated the Cardinal and Gold to No. 1 in the land.

Up until this week, it had been a very positive offseason for Lane Kiffin. Quarterback Matt Barkley elected to return for his senior season, the afterglow of last season's 10-2 record brought forth tremendous momentum and interest, and the recent recruiting haul, though limited in numbers, was still big on quality.

Kiffin did have to make a decision on a permanent secondary coach, but that seemed to be a blip on the radar, nothing to worry about.