David Cutcliffe To Tennessee: Not Going To Happen

Mike KlineAnalyst IJanuary 13, 2010

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 18:  Head coach David Cutcliffe of the Duke Blue Devils watches the action during the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium on October 18, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after Lane Kiffin pulled a Larry Brown and skipped out of Knoxville after only one year, the rumors are already flying about Duke's David Cutcliffe.

Cutcliffe, who spent two tours at Tennessee under long time coach Philip Fulmer, was on the radar last year but quickly denied interest.

Now that Kiffin has left the Vols in the lurch, Cutcliffe, who coached both Mannings, including Peyton at Tennnessee, is having his name come up again.

Problem is that it isn't going to happen. Not because Duke is such a great place; there is still much work that needs to be done. It also isn't because Tennessee isn't a great job: One acronym will suffice—SEC.

The fact is, Cutcliffe has a lot more respect for his profession and players than Kiffin will ever dream of having. He knows he is building something in Durham, and he is the type who aims to finish.

Kiffin is the typical younger generation; give it to me now whether I've earned it or not. He certainly isn't wowing anyone with his winning percentages, college or pro.

You have to scratch your head a bit and wonder how USC is even interested in the guy.

Cutcliffe led Ole Miss to five bowl appearances in six years before being given the boot. And what he has done at Duke in only two years is commendable.

He knows what loyalty is, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't walk away from Durham until he is sure he either has it in a good place or he is convinced he can't turn it around.

I'm not convinced he would say either at this point.

He certainly wouldn't show up at an impromptu press conference where he is looking unkempt, wringing his hands, and trying to convince anyone listening that he had a hard decision to make or that the school he was leaving meant anything to him.

All of which he did in less than two minutes.

What has Kiffin really done beside ride on the coat tails of his dad and his former head coach Pete Carroll?

I have a lot of respect for Tennessee as a program and feel that in the long run they will be better off, but I don't want them taking Cutcliffe just yet, if ever.

In the end Cutcliffe will see the rebuilding of Duke Football through and be to the Blue Devils what Fulmer was to the Volunteers.