Everyone's saying that Kiffin to USC is a terrible idea. Here's my take.
USC's AD knows that the house of cards is going to collapse, shit's going to hit the fan, etc.
Why force a legitimate, un-blemished coach to take the fall?
They know outright that only someone as attention-starved as Kiffin would take the job in the face of the falling hammer. Kiffin's scrappy and absolutely loves the negative attention. He's a decent coach, and will put a very bring-it-on face on the program.
Give him his money, show him a fight, let the hammer fall on him, then hire a legit coach after a few years of sanctions. Damage mitigated.
In reality, this may be a Brilliant move.
Edit: From this point onward is new. It's a little more left-field, but it's still plausible...
There may be an ulterior motive here. The NCAA may have shown USC the stick - that's why PC bounced. Perhaps they sat down with the AD and basically said: "Look, we have this really big stick, and we are going to a-whack you with it several times. But, we really really really want to whack Lane Kiffin too, because he's been a thorn in our sides. How about we reduce the number of whacks you get Pete out of dodge and hire Lane so that he gets hit too?"
I won't hold the NCAA above meddling in such a way.