Anticipating What Lane Kiffin Will Say About USC on ESPN GameDay Saturday
Lane Kiffin has only been unemployed for two weeks since his firing at USC, but he'll already be stepping back into the spotlight.
The former Trojans coach will make an appearance on this weekend's ESPN College GameDay, as reported by T.J. Simers of the Orange County Register.
GameDay will be broadcast from Seattle with No. 16 Washington hosting No. 2 and BCS title hopeful Oregon.
Kiffin will presumably be there to talk shop and preview the UW-UO matchup, which should provide plenty of fireworks on Saturday evening.
The two Pac-12 Conference foes will kick off at 4 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1.
However, Kiffin's appearance on the college football preview show won't come and pass without him and the GameDay crew discussing his departure from USC.
But what will Kiffin say?
Lane Kiffin to Appear on College GameDay "I managed to wreck an elite program in just 3 years!"-Kiffin http://t.co/4DhLY7fWsu— Devin Bunch (@dbunch21) October 10, 2013
The answer to that question probably depends on what Kiffin is aiming to do next in his career.
What are you expecting from Kiffin?
It may be tough for Kiffin to remain positive, particularly after the awkward midseason firing that reportedly took place in the LAX parking lot.
But if the former USC, Tennessee and Oakland Raiders boss wants to jockey for a new job, he'll bite his tongue and only mention the good parts about his tenure in Los Angeles.
Also, if Kiffin wants to take a break from coaching and spend some time as a TV analyst, he'll need to show that he can be civil and unbiased when speaking about his former program.
With Kiffin, though, anything is possible.
During his brief tenure at Tennessee, he managed to make enemies with then Florida head coach Urban Meyer.
According to Kiffin, and reported by Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN, Meyer called a UT recruit while he was on a campus visit in Knoxville, an NCAA violation—and Kiffin had no problem calling Meyer out publicly.
As Wojciechowski wrote, Kiffin was at an event with more than 1,000 fans when he pulled Meyer through the mud:
Thursday morning at a breakfast attended by more than 1,000 fans, Kiffin started stuffing his feet in his mouth. First, he said he was going to "turn Florida in right here in front of you" for violating NCAA recruiting rules. According to Kiffin, Gators coach Urban Meyer called recruit Nu'Keese Richardson during the wide receiver's visit to Knoxville.
"Just so you know, when a recruit's on another campus, you can't call a recruit on another campus," Kiffin said. "I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him."
With that incident in the rearview, there's no telling what Kiffin might say about USC athletic director Pat Haden.
If he can make it through talking about his time at and departure from USC without dropping any bombs, he'll then have to actually talk about his former team and its performance without him.
Lane Kiffin will be at ESPN Gameday this weekend. We wish we were joking— Autzen Students (@AutzenStudents) October 10, 2013
The Trojans will have their first game post-Kiffin on Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. at home against Arizona.
He also could spend some time setting expectations and previewing the rest of the Trojans' season. They'll continue on against rival Notre Dame next week.
If Kiffin is any sort of honorable man, he'll say only good things about his players.
Of course, he'll also likely have an opportunity to talk about his interim replacement, Ed Orgeron. Again, Kiffin has to approach this situation as an opening to paint himself as a good guy, instead of the bad guy he has been labeled as in the past.
Whether he wants to quickly find a new coaching gig or spend some time in front of the lights and cameras, Kiffin should approach his appearance on GameDay like a press conference.
Keep it clean and keep it positive, and the move on from the ugly USC ending will go much more smoothly.
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