ESPN.com is reporting that Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin will return to the west coast and replace Pete Carroll at USC.

This is truly a shocker.

Kiffin has experience at USC. He was a member of Pete Carroll's staff from 2001-2006, serving as offensive coordinator from 2005-2006. He was also the lead recruiter under Carroll.

Kiffin would appear to meet USC's criteria of having college coaching experience along with NFL coachin experience. Kiffin is not known as a defensive coach, but according to the ESPN.com story, Kiffin will take father, Monte Kiffin, to run the Trojans' defense. Ed Orgeron, who was assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator at Tennessee, will also join Kiffin at USC, according to ESPN.

But let's be clear about one thing: this is likely USC's third or even fourth option. Other candidates -- Oregon State's Mike Riley to name one -- had turned down USC. The Trojans could be facing stiff penalities by the NCAA over the Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight situations.

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Exactly what USC is getting is unclear. Kiffin had a 5-15 record in less than two seasons as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin led Tennessee to a 7-5 record in his only season there, including a 37-14 thrashing by Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

Kiffin, however, had great success as a coordinator and proved in his short time with the Volunteers that he is an outstanding recruiter.

For Kiffin and Orgeron, the key will be holding USC's current group of recruits together as national signing day is three weeks away.

Meanwhile, what does Tennessee do? The Volunteers will need to hold their recruiting class together in the ultra-competitive world of SEC football. Plus, with many of the top coaching candidates now taking jobs elsewhere or staying where they are, what are the options?