Matt Barkley Agrees that Notre Dame Quit, Lane Kiffin Apologizes

USC played one of its best games of the season Saturday, and had arguably its best win under Lane Kiffin. They beat Notre Dame 31-17 in South Bend and nearly doubled the Irish’s offensive output. The game did not lack excitement, and it did not lack postgame controversy.

Trojans linebacker Chris Galippo said after the game that Notre Dame quit. During an appearance on 710 ESPN Monday, quarterback Matt Barkley agreed.

“I would agree with [what Galippo said]. I was shocked that they didn’t use the timeouts because we got on the field with … about seven minutes left, and I thought they were planning on stopping us and saving their timeouts for the end when they had the ball,” Barkley said.

“It seemed from our sideline and our perspective that they did give up. It seemed uncharacteristic of Notre Dame. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that sideline.”

Notre Dame turned the ball over to USC with just under seven minutes left. They were down 31-17 and had all three timeouts, but they chose not to use any. It’s hard to disagree with Galippo and Barkley’s opinions.

Naturally, USC is playing the PR game in response. Galippo’s Twitter account issued an apology for saying Notre Dame quit. Lane Kiffin reportedly called Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to apologize for what his players said.

We get what USC is doing, and it fits in with the clean program perception athletic director Pat Haden desires. It’s also wise of the coaches and players to avoid rubbing in a loss when it comes to long-term rivalries. However, if you think Lane Kiffin isn’t privately celebrating the team’s victory, you’re crazy. This was a huge win for the program and he knows it. The apology also doesn’t suddenly make Kiffin a saint, either.

Lane Kiffin Coaches USC Like They’re the ’04 Trojans

USC football has a problem on its hands and the head coach needs to recognize it. As stated in the title, Lane Kiffin coaches his current team as if they’re the 2004 squad. That team went 13-0, blistered Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl, and outclassed many of its opponents. They had the sixth-highest scoring offense in college football and third-best scoring defense. They were loaded with future pros. Lane Kiffin coaches his current Trojans team as if they’re that loaded, but they’re not.

USC squeaked by Minnesota 19-17 in its home opener Saturday. A win is a win so I won’t take that away from them, but let’s be real: the Pete Carroll golden age teams would have plastered Minnesota by at least 30 points. That’s what Kiffin is used to with the Trojans, so he coached them accordingly.

Kiffin went for two following his first two touchdowns. Both failed. He went for it on 4th and 6 at the Minnesota 35 in the 3rd quarter and a disastrous fumble ensued. Granted, they were in a tricky territory where going for it makes sense, but the play-calling was strange.

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Lane Kiffin Says He’s Not the Renegade Person You Think He Is

USC head football coach Lane Kiffin participated in a Q&A for ESPN’s Page 2 recently and provided some good information. Before we dive into those nuggets, let’s take a look at his most interesting quote. Asked what the media or fans have wrong about him, Kiffin said it was their view of his personality.

“I think people that don’t know me, it’s almost like they don’t believe I’m human. I’ve said that before. [They don't believe] that I actually have three kids or that I take them to the park and do normal things. It’s not just this renegade person, because that can be a perception that has been created by people. I think people are really surprised when they get around me, as opposed to what they’ve read.”

Actually Lane, that perception wasn’t created by people, it was created by you when you decided to fight Al Davis, take the Tennessee gig, and leave them after your first season for USC. Maybe you need a lesson from the dictionary. A “renegade” is “a person who deserts a party or cause for another.” Yup, that sounds about right.

That Kiffin is trying to shame us for saying he’s a renegade speaks to how manipulative he tries to be. It’s impossible to disagree with the renegade description of his personality. In fact, I don’t think there’s a better word to describe him. I’d also like to hear his explanation for taking a player’s jersey number without warning.

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Bruce Pearl Calls Lane Kiffin A ‘Dumbass’

Bruce Pearl loves attention.  Anyone who has seen him in action knows that’s the case.  You think he really wears that loud orange suit just because he’s proud to be a Tennessee Volunteer?  That may be part of it, but the guy loves the spotlight.  Unless, of course, the spotlight comes in the form of major recruting violations and lying to NCAA investigators.

So what’s a funny guy to do when he finds himself in a sticky situation?  Thank everyone for their support, apologize, and make a funny.  Check, check, and check.  If I coached at a school with a Lane Kiffin connection, I’d probably use him, too.  Kiffin is known for things like taking jersey numbers without explanation.  He also wasted no time getting himself into hot water when he took over the USC football program.

For those reasons and more, Pearl decided to lighten the mood by taking a shot at Kiffin.  Sports by Brooks Live called our attention to Pearl’s comments, as told by Go Vols Xtra, which he made after admitting that he had embarrassed and humiliated the university.

I’ve made mistakes, I clearly did, but what I was hoping for was that some other dumbass would get on the front page and take me off the hook,” Pearl said. “I miss Lane Kiffin.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  I understand he was trying to loosen up the room, but I doubt Kiffin will appreciate being called a dumbass.  On second thought, who cares what Kiffin thinks?  We certainly love it.

Lane Kiffin: We Would Let Team Score Late Touchdown in Close Game

The Sunday and Monday night NFL games this past week were close and featured difficult decisions. One team was deep into its opponents territory and preparing to take the lead (Chicago) or extend the lead (Jets) in the final few minutes. The question was whether the Packers or Dolphins should have played to make stops or let the opposing team score a touchdown while conserving timeouts for a last drive.

My Dad and I agreed that the right move for the Dolphins was to let the Jets score (as Tomlinson did), leaving yourself enough time and timeouts to potentially tie it (which is what happened). Perhaps it would have been wise for Green Bay to employ the same strategy instead of losing on a simple, last-second field goal.

Since it was a topic of discussion on Tuesday, Andrew Siciliano decided to ask Lane Kiffin for his thoughts during an interview with the USC coach on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. Kiffin says he would generally let the other team score because it gives his team the best chance at victory:

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Phil Fulmer Lights Into Kiffin, Tennessee

Former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer quietly got the last word with the Vols when his replacement, Lane Kiffin, left the school in horrific fashion. Fulmer was pretty humble and seemed to be holding back in his statement. Kiffin was not as lucky on Saturday when Fulmer served up some thoughts on CBS’ halftime show.

Fulmer said the Tennessee fans felt betrayed and embarrassed by Kiffin, which is nothing new. He added that Kiffin’s arrogance turned people off, no surprise. The best part was the point Fulmer raised about Kiffiin’s luck: “how does a guy like this end up with two jobs with historic football teams like Tennessee and USC?” Phil, we’ve all been wondering the same exact thing. Slap a different last name after Lane and he’s not USC’s coach. The Trojans will learn that the hard way.

As if that wasn’t enough, Fulmer had more thoughts for WDEF (via SB Nation). “I don’t think we should have made the change. I would have won 7 or 8 games just like Kiffin did. You could have saved all that money and heartache.”

Well, here’s the thing: the Vols wouldn’t have hired Kiffin if they thought that was going to happen, and winning 7 or 8 games is the reason they made the change — it’s simply not good enough for Tennessee. Fulmer wasn’t delivering and obviously Kiffin created a mess. The fans will have to be patient with Derek Dooley and hope he can do what his daddy did for Georgia otherwise we’ll be seeing another change in a few years.

SportingNewsRadio.com: Lane Kiffin Already in Trouble at USC

I wrote up an article for sportingnewsradio.com that you should check out regarding Lane Kiffin. I’ve detailed some of USC’s recent problems with the football program, but there’s some new and exclusive information in the post over at the Sporting News Radio website. The new info has to do with the Dillon Baxter false accusations which caused the school embarrassment, and Kiffin’s desire to recruit one of the UCLA players arrested for stealing a bag.

Not only is Kiffin’s position weakening, but some members of the Trojans family are beginning to turn against Pete Carroll who has denied knowledge of Reggie Bush’s recruiting violations. The good folks at Conquest Chronicles heavily dispute the notion that Kiffin is losing favor, which is understandable. Also, if you haven’t heard, Rivals and Scout will have some college football competition this fall now that 247 sports has been formed. More and more we’re seeing that the way the game is covered is changing.