Daily Archives: January 14, 2010

Dear President Obama…

Senator Hatch pens another letter.

Regardless of your ideological bent, don’t you find it a little brazen to hear Hatch ask a favor (and that’s what this is, when you get down to it) from the man with whom he’s devoted the last twelve months obstructing his political goals at pretty much every turn?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery

Kiffin watch: Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

I’d like to let this ratchet down, but there’s so much good stuff that keeps popping up to share with you.

— You can call me Ray, or you can call me… Great catch by Matt Hinton:

When Lane Kiffin’s first son was born last January, just a few weeks after the Kiffins arrived in Knoxville to take over the head-coaching job at Tennessee, the naming rights were a subtle nod to the locals:

Knox, as he will be called, weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 21 inches. Knox shares his first name with Kiffin’s father, Monte Kiffin, who is UT’s defensive coordinator.

Naming a child after your new hometown: That’s commitment.

After a season swathed in orange, though, young Knox — who turned one Thursday, on the same day his dad was introduced as USC’s new head coach — may want to get used to answering to a new name in Los Angeles:

[Lane Kiffin] was born May 9, 1975. He and his wife, Layla, have 2 daughters, Landry, 4, and Presley, 3, and a son, Monte, 1.

— Ed Orgeron feels entitled. Using a UT-provided cell phone to contact Vol commitments in order to convince them to renege wasn’t the only way Coach O went out in style.

According to a source within UT’s football department, Orgeron called to have some of his UT recruiting information sent to him and became irate when he was denied by UT’s support staff.

— This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Evidently, Southern Cal plans on spending a boat load of money to get Norm Chow to, um, speak with the new head coach.

Kiffin did not want to answer if he would call plays next season, perhaps because negotiations with Chow barely started. But he did say, “that would be my guess because that’s what I’ve always done.” If Chow were hired, it is believed he would call the plays. More talks are scheduled this week.

Sources said Kiffin agreed to hire Chow when he interviewed with Garrett. But Kiffin and Chow endured a rocky relationship when they coached at USC together, however, and did not speak to each other for the last two years (2003-04).

But relations improved following Kiffin’s departure from USC in 2006.

“I’ve seen Norm a couple of times,” Kiffin said. “I think the world of Norm. And I don’t have any issues with Norm.”

That’s a far cry from in February 2005, when Carroll was asked about Kiffin and Chow no longer speaking to each other despite being offensive assistants.

“Their relationship has been the same for years,” Carroll said at the time.

— Mike Hamilton moves on to Plan B. No doubt he’ll incur the wrath of the AJ-C’s sports blogging community when they hear about this:

Will Muschamp, Texas‘ defensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, has turned down a lucrative offer to be Tennessee‘s new coach, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.

The remaining names being bandied about – David Cutcliffe, Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley and Clemmins’ Kevin Steele – aren’t likely to send tingles up the collective leg of Vol Nation, either.

— A little bit of history repeating. Whoever the new coach is, he faces a rather daunting task in the face of the historical record of schools who suffer precipitous coaching departures.

It doesn’t happen often, but when a coach abruptly leaves a major-conference school after one or two seasons—as Mr. Kiffin did this week after a one-year stint with the Volunteers—what happens thereafter is usually ugly. In the most prominent such cases over the past three decades, years of losing ensued.

But hey – Tennessee plays in the SEC East and has Alabama as a permanent opponent from the West, so I’m sure everything will be fine.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Thursday morning buffet

Yes, there’s a Kiffin treat in one of the chafing dishes.

Before leaving Knoxville, Kiffin was asked by a Rivals.com reporter if he would miss needling Meyer. He responded, “No, it’s good. Now I can do it and not get fined for it.”


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, SEC Football

It takes a big man to offer Paul Johnson advice.

Give Jeff Schultz credit where credit is due – he’s now kibitzing about Paul Johnson’s next options at defensive coordinator.  Although he’s hedging his bets about the process (which, as we all know, is more important than the hire, at least in Athens):

One important factor in this search is the Jackets have significant budget constraints, unlike Georgia, and therefore can’t pay a lot for an assistant football coach. Groh is only a candidate because he’s already drawing $4.33 million from Virginia over the next two seasons, and therefore will not demand a high salary. But if he says no, the stature of candidates likely drops…

Oh well, at least it’s a start.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Post-Kiffin watch: picking up the pieces

There’s so much stuff out there about Junior’s career move that a roundup best suffices.

  • I confess that I couldn’t stomach more than about 60 seconds of the self-serving nonsense Kiffin was dishing out at his USC press conference, but unfortunately I tuned in long enough to bear witness to hearing this come out of his mouth:  “If they weren’t upset that we were leaving, then we weren’t doing anything right.” Get that, Vol fans?  You feel betrayed because the Laner was doing such a good job.
  • Chris Dufresne has an amusing summary of Junior’s past and present, along with a suggested economy for the NCAA:  Maybe it can roll the USC and Tennessee investigations into one case.
  • If it’s pure vitriol you’re looking for, it’s hard to top Gene Wojciechowski’s column.
  • Junior sure looked unhappy jetting out of Knoxville.
  • Somebody counts the similarities between Lane Kiffin and Sarah Palin.
  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch (more like the smoking crater that used to be a ranch), Mike Hamilton hopes to have a new head coach in place pronto.
  • Jon Gruden says it won’t be him.
  • Will Muschamp says he’s not going anywhere either.
  • Tony Barnhart says keep an eye out for the Fulmer power play.
  • Not a link, just a question:  who gets stuck being Daniel Hood’s babysitter now?
  • Hamilton may not have a coach lined up, but it sounds like he intends to play hardball with Kiffin’s early enrollees.  That should go over well.
  • On the subject of those recruits, Ed Orgeron says that in approaching them about ditching their UT commitments so they could follow him Pied Piper-like to the left coast, he didn’t knowingly violate any rules.  To his knowledge, even.  (Notice that he doesn’t deny acting like a complete sleazeball, though – knowingly or otherwise.)

And this deserves a special mention – a couple of musical tracks to honor the occasion were getting airplay on Knoxville station WIVK and were forwarded to me by alert reader NM (click to play):

The Ballad of Lane Clampett

Jump on the Lame Train

Again, they’re just bitter because Junior was so good…


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin