I have nothing new to add for two reasons. First of all, what I think (and have always thought) about Lane Kiffin is what all of you think (and have always thought) about Lane Kiffin; namely, that he is a shameless self-promoter and a pompous ass who talks the talk without walking the walk, and whose whole career is based upon being Monte Kiffin’s progeny. It’s funny to me that Coach Kiffin fils is now a Trojan, since the whole football world wishes Coach Kiffin pere had bought a box of Trojans 30-odd years ago. The dude was born on third base and has gone through life thinking he hit a triple.
I am reminded of the scene in the first season of "Friends" when one of the girls runs into the room and says, "Guess what! Guess what!" Chandler replies, "The fifth dentist finally caved and now they’re all recommending Trident?" When the work week began, eleven out of twelve SEC football fans knew exactly who and what Lane Kiffin was. When Boy Wonder bailed on Rocky Top, the Tennessee faithful woke up from their fourteen-month drunk with a hangover and a sense of regret of the sort that is apt to produce more than a handful of mediocre country and Western songs. The best possible spin to put on this is that Tennessee hired a head coach from a temp service; the more honest appraisal is that Tennessee hired a head coach from an escort service.
A disgruntled American supposedly wrote to Herbert Hoover on the eve of the 1932 election: "Vote for Roosevelt and make it unanimous!" Well, Southeastern Conference football fans have achieved unanimity. Lane Kiffin is now so universally despised that, if he were elected president, his Secret Service code name would be "Lane Kiffin." Better late than never, Vol fans; you can’t say we didn’t warn you.
This brings me to my second reason for having nothing new to add: I was right the first time. In case you missed it, I wrote:
If Lane Kiffin wants to be an entertainer, he should consider becoming a lounge singer. (Admit it; you have absolutely no difficulty conjuring up that image, do you? Shouldn’t that tell you something?) In his present line of work, his job is to win football games. I don’t care how much buzz he generates around the Volunteer program by acting like a ninny with a company credit card and no conception of consequences; once he gets done dancing around the living room in his underwear, he’s going to have to answer to a responsible adult for the preponderance of bass apparent on the stereo. . . .
What, precisely, does Lane Kiffin bring to the table as a head coach? If your answer is recruiting, you’re well on your way to losing an argument. Plenty of good recruiters have made lousy head coaches; Ray Goff and Ron Zook spring immediately to mind. Absolutely nothing in Lane Kiffin’s resume, before his hiring or since, suggests that he is up to the task before him. If what he’s bringing the Tennessee fan base is fun, I wish them well; when the fun part of football is the offseason, you’re in for a long fall.
It’s time to sober up, Tennessee fans. Do yourselves a favor . . . apologize to Phil and put a grown-up back in charge of your football program.
As for Southern California, we wish you good luck. You’re going to need it. For the first time in forever, USC will not be the consensus pick to win the Pac-10 next fall. Get used to that.
One final thought: I am increasingly grateful to Mark Richt for the way he is handling the defensive coordinator search . . . and I am increasingly grateful for Mark Richt. Honest Volunteer fans will admit that they have been waiting for the other shoe to drop for fourteen months. I like knowing I can sleep well at night, secure in the knowledge that Coach Richt will never embarrass the University of Georgia the way Lane Kiffin embarrassed the University of Tennessee on almost a daily basis during an SEC tenure that, however abbreviated, lasted far, far too long.