USC Commits Suicide

I am stunned to the core by the news that USC has hired Lane Kiffin to be its head coach.

There are many reasons to feel this way.  Most of the them are probably not obvious to those who have read this site for a while.

I’ve long warned the college football world about Kiffin.  I did all I could to let athletic directors know what they were getting into when dealing with him.  I predicted he would not be long for Knoxville.  True to form, he has done that rare thing for a college football coach–a one and done season.  Now, Tennessee is left to clean up the chaos he has created.  I only wish Tennessee had listened.  I am truly sorry for what has transpired there (but look on the bright side, Vol fans, you already got rid of the guy before he did too much damage).

But my criticism of this move by USC doesn’t touch upon the horrible football decision that has been made.  It doesn’t touch upon his failings as a head football coach or his lack of qualifications for a prestigious job like USC’s.   It doesn’t even touch upon his shoddy interpersonal skills, his numerous closeted skeletons that have yet to emerge or his unjustified rise through the coaching ranks that has been aided and abetted by his father, Monte Kiffin, and his godfather, Pete Carroll, with a speed akin to the efficient workings of a political dynasty named Bush.

No, this is all about the monumentally foolish decision taken by the USC powers-that-be to put their flagship program–with all its tradition and history–at risk.

There sits on the desk of the USC general counsel’s office a letter from the NCAA.  In this letter is spelled out the charges that have been made by the NCAA against USC athletics, specifically the football and basketball programs.  My understanding is that the letter contains several allegations of violations that by themselves are not that major, but when added together form a solid case for a lack of institutional control on the part of USC.

USC has responded to these charges with a giant, multi-hundred page rebuttal.  In February, another meeting will be held by the NCAA to determine the punishment.  Most likely, some sort of probation will come in or around April.

So, with the NCAA on the warpath, USC is about to take a big hit.  No one knows the extent of the penalties just yet, but the penalties are coming for sure.

The USC university administration is, as a result, livid at Carroll and his boss, athletic director Mike Garrett, for their lax enforcement of NCAA standards.  Surely, then, one would think that with Carroll on his way out, the correct signal to the NCAA would be to hire a coach who has a clean reputation, who would run a tight ship.  An act of contrition, perhaps, to show that the message has been received and that the school has taken steps to regain institutional control.

But no.

Somehow, someway, Kiffin was able to convince USC that he was that guy.  But the reality is that by hiring Kiffin, USC is sticking a fat middle finger in the face of the NCAA, the media and its fellow institutions.  With probation pending, it has hired as its coach a man who is a walking, talking, living, breathing NCAA violation.   Need we recount the numerous embarassments in which Kiffin has been embroiled during his short tenure in Knoxville?  Need we recall that some of the current allegations levied against USC occurred while Kiffin was on Carroll’s original staff?   USC might as well have invited a permanent microscope upon itself at a time when it should be battening down the hatches and fixing its issues.  Rather than making a clean break from the anything-goes Carroll Era, it has chose to continue it.

For every violation you hear about in college athletics, there are 10 that never make the light of day.  Count on this: The NCAA and the media will be on Kiffin like white on rice, waiting to pounce at every misstep.  All it takes is one player, agent, booster or runner to spill the beans regarding a past, present or future impropriety, or one coach to tell a reporter about some recruiting trail rumor, and more investigations will ensue.  One more major violation could result in even harsher penalties–even the death penalty.  Who is to say that there isn’t another shoe waiting to drop?  By hiring an all-star staff led by a head man who hasn’t shown he can walk straight–and whose arrogance practically begs for scrutiny– the circus that is USC football’s program is guaranteed to keep going.  That’s something no school on probation should welcome.  The school is making a breathtaking gamble by hiring Kiffin.

Had the announcement been concurrent with a move to hire more NCAA compliance people–USC has just four on staff to oversee 19 sports (compared with its eight equipment guys and five video staffers, for example)–then maybe we could acknowledge a serious move on its part to instill some discipline in a department that has been under the pall of investigation for the latter half of this decade.

But that didn’t happen.   USC did, however, move some other major mountains to get this thing done.  Los Angeles Lakers owner and Trojan alum Jerry Buss stepped to the plate and paid for the Kiffin buy out from Tennessee.  Public Storage owner Wayne Hughes provided much of the cash for the incredible staff that is coming with Kiffin to Los Angeles.  They should’ve kept their money and demanded that USC do the right thing.  Instead, they might have helped sew the seeds of their team’s demise.

We haven’t even touched upon the wisdom of this decision from a football standpoint, nor the crassness of Kiffin’s sudden abandonment of Tennesseee.  On the surface, the staff being assembled at USC is remarkable.  But it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.  Would the Beatles have been the Beatles again if they reunited in 1977?  Getting the various egos involved to mesh together will be a challenge and it doesn’t seem like a task that the prickly Kiffin is up to.  Without a doubt, the recruiting classes will be sick and maybe unprecedented, but let’s not forget that the 2007 USC team was perhaps the most talented of the BCS era (as it pertains to NFL talent) but found a way to lose to a 41-point underdog in Stanford.  Talent doesn’t guarantee titles and, anyway, what does it matter if the titles are vacated years later?

Maybe the hiring of Lane Kiffin as USC head coach will indeed be a triumph of hope over experience.  Maybe he will run a clean program, having learned his lesson in his time at Tennessee.  Maybe the overwhelming recruiting classes preparing to arrive at USC won’t invite jealous recriminations by conference or national rivals.  Maybe the media will buy hook, line and sinker, that Kiffin has decided to fly straight and that the Trojans are doing everything by the book.

Or, maybe not.  In that case, USC will have hell to pay for perhaps the worst head coaching hire since Gerry Faust catapulted from Cincinnati’s Moeller High to the University of Notre Dame.

Oh, by the way, the L.A. Daily News reported that a source said “He (Kiffin) will do everything that Pete (Carroll) did and continue all the traditions and practice the same way.”

And therein lies the problem.

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46 Responses to USC Commits Suicide

  1. Bucknut January 13, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    All good points indeed HP. If you’re gut instinct is telling you Kiffin will be a bust, and even trouble for the program you’re probably right. Kiffin didn’t do squat for the Raiders, he tried to have his kicker try to make a 60 something yard field goal when they were getting stomped. Tennessee, one year and he’s out. This guy doesn’t finish what he starts. He calls out Urban Meyer, and can’t even beat him on the field. There is no credibility with this guy. USC has the money no doubt. But why this guy?

  2. Roby January 13, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Agreed. This isn’t like Kentucky (Basketball) hiring John Calipari. They are both weasels, leaving trouble in their wake. However hiring Calipari is justifiable in the X’s and O’s aspect. At least he has a resume that wasn’t written in crayon.

    3 years.
    3 of the most historically prestigious jobs in football (remember what Oak/LA used to be).
    2 regretful former employers.
    1 sub .500 coaching record.
    1,000,000 enemies.
    0 credibility/respect/character

    I remember when you used to have to toil through the ranks to earn the right to get a cushy job. I saw a stat yesterday somewhere that said Jim Tressel coached 27 years as an assistant in college before taking a FBS head coaching job (Meyer:14 yrs, Mack Brown:15yrs). While Tressel wasted those 27 years learning trivial things like “how to coach”, “integrity”, “the power of hard work”, and “not being a completele dickhead 24/7”. Lucky for lane, he was too smart to waste his time on such frivolous nonsense. I am glad USC got Kiffin back. They deserve each other. (But it would have been fun to watch Kiffin continue embarrassing himself in the SEC)

  3. Dawgy January 13, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    HP alas we are on common ground. Kiffin Jr. is a joke and USC will suffer some. A silver lining is that he brings some good assistents on board with him. He does have enough sense to know he knows nothing.

  4. Cane21 January 13, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    I guess everyone conveniently forgets how Kiffin got tennessee to outperform expectations, was about 2 plays from beating both Florida and Alabama (you know, the 2 best teams in the country) with far inferior talent, and turned JONATHAN EFFIN CROMPTON into an all-sec quarterback. HP, your one-man crusade against this man is bordering on obsessive. At USC, we know he’s going to get recruiting classes that could be superior to even Carrols, he has an outstanding staff, and there is a legit chance that there will be no dropoff at all for USC. Also, the recruiting violations Lane committed at UT were mostly petty secondary violations that were self-reported (i.e. the same crap everyone else does). You said all the same crap about how terrible Lane Kiffin was last year, and he was 2 Terrance Cody blocks away from making you look like a fool.

  5. Tom January 13, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    It’s not about the W’s – it’s about integrity, and Kiffin seems to have less than most college coaches.

    What’s going to help USC rebuild a solid athletic foundation is not W’s but dealing with all of the probation that’s headed their way correctly and making sure the culture puts more of a value on playing by the rules.

    All in all, Garrett needs to go. He’s shown time and time again that he’s an ineffective AD and doesn’t do what’s best for the university as a whole. The board of trustees is searching for a new university president right now too, to start this summer, so hopefully there’ll be a housecleaning of athletics once that happens.

  6. Ed Newman January 13, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Wow. This media trashing of this guy is virtually unprecedented, even worse than Nick Saban in Miami and Bobby Petrino in Atlanta. Every columnist I’ve read in the last 24 hours is killing this move and killing Kiffin himself. While I wouldn’t want him as my team’s coach, this isn’t the worst hire in history. It is a risky one for sure. But Kiffin did take a bad 2008 Tennessee team and make it respectable in 2009. I’d say it was more the great staff then Kiffin himself, but he is bringing that staff with him so the results can’t be dismissed. Furthermore Kiffin will recruit, though it’s not really possible do better than USC has done recruiting over the past decade. He WILL have the talent to dominate. So it comes down to coaching and competition.

    We really don’t know how good a coach this guy is. Throw Oakland out since Al Davis is insane (and no coach has succeeded there in 10 or so years). Tennessee showed improvement in his short stint. USC had one of the best offenses of the decade when he was OC. So even though we don’t have enough info, the info we have is somewhat positive. Throw in the staff which everyone agrees is exceptional and I think it is more likely that USC will be winning in double digits than not. Looking at the competition, there is no indication that any other program is ready to be dominant in the PAC 10 like FSU in the early ACC days, OSU currently in the Big 10, or USC itself over the past decade in the PAC 10. I’ll be shocked if USC can’t win 2-3 PAC-10 titles over the next decade with Kiffin in charge (subject to the severity of impending NCAA sanctions of course).

    Kiffin is brash, even arrogant. But that’s hardly negative (see Ryan, Rex and Spurrier, Steve) in and of itself. I think it is a positive when it comes to recruiting. Kids are impressed with a cocky guy.

    As for the NCAA, nothing he did at Tennessee was major even though the media treated everything as if he was Dave Bliss (Google him if you’re not familiar). HP might have inside info as to transgressions at USC but the public certainly doesn’t, and Garrett (admittedly not the sharpest tool in the shed) should know and hired him anyway. I wouldn’t want the NCAA scrutiny on my program, but there’s no evidence he is running a dirty program.

    Kiffin has certainly benefited from his genealogy, but that doesn’t mean he will be terrible. Will he equal Carroll’s run of success? Doubtful, but Pete had the most successful program in football the last 10 year so that’s a pretty high standard.

    One thing I do agree with. Tennessee should be glad to be rid of him. He has a much greater shot at success in LA than he ever did in Knoxville.

  7. sportsratings January 13, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    HP, can you give us an example of Kiffin’s poor interpersonal skills? Reading between the lines, sounds like you had some interactions with him where he was a total prick.

  8. TorBear January 13, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Ed Newman wrote:

    I’ll be shocked if USC can’t win 2-3 PAC-10 titles over the next decade with Kiffin in charge (subject to the severity of impending NCAA sanctions of course)

    Given the built-in recruiting advantages, any coach at USC should win 2-3 conferenced titles every decade. The expectations of USC fans are quite a bit higher than that.

  9. SoCalNative1952 January 13, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    HP take your Bong and empty it and put it on the shelf.As you can see I think you don’t no much and you should work for Ncaa, because you are just as inept as they are.

  10. mosdog January 13, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Al Davis is the Joe Paterno of the NFl old and respectable should have listened to him.

  11. Ed Newman January 13, 2010 at 10:10 am #


    That’s my point, with the built in advantages Kiffin will do no worse than we saw in the 80’s. I’d expect him to win about 4-5 PAC 10 titles and I’d be shocked if he won fewer than 2. Not the glory days but not the nadir of the program either. Could other guys do better? Yes. But Kiffin won’t be a disaster of historical proportions and show me a legit candidate that comes without downside risk. All the guys they’ve gone after to date have downsides. Fisher and Del Rio are unproven at the college level; Sarkissian hasn’t proven much as a head coach at any level. Guy’s like Peterson and Patterson probably would have been better choices but they haven’t done anything at the BCS level and have no recruiting ties to SoCal. And you just aren’t going to get no-downside guys like Meyer and Brown and Saban away from their current jobs. So given that, it’s not the worst hire ever.

    Just remember that the national media wasn’t all that high on Pete Carroll when he was hired either.

  12. mosdog January 13, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Its the way he did it 1 and done, lying, making a fool of himself and oh yea NOT DESERVING IT. Saban wasn’t a weasel and changed his mind. Petrino had a huge falling out…Kiffin had none of those things he just kicked UT in the balls shystered the whole process from begginning to end and made a fool of himself and bailed because the SEC was too hard for him, carrying his daddy on a leash with him

  13. Ed Newman January 13, 2010 at 10:13 am #


    that might be the funniest thing I have ever read on this site. bravo.

  14. Ed Newman January 13, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I refer to the Al Davis comment of course. The SEC stuff is just the whining of a cuckold.

  15. Glen January 13, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    (1) On the point of whether Kiffin is qualified for such a prestigious position, I’ll stay agnostic. Yes, he does not have a brilliant track record, but I will give Garrett et al the benefit of the doubt in being able to recognize football talent. They know the guy. Me, I’ll wait and see what happens.

    (2) On another point, though, and I’m not usually one to get personal about coaches, Kiffin has shown behavior that to me appears immoral. He lies, breaks rules with impunity, slanders his competitors apparently for fun, and has done what he could in one year in Knoxville to whip up hate against rivals and, even worse, the poor referees on the field.

    As a Southerner, believe me, a responsible adult would not incite hatred among Southern football fans. There’s more than a sufficient amount already present, and really, there’s a dangerous line that just might get crossed one day. There’s violence beneath the surface.

    I just don’t think a guy like that makes much of a leader. He might skate by for a little while, but in the long run he is going to reap what he sows, and that ain’t grain in his hand.

    (3) I respect the University of Southern California’s football program, and their decades of excellence. I’ve been watching college football for over 45 years, and I don’t know if any other program can match USC for sustained high-level competitiveness over that period.

    That’s why, and not really for any other reason, that as an Alabama fan I consider USC – along with other long-term elite programs like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio St., and Michigan – to be the true enemy, not Auburn and Tennessee, teams that so many of my Crimson brethren love to hate but which need to remain strong rivalries as part of Bama’s tradition and prestige. Bama and USC are tied, I believe, for the most all-time bowl wins, and there are plenty of other competitions in which the two programs are engaged – for example, for the title of the best program of the modern football era. I (figuratively) light a cigar whenever USC loses.

    That’s the upside of this for me. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but for the first time in my memory, USC is in serious danger of falling into a run of mediocrity like, for example, Alabama in the early part of this decade. And I must say I like that.

    With the NCAA hammer poised to feel, a rough patch appears inevitable. And I just don’t think a little weasel like Kiffin is the type to lead men in adversity. He has no credibility; he has plenty of enemies at a very young age; when times get tough, people inside USC will turn on him. While the NCAA barbarians are at the gates, the defenders are gonna be inside using their swords on each other.

    Conversely, it’s a sad morning in Tennessee, and an embarrassing one. UT pawned its own credibility to stand behind this ass-clown over the last 14 months – you can’t buy that back. But in the long run, I suspect Tennessee will get the best of this deal. They made a mistake hiring Kiffin, and they just got relieved of the burden of his presence.

  16. Pietro January 13, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Panic! They’re panicking on all sides! But the fact is Kiffen brings a world of football knowledge to USC, a handful of great assistant coaches, a talent for recruiting, and a background in USC football. No other candidate could bring all that. Plus he’s 35 years old, which means he’ll be around for a while and he can relate well to the young players. Mark my words: You guys are going to eat crow.

    And Glen, I have to laugh when I read your “As a Southerner, believe me, a responsible adult would not incite hatred among Southern football fans. There’s more than a sufficient amount already present, and really, there’s a dangerous line that just might get crossed one day. There’s violence beneath the surface.”

    Let’s remember: It’s only football. It’s supposed to be fun, right?

  17. Glen January 13, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Well, Pietro, that’s my point. It’s supposed to be fun. But if you think hatred by and among SEC member institution fans is funny, you really don’t know much about what is going on down there. I certainly stand by the statement that a responsible adult in a position of respect and authority would not fan the flames for the sake of some cheap favor-currying with the home fanatics. That’s exactly what Kiffin did.

    Like I said above, I usually don’t get personal about sports figures, not until there’s enough evidence in the public record to draw a firm conclusion. My conclusions about Kiffen’s character, or lack thereof, are firmly grounded in the facts. As an SEC fan, who in fact is even a little bit of a UT fan, I’m glad as hell he’s gone. I think the Vols will eventually benefit from his absence – although a rough year or three might be on the horizon.

  18. seriously January 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    it should tell everybody something that the only guy willing to come to sc is one already under ncaa investigation

  19. whguy January 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    All the while Rick Neuheisel stays mum. Wonder what he is thinking?

    I think the article’s point about the Compliance staff at SC is telling. And one wonders what a new President at SC will make of the mess Garrett has made of the Athletic Dept. Will the football team suffer like the basketball team is suffering…or worse, if the NCAA decides that the program is out of control.
    I have a very strong feeling that the Compliance guys at the other PAC 10 schools are thinking “I knew it!” or maybe “I know it!” Who do you think tipped the LA Times off?

  20. Stephen January 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    As a student I can say that most people on campus are excited about this hire. Even if Lane isn’t the best coach even he can’t screw this up. USC is still going to get the best recruits almost by default, and with Monte leading the defense, and with Norm leading the offense even Lane can’t screw that up.

    It’s hard being overconfident/cocky at Tennessee when you have Florida, Alabama, and LSU in the SEC. Being cocky/overconfident at USC fits the job description because you are going against freaking Stanford, Berkely, and UCLA. Do those teams even have football teams?

    And if he is just like Carroll how is that bad? The Carroll era was the best era in USC history.

  21. starkweather January 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Psst, HP, I think every edition of The U from about 1999-2003 (particularly 2001 & 2002) might have a bone to pick with your assertion of USC’s 2007 team being the most talented team of the BCS era.

  22. USCMD January 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    “Hard hitting commentary”… ass. You are just spewing out the party line, almost verbatim, the same has been said all over the press, tv and internet. What most of you geniuses don’t seem to get, is USC being in NCAA limbo……was unable to draw the top teir type guy we all would have preferred. Contacting 3 or 4 publicly and god knows how many privately, the folks doing the search (it was not MG) decided to roll the dice. Immediately we stopped hemorrhaging recruits. Lane Kiffin is Monte Kiffins son. He grew up on nfl fields. He has a network, through his dad of contacts. However he got there he was hired to be the youngest coach in the NFL in a long time. He had the guts to confront Al Davis, and when he couldn’t do it his way he left. Anyway. Heres the kicker. Kiffin, Kiffin Orgeron and Chow will either succeed, or worse case, if they fail……USC will be out from under the Scimitar of the ncaa, and they can, then do a full on search. Where we were Monday when PC resigned, to be here 2 days later is the result of hard work and guts. We could have done much moaning and hand wringing, gone through 5 or 10 or how ever many more rejections……..lose most or all of the top recruits. In my humble opinion…….that course would have been suicide. Time will tell. Thank you for considering alternate views and allowing a space for them to be posted.

  23. Tirebiter January 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    This “journalist” clearly doesn’t agree with this hiring and proceeds to pan Kiffin, even daring to call him out on all the infractions he committed at Tennessee, but overlooks very similar and in many cases worse offenses.

    how about that Oklahoma car dealership paying players directly for work never performed? he was an Alumni and booster. That’s a straight up no-no, but there’s no mention of Bob Stoops as being a walking vioaltion like Kiffin.

    or lest we forget there have been exactly 47 cases of off-field issues pertaining to the University of Florida football players since Meyer arrived. No mention of Meyer as a culpable example of poor role model and authority.

    Kiffin is a risky move and that’s about the worst thing you can say.
    It’s an incredible staff.
    So many people don’t quite get it.
    This is about hiring a guy who knows what needs to be done. What will be required at USC. A guy who KNOWS the pac10. He’s up and running DAY ONE! he knows recruiting. he knows the expectations.
    This wasn’t as bad a hire as everyone would like to make it out to be.

    Uh and give me a freakin break with the Oakland Raiders results. I guess Tom Cable who finished with a whopping 5-11 record and 3x as much coaching experience as Kiffin sucks too? Maybe it’s just the owner. Maybe just a thought. As mentioned by some sane people above….he clearly improved a dreadful Tenn team. i wonder if this writer had the same opinions when he was hired by Tenn? I wonder why Tenn fans are so mad? A guy who sucks and is inexperienced and putting your team on probation left and right usually doesn’t get that much attention when leaving town unless he will be missed. The real reason, aside from the abrupt leave, is that he was turning things around there. THAT’s why they’re mad. You don’t get this mad when you don’t care about the guy.

    Time will only tell, but be clear here…he is a smart guy. great staff. one of the best recruiters around. If he matures, sc has something special.

  24. dreadnaught January 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    SC is happy to have him. Who else was out there? Fight On!

  25. rockyone January 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    You are a jackass. Does somebody feed you this crap or do you just make it up? I guess the great thing about the internet is that any clown can say anything and people will actully beleive it.

  26. mosdog January 14, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Al Davis was right, I read the letter.

  27. mosdog January 14, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    So SC got monte a figure-empty headed liar and nut who was trying to establish “tradition” at UT with an orange Lambo and semi naked players. Fits the bill

  28. mosdog January 14, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Newman you are a tard. You ap[parently ignored the previous 14 montsh of all things Kiffin…every week something stupid he was doing or saying. It was an embarrassment his coaching sucked and he did not want to play in a tough ass conference and listen to charlie daniels music.

  29. mosdog January 14, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    A world of football knowledge…like a shitty offense and slant paterns. He brings a losing record his old ass dad and an OC who hates his guts oh yeah and btw he fuckign sucks.

    Kiffin is a joke and USC is becoming the punchline.

    PS the SEC stuff was pure truth assclowns. A conf with a 2-7 bowl record 2 close wins vs. mediocre teams is a hell of lot better than playing in the SEC against half a dozen capable coaches and road schedule thats fuckin brutal.

  30. Ed Newman January 14, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    I ignored nothing. I heard and read the stupid things he said. Kiffin really needs to think before he speaks. But there isn’t just one way to be successful and I am only looking at his results.

    1) He assembled a very good staff at Tennessee. Losing the staff is what Tennessee fans should be upset about.

    2) He brought in a great recruiting class to Tennessee. I believe that he was able to do this in part because he is so brash. High School seniors don’t think like college grads. Some of the Kiffin statements that grads think are classless and clueless are often seen as cool by immature high school kids.

    3) The team on the field improved under his tenure. Both Jonathan Crompton and the defense were noticeably better. Tennessee won more games than the previous year and played more competitively against the best SEC competition than they had in several years. Maybe the same thing would have happened under Fulmer had he remained but we don’t know. We DO know it happened under Kiffin and 2010 looked to be at least as good.

    So I’ll choose to ignore the dumb things he said (sticks and stones as they say). And as far as baiting other SEC teams, Spurrier was very successful doing just that (Free Shoes University will always be my favorite).

    By moving to USC Kiffin gets to live in a much nicer place with which he is familiar, make more money at a more prestigious school, have more recruiting advantages, not only keep his staff but get them all raises, play weaker competition thereby improving his chances to win a NC, and yes, listen to less Charlie Daniels and fans like mosdog who can barely string a sentence together. Talk about a no-brainer.

  31. bruindon January 14, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    You said, “Being cocky/overconfident at USC fits the job description because you are going against freaking Stanford, Berkely, and UCLA. Do those teams even have football teams?”

    Um, yeah they do. Remember when Stanford blew you out this year? And beat your two years ago? That was their football team that you haven’t beaten at home in 4 years.

  32. Ron Mexico January 14, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Agreed Ed Newman. Mosdog’s asininity makes SOBO appear lucid and reasonable by comparison. By the way HP, what gives with you never responding in the comments section anymore?

  33. HP January 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Ron, I respond when I can, but there are 35 comments on here and they aren’t threaded, so it’s hard to reply to every one.

  34. HP January 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    starkweather, as far as number of total draft picks, I believe the 2007 USC team actually is on pace to finish ahead any one of those Miami teams. I could be wrong, but in any case they are comparable.

  35. starkweather January 14, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    HP, I guess you are correct on that count. I (being a Canes fan) somehow took it as a slight of the 1st round talent, which is not going to be in USC’s favor (and production in the league is another question for several years down the line). Also, looking back at the drafts, it looks like the most “overall” talent on a UMiami roster would have been 2000 (incl: Dan Morgan, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Bryant McKinnia, Jeremy Shockey, Ed Reed, Clinton Portis, Andre Johnson, Willis McGahee, Jon Vilma, D.J. Williams, Vern Carey, and Vince Wilfork) so I’ve sort of failed all around.

    As for the overall thesis of your article, I’m not sure I buy into the naysaying on this hire. USC is going to have some trouble from the NCAA but will, at worst, face what The U got in ’95. The coaching staff is there to keep USC recruiting and playing over the heads of most of the Pac 10 even with the loss of scholarships. If nothing else, Monte Kiffin will have that D playing much more disciplined than they did this year. That could be enough to make this look like a genius hire inside of 2 years.

  36. HP January 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    We shall see.

  37. Anonymous January 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Don’t forget the reason Kiffin had such a great staff at UT and brought in such a good recruiting class (although UT often has good classes) is because he had more money to pay assistants, many of whom are very good recruiters…he out bid other schools for these coaches.

  38. Bucknut January 15, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    The problem is now UT players not going to class so they can transfer to USC, not the committed ones though. This hire will be a bust.

  39. Anonymous January 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Gotta love the hire….GO BRUINS!!

  40. sandymex January 31, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Gotta love the hire… GO VOLS!!

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    […] plenty of rich alumni who are more than willing to foot that bill. In this particular case, the money man was Lakers owner Jerry Buss (below). Yes, that’s the same man who gave the world the gift of […]

  4. USC Takes A Hit | Heismanpundit - June 10, 2010

    […] what I wrote back in January, when USC hired Lane Kiffin: There sits on the desk of the USC general counsel’s office a letter […]

  5. 5 Thoughts From The Weekend | Heismanpundit - October 5, 2010

    […] about the dangers of hiring Lane Kiffin.  I warned Tennessee and we saw what happened there.  I warned USC and we see what is happening.  There are some coaches who you just can’t quite picture […]