Quantcast

Lane Kiffin’s Sour Grapes?

Lost in the shuffle last week because of Super Bowl hype and the news that Lane Kiffin received a commitment from 13-year-old quarterback David Sills, was another dumb comment by Kiffin. As LBS contributor Botros reminded me, Kiffin had this to say last week about UCLA recruits:

“I watched it over the weekend, just to see if it’s the same, and it’s really still the same,” he said. “I guess we waste time continuing to recruit them. We know within the first 10 minutes whether they’re the type of guys that want to play here or there.”

First of all, when Kiffin was working at USC last time Karl Dorrell was the coach in Westwood and he allowed the Trojans to take their pick of top recruits in So Cal like they were Neil Patrick Harris walking into a brothel. This time around it’s Rick Neuheisel coaching the Bruins — someone who lives for recruiting and has no qualms about stealing your recruit nor your wife. In other words, times are completely different now and Kiffin’s words sound solely like sour grapes coming from a man who saw a few top recruits choose UCLA over USC — not the way it was supposed to be (or used to happen). I’m not about to gloat over UCLA winning a few recruiting battles. Only time will tell if those really were victories for the program because most of player development depends on coaching. Neuheisel and Chow have a pretty good track record of maximizing talent. Pete Carroll was legendary for his abilities. Ed Orgeron was a flop. Lane Kiffin? I have a good reason to believe his results will not match his mouth.

Tennessee Fan Trying to Name Lane Kiffin Sewage Center in Knoxville

We already knew that Tennessee fans did not take Lane Kiffin’s impromptu exit from Knoxville too easily but we figured they were over it once the riots settled. While there’s plenty of scrutiny to go around now that Derek Dooley’s been hired, some Vols fans are still uneasy about Lane’s exit and one in particular is trying to exact his revenge. As LBS contributor Botros shared with us, Tennessee fan Drew McElroy is getting creative:

Knoxville attorney Drew McElroy has filed paperwork with the Knoxville City Council’s Public Properties and Facilities Naming Committee to rename a waste water treatment plant the “Lane Kiffin Sewage Center.”

“It dawned on me–Lane Kiffin told us that he hoped the fans would understand. I thought ‘Well, naming the wastewater plant for him would let him know, I think very clearly, we do understand,’” McElroy, an off-and-on season ticket holder said. “We want to memorialize his stay here, and I think this would be doing it appropriately.”

Ouch. I’m hoping this story will break through Lane’s shield of selfishness and embarrass a slight amount of integrity and loyalty into his body. Or not. Kiffin now has his dream job so who cares about anything else, right? In his misguided thinking he probably figures it’s just sour grapes from a scorned fan base. I hope the name gets approved.

USC Hires Lane Kiffin to Offend Other Pac-10 Coaches

Multiple reports say USC will make Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin the school’s new football coach, replacing Pete Carroll. Lane was an assistant at USC from ’01-’06, serving as tight ends coach, then offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator before accepting the coaching job with the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin just completed his first season as the head coach at Tennessee but he ran into several problems with the NCAA and opposing coaches. His penalty for leaving his Tennessee contract early is supposedly $800,000 and the news comes as a surprise at least to Vols fans. While USC is getting a familiar face, there are several reasons for me to question the hire by USC.

First off, Lane Kiffin was already being investigated by the NCAA for several different potential violations. He got into hot water for talking disparagingly about South Carolina, saying Urban Meyer violated rules when recruiting Nu’Keese Richardson, and then he saw three of his freshman get arrested for attempted robbery. As if that wasn’t enough, his hostesses got in trouble for traveling to recruit high school players in South Carolina. This is really the kind of guy USC wants in there especially when they’re facing potential problems with the NCAA for the Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight violations? Is there goal to reach Rose Bowls or SMU’s fate?

As for Kiffin, I really don’t understand how he can in good faith leave Tennessee after just one year. The Vols opened up the door to him, supported him with the highest compensated staff in the country, and he thanks them by bolting after one year. He might actually be doing them a favor because of the problems he had already created but it’s still a slap in the face to act excited about getting a job only to leave a year later. We’ll never know what Kiffin would have achieved in Knoxville and they now have to start from scratch when other top candidates have already found jobs. That sure was considerate of him and it’s no surprise Tennessee fans are already rioting.

Well, what goes around comes around and Lane will probably receive what he deserves — a program about to be punished. Ed Orgeron will probably be able to out-recruit UCLA but what good will it do with only 15 scholarships a year?

You Buying Lane Kiffin’s Post-Florida Loss Spin?

89184623SG016_TENNESSEE_V_FLane Kiffin pissed plenty of people off with his comments upon taking the Tennessee coaching job. His “we’re going to sing Rocky Top” all night long after beating Florida certainly charged up the fans and it no doubt pissed Florida off. But as pumped as Florida had to be for the game, they really never unleashed the hounds against the Vols who played good defense and kept the game close, winning 23-13. When asked about his comments from months ago, Lane said it was all part of a master plan:

“It worked perfectly,” Kiffin said. “It took all the pressure off the players. We played the No. 1 team in the nation with no pressure on them. … It was all on me. We were 30-point underdogs in this place and it really helped them go out and play ball.”

So do you really buy Lane’s comments or is that the best way he can spin a loss his team that’s now a disappointing 1-2? While I do believe it’s all spin, I really think there is some merit to his comments. Since he’s made himself the face of the program and the target of opponents, the pressure is taken off the players. It’s the same way with Ozzie Guillen and all his crazy remarks — it takes the heat off the players. Here’s the deal though: Tennessee had strong defense and a good running game, but they’re just not getting enough from their quarterback to win. It’s actually pretty similar to Lane’s days with the Raiders — he should be used to it!

Ed Orgeron, Kiffin Want to Crush UCLA

ed-orgeron3The game between UCLA and Tennessee this weekend is already being billed as “The Blabber Bowl.” Sounds like a good nickname to me. Even Tennessee coach and former USC d-line coach Ed Orgeron is kicking off the gabbing pretty early:

“You will not find anybody else in the world that wants to beat UCLA more than Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin, so these boys better be ready. They’re going to find out what it is to prepare for a big game. And you know what? I think our guys are going to be ready for the outcome of last year. You can hear it in the locker room. I don’t think there needs to be any extra motivation to beat the Bruins.”

Can’t say I blame the guy — UCLA’s colors are light blue and yellow, and the team stunk when Ed was at USC. As for Lane, pretty weird that he opened his yapper all offseason but now he’s staying relatively quiet during the year. I guess he’ll just settle for putting up 28 points in the fourth quarter against Western Kentucky instead. No question Kiffin doesn’t like Norm Chow and that this in some ways resembles a USC/UCLA game because of the staffs. Mix in last year’s win by UCLA and you know the bad blood will be flowing early. Problem is that neither program quite has the horses to embarrass the other. Should be a struggle the entire way.

Lane Kiffin: Tennesse’s Offense Is Still in the 1960s

Lane Kiffin’s run his mouth so darn much lately it’s hard to distinguish fact from exaggeration. At some point I might have to take everything he says with a grain of salt but I’m not quite there yet. That’s why I’m still inclined to share Kiffin’s thoughts on the state of Tennessee’s offense:

“I feel like we’re in the ’60s right now with our offense,” Kiffin said. “We’ve got to run the ball and throw play-action right now. That’s about all we can do. It’s pretty scary right now. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

That was after a team scrimmage in which the offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jonathan Crompton. I know Kiffin has his doubts now, but I saw the way he operated the Raiders’ offense so I have confidence they’ll be fine. By the way, I love the shot Kiffin’s taking at Phil Fulmer by saying that; it’s almost as if he’s pre-warning fans and shielding criticism by putting the blame on what Fulmer left him by making such a remark.

(via FanHouse and College Football Talk)

Lane Kiffin Is Writing Checks His Team Better be Able to Cash

In the brief few months since Lane Kiffin became head coach at Tennessee, he’s managed to offend Urban Meyer and Florida football … twice, piss off Nick Saban at Alabama, and take a shot at Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. At first I thought Kiffin’s actions were kind of cool — he was trying to step into a down situation and re-energize it; he sought out the biggest dogs in the pack and picked a fight. I liked his moxie and his attitude. But now with this latest story on what he said to recruit Alshon Jeffrey, I’m starting to change my opinion of Lane. Here’s Jeffrey explaining his story from the time he decided on attending South Carolina over Southern California and Tennessee:

Kiffin was equally dogged. But when it was obvious that Jeffrey wasn’t going to Tennessee, Kiffin took off the gloves.

According to Jeffrey and Wilson, Kiffin told Jeffrey that if he chose the Gamecocks, he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.

Jeffrey was doing his best to stay awake at that point, but that comment from Kiffin woke him up. He clearly hasn’t forgotten it, either.

Now that’s just an unnecessary low blow. It’s times like that where true colors and real character are revealed. I’m never one to use negative recruiting as part of my process; I’m all about showing off the positives of our place. Saying something like that can really touch a nerve considering how offensive it is to so many people. It also isn’t the smartest thing to say to a kid who’s already decided on a school. I’m starting to realize that maybe Kiffin doesn’t have a filter and that’s why he’s saying as much as he is. Like I pointed out, he’s writing some checks his team better be able to cash in the fall.