Let's face it. Lane Kiffin is going to need to pull off a historic turnaround to avoid becoming one of the most ridiculed coaches in college and professional sports.
Make no mistake, what Kiffin does at the University of Tennessee will impact his reputation as the coach of the Oakland Raiders. However, all Kiffin has done with his time at Tennessee is validate Al Davis' judgment. Lane Kiffin is an amateur coach and a professional liar.
Raider fans were already far too familiar with Kiffin when he was hired by Tennessee. He quickly wore out his welcome by throwing anybody and everybody under the bus to make sure no blame fell on him. He was the Savior, and no one would listen to him. Never mind that kid's résumé was as padded with fluff as a high schooler who joined every club at school.
He was a master recruiter. Big deal. Who wouldn't be a master recruiter at USC? He was an offensive guru. With the talent USC has, that offense would be successful running the wishbone.
As far as his real talents? Who knows? It appears his real talent is angering his team, its fans, his superiors, and pretty much everyone else.
The Raiders offense became worse under Kiffin. Of course, that wasn't Kiffin's fault, since as he pointed out many times, the Raiders just didn't have enough talented players. That didn't sit well with the team.
Kiffin's already broken out the blame game at Tennessee. Earlier this month, Kiffin had this to say while announcing the 19 players who committed to Tennessee: “Understand this class is far below the standards we have here and what will be here in the future."
No word on how well those comments sit with the players who committed that day.
Kiffin's ability as a liar knows no bounds.
Kiffin instructed a recruit to lie in the paper and to the school the recruit was supposed to be committed to. While that it isn't unheard of, the fact that Kiffin would brag about it shows lying comes as naturally to him as blaming others for everything.
As he did in Oakland, Kiffin is now also lying to his own players. Janzen Jackson was weighing his options on where to sign. Kiffin convinced Jackson to sign with Tennessee since LSU already had two other safeties committed for the incoming class, including Darren Myles. Even though he's a natural cornerback, Jackson wants to play safety.
Kiffin convinced both Jackson and Myles to sign with Tennessee, not telling either of them of his intent to sign the other. Now both kids are upset and feel misled because they both signed with Tennessee and are in a class with three incoming safeties.
Lying is Kiffin's specialty. Now he has two players who already feel lied to and a whole recruiting class that has been publicly criticized by the coach as not being talented enough.
Kiffin is already dead in the water.
Now Kiffin has to face the SEC. He's already publicly accused Florida's coach Urban Meyer of cheating and was summarily slapped by the SEC since he was completely wrong. He's also criticized Georgia by saying Georgia had fallen asleep in its recruiting efforts.
Expect Kiffin's face to be rubbed in it when Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia run up the score on the Tennessee team that already hates its coach.