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.