Lane Kiffin on GameDay: Is He Auditioning for TV Job or Another Coaching Job?
Former USC head coach Lane Kiffin didn't waste any time moving on in his career.
Just two weeks after his firing, the former Trojan boss will make a public appearance on ESPN's College GameDay, essentially an audition for his next job. ESPN made the official announcement Thursday, as reported by CBS' Bruce Feldman.
ESPN announces ex #USC coach Lane Kiffin will appear on College GameDay this Saturday.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 10, 2013
Why go on http://t.co/q4ONyRlYV4 when you can go on GameDay? Well played, Lane Kiffin.— Rachel Bachman (@Bachscore) October 10, 2013
But what job will the 38-year-old be reading for? Will he be vying for a job as an ESPN analyst or a football coach?
Is he even cut out for either job?
Numerous coaches have chosen door No. 1, trading the sideline for the TV studio. In fact, many of the best college and professional football analysts are former coaches.
Most notably, ESPN's Jon Gruden and Herm Edwards have brought their infectious and outlandish personalities to the little screen and are great at what they do.
Not only are they excellent, unbiased commentators, but they know how to play it up for the camera. However, Kiffin, who has proved to be much more introverted, doesn't appear to be cut from the same cloth as Gruden, Edwards and others.
While he could bring out a different side now that he doesn't represent a football program, it doesn't seem likely, given the dryness he has shown in the past.
Additionally, Kiffin's partiality and overall integrity can definitely be questioned. In addition to leaving his post as head coach at Tennessee after just one year, he also couldn't seem to handle even being a USA Today Coaches Poll voter.
Back in 2012, Kiffin voted in the coaches poll for the first time. That preseason vote also proved to be his last.
For those who don't remember the bizarre story, a reporter asked Kiffin about Arizona's Rich Rodriguez tabbing the Trojans as the best team in the preseason. Kiffin replied, "I would not vote USC No. 1, I can tell you that much," even though he already did vote his Trojans at the top.
After Kiffin's comments, USA Today released his vote, showing that he voted USC No. 1. While votes are normally not released until the final poll, the publication cited "protecting the poll's integrity" and "false or misleading information" provided by Kiffin as reasoning for the release.
Shortly after, he relinquished his status as a voter.
Given that fiasco, Kiffin just might not be cut out to be a member of the media.
At the same time, Kiffin doesn't have the most positive resume as a coach either. The Oakland Raiders fired him partway through his second season as the head coach after he won just five of 20 games.
He then took over at Tennessee, where he ruffled the feathers of several opposing SEC coaches, most notably then-Florida head coach Urban Meyer.
As detailed by ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski, Kiffin was speaking to a large group of fans at an event and called Meyer a cheater for calling a UT recruit while he was on a campus visit in Knoxville, which is an NCAA violation:
(Kiffin) 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."
His time at UT was also darkened by the "Orange Pride" scandal involving the use of female hostesses to help draw high school recruits.
After all that, Kiffin bolted for USC after one season at Tennessee.
While at USC, things weren't much better. His team was fined for deflating footballs in 2012.
What should Lane Kiffin do next?
Meanwhile, Kiffin simply couldn't meet on-field expectations, deflating his job security. He appeared to have USC on the rise after leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record in his second season but regressed in 2012.
Last year Kiffin's crew became the first team since 1964 to begin the season ranked No. 1 and end it unranked.
When that disappointment continued with an ugly 3-2 start in 2013, Kiffin was fired in the LAX parking lot immediately after the Trojans touched down from a blowout loss at Arizona State.
With his past weighing against him, Kiffin will have to think long and hard about what he wants to do while on GameDay this weekend.
Nationally broadcast auditions like this aren't available for just anyone, so Kiffin must show something while sitting next to Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit.
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