Lane Kiffin Made The Right Move By Heading To USC

Be Angry At Lane Kiffin, But Don't Be Surprised. He Made The Right Move, And It Was Obvious.

1/13/10 in NCAAF   |   Pat   |   5229 respect


Tennessee students rioted after Lane Kiffin announced that he was leaving Tennessee to go become the head coach at USC, where he was an assistant for 6 years under Pete Carroll. It's understandable, because college kids are a pretty impulsive, emotional bunch, and their coach was leaving them for so-called greener pastures, after only one year in Knoxville.

They painted the UT Rock [and it's NSFW] to make their feelings known about Kiffin's departure. But in reality, should Tennessee be surprised that this happened? I don't think so. Kiffin came up through the USC coaching program, and worked wonders. In one year, he changed the program. They were in decline, but he instantly brought them back to relevance, and they were able to legitimately compete with teams like Florida and Alabama. Sure, they didn't beat them. Not this year, at least. But Kiffin had them going in the right direction.

The map to the right is from ESPN's SportsNation poll, asking how successful Kiffin will be at USC. Obviously, most of the country thinks that he'll be at least mildly successful. The jaded folks in Tennessee, however, voted the opposite.

Obviously, Tennessee's reaction shows that he's a good coach, and they know it. That's why LSU was upset when Nick Saban left. It's why Louisville was upset when Bobby Petrino left. And of course, it's why USC is upset about Pete Carroll leaving.

In the end, it should be no surprise at all that Kiffin chose USC over Tennessee. It doesn't make him a bad person. It doesn't make him disloyal. If anything, it makes it clear that he's loyal to USC. That's where he spent his time before he even got to Tennessee, and he was at USC a lot longer than he was in Tennessee. Not to mention the simple fact that USC is the better job.

If given the choice between Knoxville, Tennessee and Southern California, the choice is easy for most people. Especially for someone who lived there for years and played his college ball in Fresno.

Let's also remember that USC, despite a down year in 2009, is at the top of the heap when it comes to Pac-10 football. Even at their best, Tennessee will still lag behind Florida, Alabama and perhaps LSU. USC, on the other hand, can compete with anyone in their conference, even in a bad year. Even with the potential sanctions, USC will be the better spot for Kiffin over the next 5 years than anywhere else in the country.

You might not like the way he left Tennessee, but there's no doubt that this was the best move for Lane Kiffin and his family... and you really shouldn't be surprised.
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1/14/10   |   suzanneclark12   |   435 respect

Lizzo wrote:
I always feel bad for the kids who get screwed in these turnovers. They take a huge gamble on the programs they select based on the coaching they think they will be receiving. It must be horrible for them, but this is nothing new. At least UT didn't end up in a bowl game without their coach. I can't really blame them for rioting, though. They did take a chance on a fired coach who needed some redemption, and who shows no gratitude for the chance. On the other hand, if he stayed at UT there is no telling how long it would have been before the USC job came open again, so you can't blame him for wanting to return to the program he really loves. Kind of a sucky deal all the way around.

Yes hon it was nice to see that Kiffin stayed for their bowl game..loved watching him get trounced in Chic-fil-A Bowl..Dont go away mad Lane..just go away!

1/14/10   |   arv3403   |   20 respect

radiowave000 wrote:
My question is WHY does USC want a guy who failed with the Raiders and went 7-6 at Tenn???

By raiders standards he was a success

1/13/10   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

If Kiffin left for the NFL that is completely different than for another college IMO

1/13/10   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

radiowave000 wrote:
My question is WHY does USC want a guy who failed with the Raiders and went 7-6 at Tenn???

He didn't necessarily fail with the Raiders. I think that team was improving, and he could have made something of them, if it hadn't been for Al Davis. And the 7-6 record at Tennessee was also an improvement. He had a great recruiting class there, and they were already very competitive when they played against Florida and Alabama this year. He's a good coach, and I believe USC will be the place where he stays around long enough for us to see it.

1/13/10   |   radiowave000   |   145 respect

My question is WHY does USC want a guy who failed with the Raiders and went 7-6 at Tenn???

1/13/10   |   suzanneclark12   |   435 respect

(Edited by suzanneclark12)

Thats considered a riot?  Ive seen more unruly crowds at a Miley Cyrus concert..Lane Kiffin is a buffoon and bore and an embarrassment to the SEC..good riddance

1/13/10   |   dumpsterdave6   |   1 respect

heelfan811 wrote:
The coaching musical chair game continues!  Contracts just are meaningless these days...these schools need to put clauses within the contracts to keep a coach for at least 2 years...I'm a UGA fan but, this really will hurt UT's recruiting and that is not fair to that program...BUT this is another example that NCAA Football is ALL about BUSINESS and no longer about the love of the game. 

Its never been about love for the game, its about getting paid and having the best chance to win.

1/13/10   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Urban Meyer thinks it's awesome.

1/13/10   |   heelfan811   |   15806 respect

The coaching musical chair game continues!  Contracts just are meaningless these days...these schools need to put clauses within the contracts to keep a coach for at least 2 years...I'm a UGA fan but, this really will hurt UT's recruiting and that is not fair to that program...BUT this is another example that NCAA Football is ALL about BUSINESS and no longer about the love of the game. 

1/13/10   |   celticfc411   |   51 respect

Just waiting for the other shoe to drop...In a few months, UT will have a 4 or 5 star coach, and USC will be on probation (or worse) for the foreseeable future. Pete Carroll was smart enough to bail, but once again Lane Kiffin proves that he doesn't have the intelligence of your average rock

1/13/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

I always feel bad for the kids who get screwed in these turnovers. They take a huge gamble on the programs they select based on the coaching they think they will be receiving. It must be horrible for them, but this is nothing new. At least UT didn't end up in a bowl game without their coach. I can't really blame them for rioting, though. They did take a chance on a fired coach who needed some redemption, and who shows no gratitude for the chance. On the other hand, if he stayed at UT there is no telling how long it would have been before the USC job came open again, so you can't blame him for wanting to return to the program he really loves. Kind of a sucky deal all the way around.

1/13/10   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

ary201 wrote:
"That's why Alabama was upset when Nick Saban left. It's why Louisville was upset when Bobby Petrino left. And of course, it's why USC is upset about Pete Carroll leaving."

Wait, Saban already left Alabama? Did I miss it?

LSU. Thanks for the heads up.

1/13/10   |   gatorjoe0615   |   1693 respect

I feel bad for UT and this is coming from a Gator fan. Lane Kiifin just put that program in turmoil and he doesnt even care. That press conference was a joke. He never cared about coaching at UT and I think that there should be some kind of financial penalty imposed on Lane. He isgoing back to a program that will probably have some sanctions imposed by the NCAA in the next few months based on what happened last time he was there. Tennessee now has to find a way to put a coaching staff together before National Signing Day and that is going to be tough. I wish UT and all its fans the best of lick in finding the right person for the job and hopefully that person can hire a great staff to help UT get back to glory it once had. Jon Gruden anyone? Tennessee was going to be a very good team next year now I'm not so sure. Rebulding is not easy and the new staff there has a tough job ahead of them.

1/13/10   |   ary201   |   213 respect

"That's why Alabama was upset when Nick Saban left. It's why Louisville was upset when Bobby Petrino left. And of course, it's why USC is upset about Pete Carroll leaving."

Wait, Saban already left Alabama? Did I miss it?

1/13/10   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

Should Tennessee be surprised? Yes, last time I checked they rolled the dice and offered a fired Head coach a chance to redeem himself career wise. Even though they received a letter from the Raiders that bashed Kiffins integrity and character. Lane should have shown a little more appreciation for the opportunity to play with one of the top storied programs in all of college football. Let's even forget about Tennessee as his job. We can mention the kids he promised certain things to. What do you think Bryce Brown is thinking? Or last years defensive recruits who expected to learn under Monte? Orgeron is digging himself some secondary at best violations with whats he's doing and you bet UT will report his contacting of EE's a day before classes start from a UT paid phone. (which was shut off shortly after). Integrity. A word not known to the Kiffins I guess. He is 34 years old and has plenty of time to think about that USC job at a time other than ONE year later. UT students didnt damage anything on the university but their own attire. Nothing wrong with last night.  

1/13/10   |   jswol54   |   20819 respect

It may have been the right move from a coaching standpoint, but there is something called integrity.  Lane Kiffin possesses absolutely none from what I can tell.  He's ditched the Tennessee faithful after ONE season and embarrassed the school while he was there with his immature remarks and secondary recruiting violations.  He continues to climb the coaching ladder despite the fact that HE hasn't proven he can coach.  Sure he went 7-5 last year in a tough SEC.  But it was on the strength of the defense which is coached by his proven father, Monte.  Lane Kiffin's 12-21 overall head coaching record leaves a lot to be desired. 

Lane Kiffin in the LA spotlight?  This couldn't possibly end badly....

1/13/10   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

It really is one of those jobs where people need to expect something like this to happen....its like when you go with the low-end hotel in cancun....you are going to end up with the sh*&s in the end, no matter what.