A movie is being made right in front of your eyes USC fans, “The Manchurian Coach.” Lane Kiffin is the star and if you aren’t careful USC, you might just get fooled into thinking you found the person to lead you into the next great era of Trojan football.
The latest from the man with the used car smile was hiring away
running-backs coach Kennedy Pola from the Tennessee Titans to be his offensive coordinator. Why you would be hiring a running-backs coach to be your offensive coordinator is odd enough, but to do it so close to the start of training camp is just puzzling. Add to that the fact that you just stuck it to one of the more well-known Trojan alums in Jeff Fisher and this is starting to leave the same foul stench in the air that he left in Tennessee just a few months ago when he slithered out of town after resigning as the Volunteers head coach.
Tennessee Football, Inc. is now suing Kiffin and USC, filing the paperwork on Monday, basically stating that Kiffin did not ask for permission to hire Pola. I can’t find fault with Pola in wanting to skip out on being a position coach to becoming a coordinator at one of the most prominent schools in the country. But we can find fault with Kiffin, who just seems to have his own set of rules along with a handy book of ready-made excuses.
While “Teflon” Pete Carroll was able to work his magic for years turning the USC program around, after all the sanctions from the Reggie Bush mess, I don’t see USC sticking with a “Teflon” wannabe in Kiffin. Keep in mind that Bush was part of the Kiffin/Steve Sarkisian offense and until earlier this month Kiffin still had on his staff Todd McNair, the focal point of the NCAA investigation.
I’m still not quite sure where Lane Kiffin came from, I guess good genes count for something as his dad, Monte, is a highly thought of defensive mind. Maybe Monte should have spent a little more time fathering as opposed to coaching, although from his track record, I don’t think Lane paid attention to either one.
Should Monte have put Lane in the hands of Pete Carroll? I’m not sure who we should blame, but at this point I guess Lane is a man so he can take the blame moving forward. Like the indulged little boy he is, he stomped his feet and Carroll shoved Norm Chow out the door, that worked well for the Trojans. Lane took over the offense and, well, year by year it went downhill. I think he saw the writing on the wall and figured why not trick crazy Al Davis into thinking I could be a head coach in the NFL. Yet another successful run for Lane and he was shown the door, but got some cash and another entry for his resume.
The poor people of Tennessee were next, we need a smooth talker to help recruit us back to prominence. He talked a good game and showed off his pretty wife at the press conference. The Vols fans were fooled. He even gave his son the middle name Knox, which I heard was being legally changed to Trojan, but he has made multiple copies of that court paperwork so in 2014 he can change it again, this time to Aztec.
The fun didn’t take long to begin in Knoxville, with minor infraction after minor infraction that he laughed off as a great way to gain publicity. The publicity reached an all-time high as he bailed on the Vols after one year, but not before his crony Ed Ogeron tried to steal some Vol recruits on their way out the door. Again, not breaking the rules, just bending them until the wood began to split.
Which brings us back Kennedy Pola. Not only did Lane once again do everything wrong without breaking the rules, but he stuck it to a Trojan. I don’t think Jeff Fisher would be part of a lawsuit against his alma mater if he didn’t think what Kiffin did was completely wrong.
The list of bridges that have burned by Kiffin continues to grow, from Chow, to Al Davis, who felt conned by Kiffin, a number of SEC coaches, including Urban Meyer, who who Kiffin wrongly accused of cheating. With his dad Monte turning 70 and Carroll being chased out of college football, Kiffin had better hope he wins, and wins big at USC. Anything less won’t cut it, as Pat Haden is not likely to put up with an average coach who also brings bad publicity to a program that needs to be on its best behavior.
Whatever happens, whether this actually makes it to court or not, you can be sure Lane will put out the same book of excuses to dazzle us on the witness stand or just in court of public opinion.