13 January 2010
Lane Kiffin has departed from the state of Tennessee, and for the sake of his health, hopefully forever. What's it all about? Alfie?
Here are a few thoughts:
(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.
You folks are in a position to understand that a responsible adult would not use a position of respect and authority to 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 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 in my view need to remain strong rivals as a vital 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 fall, 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.
But forget about all that ventilating about what we need for our tradition and prestige blah blah blah. A little old-fashioned schadenfreude is in order on this fine morning. So feel free to savor this taste of the joy and happiness going on in Knoxville on what, for them, is the memorable morning of January 13, 2010:
(WARNING: includes content that is actually quite infantile but which folks like to refer to with the misnomer of "adult.")
EDITORIAL NOTE: "Texas From The Couch" will appear - eventually. I'm intentionally putting it off because it's a long, boring off-season, and I figure you guys will still be interested in BCS Championship Game analysis even if it appears a few weeks from now . . . or whenever. And really, it's not because I'm lazy - or at least it's not just because I'm lazy. . . .
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