In a move that everybody in the sports media world knew was coming, Davis waited until the Raiders bye-week to oust the beleaguered Kiffin.
Lane Kiffin amassed a 5-15 career record in his short time in Oakland. However, grumblings that he had lost the respect of the players and assistant coaches, and was the seeming bane of Al Davis' existence was more likely the reason for his removal.
The clashes and war of words between Davis and Kiffin were well publicized. Kiffin, who was not in total agreement with some of the Raiders' off-season acquisitions, such as wide-out Javon Walker, continued to challenge many of Davis' decisions. Ultimately, his brash non-compliance most likely helped show Kiffin the door.
This story is not at all surprising. Davis has done this before with coaches such as Mike Shanahan and Joe Bugel (not that many observers would consider Bugel's firing similar to Kiffin's). He makes no bones about the fact that he is in complete control of the Raiders franchise. If there is any shock value left in this move it is in its timing.
Most people thought Kiffin would have been fired after the fourth quarter loss to the Bills two Sundays ago. After living to coach another week—and see another fourth quarter loss, this time at home to the division rival San Diego Chargers—Kiffin was asked to pack his things and remove himself from the Raiders' compound.
Kiffin—a bright offensive mind—will absolutely land on his feet as a coach or coordinator. Whether that spot will be in college, where he once thrived as USC's offensive coordinator, or in the NFL, remains to be seen. Kiffin is only 31 years old, and certainly has a long coaching career ahead of him, especially if he is truly cut from his father's mold, defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Monte Kiffin.
It is not yet clear who will replace Kiffin as the interim head coach of the Raiders. Early speculation leans toward offensive line coach Tom Cable, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Paul Hackett take the reigns for the final twelve weeks of the season.