Lane Kiffin: Mouth Of The South Goes To Hollywood

Robert DentonCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 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

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, 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.


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