Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hate to say I told you so

I made a pre-season prediction here about Lane Kiffin and Tennessee. In it, I remarked plainly that when I watched the press conference introducing Lane Kiffin, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. He was mouthing all the jive and Raiders platitude lingo that Bill Callahan (also an ex-Raider) mouthed the years he was at Nebraska. Callahan couldn't coach his way out of a box, but at least had some professional dignity (smiling and doodling on a clipboard when down 35-0 at halftime notwithstanding.)

Kiffin on the other hand was brash and, frankly, full of himself when his career highlight before taking the Tennessee job was being fired from the Raiders after a season and a half. As it stands now, he has 2 career highlights: being fired from the Raiders and a career 7-6 record. Luckily dear old dad is there to bail him out on defense because his offense couldn't do anything consistently.

I was initially shocked when I heard Kiffin had left (like a coward who has no sense of family) Tennessee after only one season, giving a whopping 60 second flipoff fare well speech. Now that I've slept on it (or snoozed on it, as the baby is still up several times a night,) I would say, "USC: you can have him with my blessing!" He's gotten censured by the SEC and NCAA more than once for mouthing off. He called Urban Meyer a cheat for some NCAA infraction that existed only in Kiffin's head. Then there is the bizarre ongoing NCAA investigation into some more recruiting violations and then even more in a bizarre incident involving showgirls for recruits. And then to beat that, Kiffin had the gall to say "it was a compliment" that the NCAA was investigating him.

USC, which is already under serious review from the NCAA for several alleged violations under Pete Carroll and most commentators believing they are going to get hit with sanctions of some kind, does not need a character like Kiffin to add to all that. I think USC could have done better and not poached a coach from someone else in such a tasteless manner. I mean, let's be honest: if you were a father and had a son who was a blue chip recruit looking at colleges, would you want someone like Kiffin looking after your 18 year old son? I wouldn't.

While Tennessee will take a hit in recruiting for a while and it may set the program back a few years, depending on whom they bring in, I think Tennessee will be better off in the long run. There is an article here on that captures this pretty well (although I will stop being a Tennessee fan if they hire Will Muschamp.)

I never thought I'd say that the crazy owner of the Raiders, Al Davis, might have been right, but a case is made here for that. The best quote I've read on this affair is from that article, and it is thus, "A program in dire need of stability got maybe the most unstable guy in the profession. "

So, instead of being angry, I'm actually relieved.

Thank you, USC, for taking our nut. Hopefully when he becomes a big tree, his roots won't completely crack your sidewalk and driveway.

1 comment:

The Archer of the Forest said...

Oh,and there's documented proof that Orgeron was texting recruits, telling them not to attend class. That is blatant tampering, and a major NCAA violation.