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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Kiffin likes the Pac-12 as it is

By Pedro Moura

There will be no Pac-16 -- at least not in the immediate future, after Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announced late Tuesday his league would be staying as-is.

And USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin is happy about it, preferring the new Pac-12 to an expanded version of the conference. He indicated Wednesday he wants to try the new format out for a time.

“I think it’s great," Kiffin said of Scott's news. "I love where we’re at right now. We’re just getting used to this format and the South and the North, and I think it's great that we get to get used to it, at least for a little bit."

A couple weeks ago, when talk really began to heat up about the possible Pac-16, Kiffin said in passing that the current iteration of USC's conference might not last much longer. But it appears it'll last at least a year or two before it's revisited in the never-ending discussion of conference realignment.

Of course, the new teams rumored to be considering joining the conference included Texas and Oklahoma, two national powers who've previously recruited prospects from Southern California, USC's wheelhouse, and competed with the Trojans for top recruits nationwide.

The layout of those recruiting battles would conceivably have changed if Texas, Oklahoma and USC became part of the same conference. But Kiffin said it didn't matter to him in that regard.

"They’ve always tried to come in here, so I don’t think that that would change very much," he said. "Just because you play a game one time a year in L.A. on a rotating schedule, I don’t think that that really helps that much.

"You’ve still got to go a long ways away, so I don’t think that would have been a big deal.”