After a brief but tumultuous time in Knoxville, the SEC's bad boy, or as I like
to call him, the love child of Dennis the Menace and Jimmy Hart (hey it's
2010...anything's possible), is loading up the truck and movin' to Beverly...
Hills, that is; swimmin' pools and movie stars, and apparently mediocre head
football coaches, as well.
Following a 7-6 season and a bowl loss with the Vols, Kiffin has taken the
position at USC that was recently vacated by Pete Carroll, who took his own
outspoken style to the NFL's version of Washington State, the Seattle Seahawks.
Kiffin became a virtual overnight success when, in 2007, Al Davis, the senile
old woman owner of the Oakland Raiders, made him the youngest head coach in the
His short career in Oakland was much like his short career at Tennessee...much
ado about nothing, unless you consider pomp and circumstance more important than
winning football games (in 20 games with Oakland, Kiffin went 5-15).
The futile record, however, was the least of Kiffin's problems. By the time the
acrimonious breakup was over, Davis called Kiffin a "flat out liar," and also
told television reporters that he was guilty of "bringing disgrace to the
organization." Uh...note to you, Al...you did that all by yourself, buddy.
But, I digress.
The firing was followed by finger pointing from both sides and ended in a
grievance being filed by Kiffin to recoup the money left on his contract. This
was followed by more accusations by the Raiders that Kiffin's conduct and rules
violations, while employed as the head coach at Tennessee, followed the same
pattern of behavior he exhibited as their head coach. Needless to say, it was
With all of the NFL baggage somewhat behind him, the precocious head coach then
took his loud mouth act to the University of Tennessee, where he wasted no time
stepping on the toes of the SEC's elite.
After winning a battle with Florida head coach Urban Meyer for the services of
Blue-chip recruit Nu'Keese Richardson, Kiffin falsely accused Meyer of
cheating, in an effort to sign Richardson himself. This was followed by a circus of
foot in mouth incidents that included one idiot remark after another, followed
by one forced public apology after another, throughout his entire stint as head
coach of the Vols.
Being outspoken is one thing, almost respectable in the right circumstance, even
putting your foot in your mouth can be charming at times (just ask Bobby
Lying, however, is quite another...and one would have to be a fool to think
Kiffin didn't at least mislead his 2010 signing class when he failed to tell
them he wouldn't even be there for their first season at Tennessee, much less
their entire careers. In effect committing the worst verbal crime of all.
Now Kiffin begins his career at USC with the same pomp and circumstance with
which he began his previous two gigs. I think history tells us exactly how this
will play out. If it doesn't, put a microphone in front of his mouth...I'm sure
he'll tell us.