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Blog Entry

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

Posted on: November 27, 2008 12:04 pm

So Lane Kiffin is the leading candidate at Tennessee. Good. Great. Now answer these questions...

What's the rush? Butch Davis is still out there. Brian Kelly's season ends a week from Saturday. Recruiting isn't an urgent matter at the moment.

What's the rush to get a 33-year-old out-of-work former Raiders coach? The line of fired Oakland coaches reaches around the block. I'm still not clear on what Lane actually did with USC at the end. He was co-offensive coordinator with Steve Sarkisian calling plays that were filtered through Pete Carroll over the headphones.

How many of those plays were Kiffin's? What input did he have in the playbook, the game plan, recruiting? He has a good reputation from USC but I'm still not sure he's ready to lead a major SEC program where in any given week the best in the business can be outcoached.

All that being said, this makes sense if, as reported, Kiffin is putting together a dream staff. Ed Orgeron might have been a disaster as a head coach at Ole Miss but he is one of the best recruiters/defensive line coaches in the business. If Lane can pull his father Monte away from Tampa Bay, that would be the coup of the year.

There's not a great coach around that doesn't have a great staff.

Tennessee owes it to itself to look around more but Kiffin is intriguing.

Meanwhile, Kelly seems to be staying put -- or at least not going to Tennessee. This is from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“Where you feel it the most is in my want and desire to continue to build this football program (is) I'm having those conversations with potential donors, from a facilities standpoint to a stadium standpoint, and (I’m) getting the response, ‘We’re going to get this thing done.’

“If I wasn’t married and I didn’t have kids, I’d look at what the best personal thing is. That’s not the case. When you come home and your son goes, ‘Dad I don’t want to go to Tennessee,’ that affects you. But you know that comes with the territory. If you win, you’re going to get those things.

“I think every day, am I looking at the next challenge? Am I trying to suit my own ego? You weigh all of those things. You look at your family. You look at what you’re good at. Does the place allow you to do the things you’re good at?”

Happy Thanksgiving.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Oct 14, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2008 11:18 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

I'm just glad Leach is not on their list anymore. 

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2008 11:11 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

VOL don't want to hire an unproven coach...I am an Irish fan and I should know. Granted sometimes you hire a coordinator or coach from the NFL and it Pete Carroll. He did not do well in the NFL but he is sure a good college coach. I can't stand USC but who can argue with success. Granted, he needs to work on his players psyche every year because they keep tripping up on their way to the NC this year and last year. NO excuse for those guys. Jim Tressel beats Michigan and that is all the BUC fans care about despite getting hammered in the NC game 2 years in a row. You have to find a coach who can develop his players and relate to them as well. NFL players are on automatic coaching really needed but college players are still learning. Lou Holtz was a master motivator and developer of talent. Charlie Weis a nice guy(sometimes) but he simply is not a college coach.

I disagree the coaching search at UT has not affected recruiting. I read where 4 potential recruits for UT have already jumped ship. It is imperative that they act on this search quickly although not a rush to pick the first coach available. Mike Hamilton is on the hot seat at UT. He made a great hire with Bruce but you cant count on that happening again.

Finally, STOP pursuing Butch Davis. How many times does he have to say he isn't interested in leaving UNC for ANY school. Surely there are other proven head coaches out there for the kind of money UT wants to pay. The new coach will have to compete with some of the best coaches in the country and that is no easy task so this coach cannot be a coach in OJT.  There is no time for that.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2008 11:09 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

UT fans listen up! You will not be happy with this guy, sorry to say. USC fans understand that this guy has led the most charmed life as a result of Pete Carroll being Lane's babysitter - really he and Glena Carroll were his babysitters. You better hope he gets Coach O or his Daddy on the staff with him, or recruiting is going to be a bust. He has less charm than Charlie, and while having the NFL resume, unlike Charlie he has no rings. While he picked up some good guys at USC, they came to the program because they wanted to play for Pete Carroll. And you can't even come close to putting on the same level as Saban in football knowledge. I think the Vols have one of the best traditions and hope the best for them, and would look at this hire as a sad day for their program.

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2008 10:29 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

To be honest, I have been saying "Tennessee needs to fire Fulmer and hire Lane Kiffin" since Kiffin was fired at Oakland.  The Raiders have been an absolute mess for years now and it finally looked like they were going to be competetive this year.  They were blown out in week 1 by Denver, but they followed that loss with a win against the Chiefs.  They lost their 3rd game by 1 against 2-0 Buffalo and then had the lead for most of the game until losing it late in the 4th quarter against San Diego.  I know a 1-3 start wasn't what Raider Nation and Al Davis was hoping for, but it was still an improvement from past years and it appeared Kiffin had the team on the verge of breaking out to a winning team.  The only thing I am finding a little questionable now is Oakland beat Denver last week w/ out Kiffin...

If Tennessee could get the whole package, Lane Kiffin, Coach O and papa Kiffin I think it would be a great hire.  I see nothing wrong with bringing in a guy who was very successful at Southern Cal and has NFL experience. 

Since: Nov 27, 2007
Posted on: November 28, 2008 9:26 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

I'm not sure that Lane Kiffin is the right choice for Tennessee.  If I were Tennessee, I would want to try and find a Nick Saban, Les Miles or an Urban Meyer as bad as I hate to say it, kind of coach.  I'm not real sure if that kind of guy is out there.  Fulmer has had a great career at Tennessee, look at his record.  If Tennesse beat Kentucky this weekend, Fulmer will end his tenure with a 152-52-1(?) record there.  Pretty damn good.  I think they're going through some of the things that FSU went through and is maybe starting to turn around now and that would be turnover in the offensive staff.  When FSU lost Mark Richt and a few other coaches, the offense went south.  When David Cutcliffe left the 1st time for the Ole Miss job is really about the time Tennessee's offense started to suffer.  Like FSU, Tennessee was getting good recruiting classes, just not doing much with them from a coaching/productivity standpoint.  Sometimes you can get rid of a guy and make the situation worse which I hope doesn't happen at Tennessee because we need a good Tennessee to be a pain in Florida's side every year.


Since: Nov 28, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2008 3:03 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

I am happy and sad to see Phil Fulmer leave Tennessee. He has done many great things for the university and the football program. But the fact is the team has struggled to win games against top competition. Our big rivals have mostly hammered the Vols for the past five to six years. A change is necessary.

I am not sure if Lane Kiffin is the right answer. I think a coach with a little more a proven track record would be better suited for the position such as Petersen at Boise State or the coach at Utah, was was an assistant coach under Urban Meyer when he coached the team, would be better suited. A change in the program can be a good thing. Tennessee may be headed down the same road Nebraska went down, but that happens.

I know some people say that Tennessee fans are impatient and have unrealistic expectations. I will agree with somewhat. I expect Tennesee to be contending most years with a conference title at least once in a three to five year span, I know that sounds a little crazy.  The Vols haven't been competitive in the conference in a while having more or less lucked up into the championship game appearances. I think the struggles against Florida and Georgia while not winning a conference title in ten years has realistically exhausted the patience of the fans.

Good luck to the next head coach whether it be Kiffin or someone else. Go Vols!!

Since: Mar 14, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2008 1:36 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

Lane Kiffin + Coach O + Monte Kiffin is as formidable a trio as you can dream up in the college game. If Al Groh with his NFL experience can still get talent at UVA, Lane Kiffin with his NFL background and the UT facilities to sell could make a huge splash. Coach O is a master recruiter, if a knucklehead, and Monte Kiffin will attract help attract offensive skill players with serious NFL dreams. Tennessee would be foolish to pass on that package deal in my opinion. The Vols would be looking at top 10 classes for years to come and could jump right back on the national stage in a very short time.

Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2008 12:57 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

Good luck Tenn. Kiffin picked Chow's brain during his time at SC then lobbied for his job. Carroll and his ego could not coexist with Chow so why not let the student take over the offense. Hell they had Bush, Lendale White, Leinart, Steve Smith etc... how much damage could he do? Remember 4th and 2 in the NC game against TX? Why the hell is Bush on the sideline? Kiffin you idiot! Bitter SC fan will never forget!

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: November 28, 2008 12:10 am

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

I don't think Butch Davis is leaving.  He has started something at North Carolina.  Kiffin would be a solid choice.   He helped out alot at USC.  How can you judge him from his Raiders' job?  Could you imagine working for Al Davis?  If you notice, you didn't hear anything bad about him from the players. 

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2008 10:34 pm

Lane Kiffin and Tennessee

Kiffin I mean.  Must have had too much turkey or something.


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