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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lane Kiffin: Lucky Little Girl Made Good

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 2:05 AM

Page 2 of 2

Kiffin's first major action as head coach of Tennessee was to accuse Urban Meyer of Florida of recruiting violations, during a breakfast event for university boosters. Never mind Florida is the 900-pound orange-and-blue gorilla in your conference, let's just piss in their cornflakes first thing, huh? Kiffin's behavior prompted the SEC chairman to demand a public apology, which the coach delivered -- and in the same speech announced he'd told one of his recruits not to fax his letter of intent from his high school, because he was sure "something" would happen to it. 

By the time the 2009 season ended, Kiffin had led his Volunteers to a 7-6 record, with a 4-4 mark in the SEC. Hey, not bad, right? The SEC is a tough conference, and he held his own. Unfortunately, Kiffin also committed at least one recruiting violation along the way, and there have been substantial allegations of others. So, you know, all in all not a terrible disaster, but Kiffin certainly didn't light the world on fire. 

Now, what we have here is a coach with a 12-21 record as a head coach, who committed at least one recruiting violation in his one and only season coaching an NCAA team. He pissed off his former boss in Oakland, pissed off his fellow coaches and the conference chairman in the SEC, and just flat-out can't seem to keep his fucking mouth shut to save his life. The sole real positive on his coaching résumé is the 2005 USC offense, which set all kinds of records. (Which, of course, must have been attributable to Kiffin's brilliance, not the fact that team included Steve Smith, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart, LenDale White, and Dwayne Jarrett.) 

So what does this record of sub-mediocrity, bad behavior and rules violations net Kiffin? 

Oh, just the head coaching spot at USC, or course. I mean, why wouldn't he end up there? 

Then again, USC isn't quite the dream job it was a couple of years back. Not only are the Trojans coming off their worst season in several years, it appears the NCAA is about to lower the boom on them for -- what else? -- recruiting violations.  

Still, I can't help but think of that lucky little girl who just keeps doing the worst thing possible, only to have it all come up roses. Sure, he may have absolutely no track record of success, and sure, he may have abandoned all the kids who signed on to play for him at Tennessee, and sure, he may seem a complete asshat to you or me, but, um, hmph. I forgot what my point was.

So good luck at USC, Mr. Kiffin. Somehow, I can't imagine you'll need it.

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