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Thanks to Lane Kiffin's USC, college football did the whole #DeflateGate thing first

The NFL might be bringing back the guy in charge of the program that did it, too!

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, NFL. You think this whole deflated ball scandal at the AFC Championship is unique, right? It's weird, it took place in an important game, and it sure seems unusual and new.

Bad news -- like most great football things, college did it first.

That's right, 2015 is not the first time we've seen #DeflateGate headlines. Back in November 2012, a USC manager was fired and the school was fined after balls were illegally deflated during the Trojans' game against Oregon.

USC's head coach at the time, current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, denied he had anything to do with the deflated footballs, calling the story "a distraction that nobody here knew about," but has a long history of strange incidents at his coaching stops.

SB Nation presents: What every Pats fan is thinking about DeflateGate

Unlike the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Colts Sunday, this did not appear to help USC much at all. The Trojans lost 62-51, giving up the most points in program history and not even remotely bothering then-Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.

A longtime equipment manager told Yahoo! two months later that "everybody does it":

Honestly, I don't think anybody ever thinks twice about doing it. Although, if you're in a position where you have to do it on the sideline, everybody is always aware that you can't do it out in the open. You might have somebody stand in front of you when you're taking air out, or you might sit down on the bench and kind of cover it up. But yeah, it's normal. It's kind of the game day process.

It's clearer than ever before that Bill Belichick should coach college football.