They say that money
Can’t buy love in this world
But it’ll get you a half-pound of cocaine
And a sixteen-year old girl
And a great big long limousine
On a hot September night
Now that may not be love
But it is all right
— Randy Newman, “It’s Money That I Love”
I feel like I’m watching some bizarrely radical experiment taking place in Knoxville, Tennessee. Start with a proud, but somewhat down, football program that’s gotten maybe a little desperate and watch what happens when the guys running the show throw ginormous amounts of money at it. Just how much happiness can you buy in Urnge Country?
To start with, it looks like what you get after you hire a thirty-something with a 5-15 record as a head coach whose career to date seems more like a testament to connections than ability – did I mention that he’s hired his dad and a couple of brothers-in-law? – is an abiding faith in Ed Orgeron.
Think Ed Orgeron is important to Tennessee’s future success?
Just ask Monte Kiffin.
“It was huge,” Kiffin said Friday shortly after being announced as UT’s defensive coordinator. “(UT coach) Lane (Kiffin) kept saying ‘The key, the key, the key is Ed Orgeron.’ “
The key, my precious.
What I love about this article is the open discussion of Plan B – you know, the one where everything blows up in UT’s face:
… In many ways, Orgeron is UT’s ultimate insurance policy in the great Lane Kiffin experiment. Let’s theorize for a moment that Lane Kiffin doesn’t work out as head coach, that he’s more Raider than Trojan, and that his father just can’t relate to college athletes after many years in the NFL.
Albeit unlikely, in that worst-case scenario UT would have to make a change in the near future. As long as the Vols recruit clean, expect UT to be loaded with talent for the next guy – thanks to Orgeron.
Hey, it worked this year at Ole Miss. Maybe Houston Nutt will be ready to move on by then.