Lane Kiffin has left Knoxville and is headed back to Southern California. Thats right, Kiffin is the new USC Trojan football coach! Hard to believe and I know that I did not foresee this coming. Once Jack Del Rio passed on the job, it was Kiffin’s for the taking. And he jumped ship on the Volunteers at the drop of a hat to return to an old stop on his coaching journey.
Kiffin served as a USC assistant coach under Pete Carroll from 2001 to 2006, and by the end of his tenure, was the offensive coordinator for the Trojans. Now many would say that he was an obvious choice since he had served as an assistant at USC and now had some head coaching experience under his belt. I mean, I guess you could think of it that way.
As I have talked about on this blog on and off for the past couple of months. USC is a program marred by NCAA violations. The big probation or NCAA sanction is coming. Pete Carroll got out and left for the rainy city. Now it is on Lane Kiffin to handle this? Mr. Controversy himself. The man who left a UT program with recruiting violations coming from the NCAA. Should be an interesting season forthcoming for the Trojans.
Now I do not think that Lane Kiffin is a bad hire from a strictly coaching standpoint. Though he went just 7 and 6 in his one year in Knoxville, he showed signs of potential and the program looked to be rising after just his first season. Lets also not forget that Kiffin’s last tenure as a head coach in California was with the Oakland Raiders, where he had a meager 5 and 15 overall record. His head coaching track record is not all that great. Nor is his off the field shenanigans.
In his year at UT, the Vols were in the press as much or more than any other College Football team in the land. And they only went 7 and 6. So this may turn out to be a success story for USC strictly by their on the field record. But get ready for all the antics and baggage that Kiffin brings with him. This falling program will now receive more attention then they ever could have imagined. It is about to be a circus like atmosphere in Trojanville.
The boosters are licking their chops with a man like Kiffin at the helm. It will be all the more easier to convince this sap to break NCAA rules even more than they did under Pete Carroll. So the Trojans may win a lot of football games, but the NCAA violations and a potential probationary period are forthcoming.
Now this is obviously all speculation. Maybe Kiffin has cleaned up his act and is ready to start with a clean slate as coach of the USC Trojans. Only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on this hire?
Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.