Lane Kiffin, Pete Carroll Make Bobby Petrino Look Good

Blake StansberyCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

You can call Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino a lot of things, but calling Petrino anything like Lane Kiffin or Pete Carroll would be wrong.

Connections have been made to how Petrino left the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 to take over at Arkansas by many this week as Carroll and Kiffin hoard more headlines with their surprise departures from USC and Tennessee.

While Kiffin, Petrino, and Carroll did in fact each bolt from jobs, they are nothing alike.

One of the only similarities is that each of these coaches has ties to Arkansas, but the similarities in character stop there.

Carroll spent one year at Arkansas as a graduate assistant under then defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. The rest is history, as Carroll has bounced all over the NCAA and the NFL before landing the USC job at the end of 2000.

Carroll began his relationship with the Kiffins at Arkansas as mentioned above, and interestingly enough, it is known that his wife Glena babysat Monte's two-year-old son at the time, Lane Kiffin.

Anyone think that Glena still gets calls on occasions from Monte asking her if she can babysit Lane?

Lane Kiffin was groomed and brought into the coaching ranks with the help of his father and by Carroll himself, and in 2007 he showed interest in the Arkansas head coaching position.

Razorback fans everywhere are thanking the Lord that didn't happen.

In Arkansas, fans still, to this day, remember the excitement when Bobby Petrino was named the new head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks football team.

The turmoil that had surrounded the athletics department for years, and the way that Houston Nutt departed, left Hog fans hungering for a positive change. The day Bobby Petrino was named the head coach, Arkansas fans were finally satiated.

It was not long before that tasty meal spoiled for many Hog fans, as ESPN and other national medias began to blast Petrino for his departure of Atlanta.

The networks used slander of Petrino and a mocking of the Arkansas press conference as their main ammunition.

Petrino rode the ordeal out, and later made appearances on ESPN and at the SEC Media Days, where he addressed the tough decision to leave Atlanta and join the Razorbacks.

However, before Petrino ever addressed the media, the damage was done. Razorback fans in large groups to this day still believe that Arthur Blank, CEO of Home Depot and large sponsor of ESPN, was the motivation and the reason ESPN and other networks slammed Petrino and the University of Arkansas.

Why had ESPN not slammed Arthur Blank for his firing of coaches Dan Reeves and Jim Mora?

Why did ESPN not report how Blank failed to support Petrino, when he had a large group of Falcons players show a lack of respect for their head coach during the season?

Petrino faced the music that the decision was tough, and that given the chance he would have handled it differently, but you have to understand that Arkansas officials wanted him on that plane and at that press conference not a moment later.

There was pressure from all sides, and though hindsight is 20/20, both sides have come out for the better.

The Falcons have a head coach and team now that they are behind, and a team that has improved.

Since Petrino's departure from Atlanta, has anyone heard anything negative about him?

The answer is no, and Petrino has taken charge of the Razorback program, and he has the entire Razorback Nation behind him and even a large number of those same media members that were bashing him are now singing his praises for what he has happening on the Hill.

In the news now, and who the real bad guys of college football are, are Lane Kiffin and Pete Carroll.

Kiffin and Carroll both are at the center of the largest stories in all of college football with the way they bolted from their respective programs. Carroll after 10 years at USC, and Kiffin after only one year at Tennessee.

Carroll bolted from USC amid an investigation of Joe McKnight taking money, which was the newest in a long list of USC players within the athletic department to be accused of such behavior.

Carroll has tried to say in the past week that the investigation at USC played no part in his departure from USC, but that, my friends, is a lie.

It is a lie because Carroll has had ample amounts of offers to coach great NFL franchises over the last 10 years, and the job at Seattle is among the worst offers he has had.

It is a lie because while USC endured one of their toughest years of the last decade, USC is still built with talent and depth to be a power for another decade.

The big hoopla about how Petrino left Atlanta is why everyone says that he deserved to be roasted, and still, to this day, Petrino has haters all across the NFL and NCAA football landscape.

For those of you out there, you should take a look at how Carroll left USC.

It has been reported that Carroll sent his players a text message letting them know he was leaving and heading to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

Where is the outrage?

Petrino left a note on each player's locker, and all Carroll can do is text?

I guess in just two years, time, paper, and pen truly have been replaced by texts, Twitter, and everything else techie.

Following Carroll on his way out at USC, is Lane Kiffin on his way in.

Kiffin completely burnt the University of Tennessee with his departure after only one year on campus.

In that year, Kiffin was able to pile on the most NCAA infractions of any coach in the SEC, and insert his foot into his mouth more than a few times. He called out Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, and even made Bobby Petrino wish he was never on the same elevator at the SEC Media Days.

The worst thing is that the Tennessee fans supported him through all of his nonsense, and now they sit looking like the idiots. You want to feel sorry for them, but in many ways you want to say: I told you so.

Kiffin, much like his mentor Carroll, has decided that not only does he not mind showing how selfish he is, but he has no remorse for it, whatsoever.

His press conference at USC sounded almost just like his press conference at Tennessee, where he spent more time arguing and defending his previous coaching experience. Kiffin could not give straight answers as to how he and his staff left Tennessee and were already calling Vol recruits, telling them not to enroll at Tennessee, and that they had offers to come to USC with Kiffin.

Now, many national sports writers that have tried to make Kiffin look like a good guy after all his exploits in both Oakland and Tennessee are jumping on the Lame Kiffin bashing wagon.

Unfortunately, it is not good enough to call a spade a spade when the hand has already been dealt.

When it is all said and done, each of these men made controversial decisions, but the way that two ego driven coaches (Kiffin and Carroll) were treated in a better way than a humble, keep-to-yourself coach (Petrino) is laughable.

It can be said that these three men are all great football minds, but a Pete Carroll or a Lane Kiffin, Bobby Petrino is not.


This article was written by Blake Stansbery of Born Hog Wild.


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