Lane Kiffin's Desertion: Did Tennessee Get What It Deserved?

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IJanuary 13, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24:  Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Tennessee Volunteers against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin for a top job in the SEC, everyone not wearing orange snickered. "What were they thinking?" we all wondered. Are the powers that be up there really that stupid?

Well, apparently so.

Now there are good things and bad things that can come of this. The 70 percent of Vol fans who would publicly say they believed in him and liked him can stop pretendingwe knew you really didn't.

And the 20 percent who have been embarrassed by him all season as he stumbled and lurched from from one gaffe to the nextnow you can be happy. With any luck, they'll now also run off that idiot Mike Hamilton, who hired him in the first place.

According to Knoxville police reports, the other 10 percent who bought in hook, line, and sinker are rioting outside Kiffin's residence, where authorities are trying to quell the disturbance.

The famous "Rock" on Rocky Top is all adorned with the latest "love" for Kiffin. If you don't have children nearby, you can see it here.

Now Layla won't have to associate with the Walmart wives in Knoxville and can get back to the good life with the right kind of people in Southern California.

Of course, this isn't just a coach leaving. He's doing it right before National Signing Day, taking the best coaches and recruiters with him and leaving Tennessee up the proverbial creek without any semblance of a paddleand a hole in the canoe as well.

So the coach Mike Hamilton hired to save the program took a sledge hammer and knocked down the few good walls that were left standing after the Fulmer fiasco.

This recruiting class will scatter like cockroaches now, and there will be some existing players who will leave as well.

Now all the writers who were falsely labeled as Tennessee haters have the last laugh. They warned the fanbase. They weren't blinded by loyalty and could see that this was a man who was bitterly severed by his last employer and talked about him like a dog.

And yet you expected him to treat his new boss any better?

It was easy for most of us to see past the pretty boy looks and the say-what-you want-to-hear sales pitch. Tennessee was simply a means to his end. You were the less desirable prom date he was forced to dance with just to get to go the party.

It's not that we haven't seen all this before. Raise your hand, Dennis Franchione. I hope Lane Kiffin looks over at the view of Franchione. He's now a lost soul without a team and simply the butt of bad jokes next. He was even turned down by crappy schools now.

You better pray it works out at USC, Lane. You're the next Dennis Franchione if it doesn't, and you don't have his cash in the bank.

They say that foolishness is doing the same thing again and just hoping for a different result. Can Tennessee get it right next time?

Somewhere Phillip Fulmer is finishing off that last piece of pie with a "possum-eating grin" on his face. "Yeah, have fun replacing me," he must be thinking.