If you don’t have Twitter, ESPN, access to the Interwebs, or eyes and ears, you might not know that Lane Kffin shocked the college football world by leaving Tennessee for the head coaching position at USC left vacant by Pete Carroll’s departure for the Seattle Seahawks.
In the hours after the Kiffin story hit the Twittersphere, speculation ran rampant as to why Kiffin would leave Knoxville after only one year for L.A. (Okay, not really – it’s his dream job, he’ll get a lot of $$$, and he’ll be living in Southern California – but work with me here, it sets up the rest of the post if we assume that there is swirling speculation about Kiffin’s departure.)
In my endless quest to bring MSF readers the most hard-hitting and insightful sports information, I have put together the Top 10 reasons why Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for USC.
Top 10 Reasons Lane Kiffin Left Tennessee for USC
10 – If you’re going to help lead a school towards probation, it’s always easier to clear your conscience at the beach as opposed to in some smokey ‘ol rocky topped mountains.
9 – Tennessee has undergrad hostesses that help recruit players to campus, which is nice and all; but, USC has grad students who reportedly help recruit coaches away from campus. (And before you say, but Lane has Layla!, just remember, Tiger had Elin too.)
8 – In Knoxville, Lane’s buddy Al Davis was so, so far away! (More on Angry Al a bit later…)
7 – In Knoxville, Smokey is what passes for a celebrity dog. At USC, Snoop is the resident celebrity dogg. One of these two makes the school a much “cooler” choice for recruits; sorry, but it ain’t the Bluetick Coonhound.
6 – When former QBs come back to Knoxville, you get serious, relatively boring guys like Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning probably talking politics or route trees. When former QBs go back to USC, Matt Leinart brings the bong and Mark Sanchez brings the ladies. Party on Lane!
5 – At both schools, they want you to live up to the school nickname during your spare time. In Knoxville, that means actually, you know, volunteering. At USC, it means, well, whatever recreational activities involve Trojans. Hmm…might need to consult with Charlie Weis on this one.
4 – Lane’s father Monte has obviously made it his late career goal to climb the mountain of boss integrity and then do a barrel roll down the other side. You may remember that Monte worked for Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay – the top of the integrity mountain, is there any question? – then slipped down a bit with “scum bag” Jon Gruden, and then completed his freefall by joining his son at Tennessee and then following him now to USC. With support like that, from a man who clearly knows integrity when he sees it), why wouldn’t Lane follow his every whim?
3 – Anyone can win an SEC title (just ask Les Miles!), but it takes a true genius to make Al Davis look sane, competent, and…right. Lane Kiffin has done something no one else has been able to achieve for a decade.
2 – Though no one in Knoxville was complaining, poor Layla Kiffin could not have been happy to have her wardrobe choices limited to only clementine, tangerine, persimmon, and ‘ol Tennessee orange! In L.A., she can wear whatever she wants and actually find people who somewhat look like her!
And now, drum roll please, the #1 reason why Lane Kiffin left Tennessee…
Ah yes, I saved the more compelling reason for last (and it has a nice ring to it when you say it like the Pirates of the Caribbean movie title).
Do you realize that before Bruce Pearl was named Tennessee’s head basketball coach in 2005, Phil Fulmer had won at least ten games in seven of his ten previous seasons? Fulmer, in fact, was coming off a four-year stretch from 2001-2004 during which he won 39 games and won or tied for the SEC East crown three time.
In the four years Fulmer coached simultaneously with Pearl, the portly Knoxville legend went 29-21 and had two five-win seasons. Lane Kffin proceeded to go 7-6 this season with a loss in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. It was a season during which Kiffin had to report six secondary recruiting violations to the NCAA and deal with a group of his top young players being charged with armed robbery.
Oh, and then there’s that tiny little detail of Bruce Pearl acting pretty creepily around younger women, and you know that Layla didn’t want any part of that.
But seriously folks, the once proud Vols football program is 36-27 since Pearl’s arrival. With the constant threat of Bruce jumping on your wife’s lap should he ever come across her riding in a go-cart, or blinding you with his sideline attire, would you have continued to put up with it if you were Lane Kiffin?
Happy trails Lane. Your laid back indifference and insincerity will surely be a huge hit in SoCal. Time will tell (as it would have in Knoxville) if your teams ever will be a hit too.
* – Bruce Pearl photo credit: Baltimore Sun
* – Al Davis photo credit: Dallas Observer
* – Lane Kiffin photo credit: Battle Hymn Notes