Will Lane Kiffin Emerge as Pete Carroll's Potential Replacement at USC?

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IJanuary 8, 2010

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 28:  Lane Kiffin the Head Coach of the Tennessee Volunteers looks on during the SEC game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I'm sure this question is getting ready to be asked of Lane Kiffin quite a bit.

With Pete Carroll apparently bolting for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, will Lane Kiffin emerge as a potential replacement at USC?

It's an obvious connection that I'm sure many will make in the coming days. Kiffin was Carroll's offensive coordinator during the '05 and '06 seasons and he was a valuable assistant at USC from 2001-06.

Kiffin served as wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and finally offensive coordinator before being hired by Al Davis to coach the Oakland Raiders.

If Kiffin bolts for the ready-made success in Los Angeles, how will it affect the Vols?

Well, for starters, it would be completely detrimental to the Tennessee program. The momentum behind the UT program right now is not at tsunami levels yet, but the young talent and top-notch recruiting results would be devastated by Kiffin bolting.

This move would set Tennessee back at least two to three years, and it would have to start from scratch with its second new coaching staff in two years.

Chances are the Vols would not get a hot commodity to take over the program either, as January is obviously quite late in the process to get a sure-fire, hotshot coach to take over a rebuilding program.

No matter how much you like or dislike Kiffin, you better be praying that USC targets Steve Sarkisian instead of Kiffin.

If I had to guess, I would say that Sarkisian would be the Trojans' top choice, as he has only been away from the program for a year. Kiffin left following the '06 season.

What do you think? Would Kiffin entertain an offer from USC? Would he bolt on a re-birthing program just beginning its second trimester?

In this worst-case scenario, who would Tennessee target as its next head coach? Tommy Tuberville? Jim Harbaugh? Ed Orgeron? Kippy Brown?

Obviously the news is still in its infancy, as Carroll is only "expected" to take the Seahawks job at this point. But one cannot deny the impact on Tennessee football if Lane Kiffin is chosen as his replacement.