Turning the CFB world on it's ear, USC announced late today that Lane Kiffin will be named their new head coach. This change comes only 14 months after Kiffin replaced long time Vol coach Phil Fulmer. Wringing his hands both literally and figuratively at his hastily called press conference, Kiffin said that the decision was a hard one and that ultimately, USC was the probably the only job he would leave Tennessee for.
Kiffin's departure leaves in it's wake a slew of wreckage from his inaugural stint as a college head coach--the pre-season trash talking, the admonishments by commissioner Mike Slive, three players arrested for armed robbery and all the secondary recruiting violations, including the well-publicized one concerning recruiting hostesses. It's certainly ironic that USC, a school who may very well be in the cross hairs of the NCAA's enforcement division, has now hired a coach who's recruiting habits are to say the least, suspect.
Today also saw a public turn-down of the possibility of a job offer by Jacksonville Jaguar head coach Jack Del Rio, a former player at USC, but someone who has no college coaching experience. Del Rio was the second name to be mentioned behind Oregon's Mike Riley. DC Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron are leaving with Lane Kiffin, and word has it that an effort is under foot to get current UCLA OC Norm Chow back across town to his old stomping grounds, where he served as OC under Pete Carroll early in the 2000s.
While the dust settles on today's event, I don't think that I'm going out on a limb by saying that Kiffin, by suddenly jumping ship to USC, will now become the most hated coach in all of CFB, jumping such notables as Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino, who both had perceived 'loyalty' issues. As if he wasn't already. Anyone wanna reach Al Davis for comment?
Dear Vols fans: I have a tremendous amount of respect for your program and I hated to see your reputation tarnished at the hands of this utter ass clown this past year. I know it hurts now, especially since Tommy Tuberville just took off his boots down in Lubbock, but you are MUCH better off without this abomination to college coaching, Lane Kiffin. Keep your chin up AND your new recruits on the phone. I hope there's someone still left in the coaching office looking out for your best interest. Also, get David Cutcliffe's number. You're going to need it.
UPDATE: There are unconfirmed reports on Vol Blog Rocky Top Talk that students have ganged up en mass and attempted to block the departure of Kiffin and were dispersed with tear gas. There are also rumors that departing coach Ed Orgeron has told early Tennessee signees not to go to class this semester in an apparent attempt to get them to sign with USC before their committment is official. Again, as of now, these are unconfirmed and we will have more as it breaks.