Where does Tennessee go from here?

 So much for taking some time off.

After 30 years in the business, not a lot surprises me any more. Lane Kiffin’s bolt for USC just three weeks away from National Signing Day surprises me. It also makes me sad. This is not a good night for college football. Some quick thoughts:

**–With this shocking decision, Lane Kiffin proved he is everything we thought he was. He used the University of Tennessee in the worst possible way.

**–The Tennessee people will not understand because USC is simply not a better job. It’s in California, which is more suited to Kiffin’s personality, but it is not a better job by any measure.

**–You have to wonder what Kiffin is thinking because, based on everything I’ve heard, USC is going to get hammered by the NCAA. I just hope he didn’t leave an NCAA mess at Tennessee that others will have to clean up.

**–Mike Hamilton, the Tennessee AD, is going to be under tremendous pressure to bring some stabilty to the program. The fact is that he got played by Kiffin. Mike is a good guy but I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes tonight.

**–There is going to be some support to bring Phillip Fulmer back. Before you dismiss the idea, just think about it. Tennessee needs stability and somebody who cares about the school, which Kiffin obviously did not. Even the people who fired Fulmer never questioned his love for UT.

**–If not Fulmer, then who? I would call Will Muschamp and tell him that Mack Brown and his new $5 million deal are not going to retire anytime soon.

**–If not Fulmer or Will Muschamp, why not David Cutcliffe? Tennessee’s quarterbacks have only been good when he was the offensive coordinator.

**–A bunch of people around the SEC are smiling tonight. Kiffin was a time bomb waiting to explode all over this league. I promise you that commissioner Mike Slive is not sheading any tears over this. Kiffin was a pain in the butt.

**–I feel for the Tennessee people. They supported this guy and were ready for the program to become a contender again. They have to feel used as well.

**–If I’m a Tennessee player, I’m pretty disillusioned right now. This is not good for college. This is not good at all.

367 comments Add your comment


January 12th, 2010
11:57 pm

Tony, I agree that tonight is a bad night for college football but that’s because Kiffin’s bad for college football. It was obvious that he could care less about UT, the SEC or anything other than Lane Kiffin. At least he’s on the other side of the country now.

How old is Johnny Majors?

January 12th, 2010
11:58 pm

Majors will take it. heck, he is only about 78. He is ready.

I see Paul JOhnson begging and to no avail. It will be hillarious when his name is elaked as having called UT begging for the job. He would go there for less than Kirby was offered by UGA.

If Smart is offered, then the morons htat bad mouther Mark Richt will look dumber than they are. Coaches hear things and I expect that UT will JUMP ALL OVER Kirby and pay him tons of money, as Alabama IS their number 1 and number 2 and number 3 rival. Not Florida and not UGA.

I’ll bet the cost of a tank of gasoline spent by those Orange Spirit bimbos to go to to SC to see some thug high school recruits for Blame.

Laughing out loud gang. UT is a joke.


January 13th, 2010
12:04 am

When Mike Shula stepped up to the mike as Alabama’s Head Football Coach, within 30 seconds most knew he was in over his head. It was uncomfortable to watch. Well, the same was true of Kiffin. The UT job was bigger than Kiffin, deserved better than Kiffin and it was painful to watch the UT people make excuses for Kiffin while he continually embarrassed your program and your tradition. Hell, I’m an Alabama fan and even I know UT made a deal with the devil and got what the devil is best known for…a bunch of lies. UT ponied up the money for Kiffin, Kiffin’s dad, Kiffin’s brother in law and many other “Kiffins”. The total amount of money spent for all the Kiffins exceeded the individual salaries of Meyer, Saban, Brown, Stoops and Kiffin’s idol, Pete Carroll. Personally, I’m glad he’s gone and I hope Kippy Brown ends up as your coach. He’s a loyal UT man and a good coach. Lane Kiffin can’t hold Kip’s jock.

Coach Johnsons Paul

January 13th, 2010
12:05 am

“I know that we are leaving here 14 months after we took over with our heads held high that we are leaving the UT program in better shape now than when we arrived 14 months ago” What a sanctimonius lil’ SOB. Hey 10RC fans I don’t like your team but be thankful this piece of crap is gone. My only hope is that the NCAA drops the hammer on USC. Now that would be poetic justice!!!


January 13th, 2010
12:07 am

pretty ironic, Tennessee would have been much better off to keep Fulmer for another year.. He might have just got the Vols back on track.. “Benedict Arnold Kiffin” is dog squeeze….


January 13th, 2010
12:08 am

Tenn is not a better job than USC. It has a bigger stadium. Thats about it. If Tony means its a better job because of the looming NCAA investigation…i can agree from that standpoint. But that’s the only reason to make that statement.

Ogeechee Dawg

January 13th, 2010
12:12 am

Tennessee a better coaching job than Southern California?

Are you kidding me?

While Tennessee is a national power – SC is royalty (Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, Alabama, Michigan)
SC is Alabama on the West Coast.

Let’s compare:
Overall win % -SC #8 @ .706 TN #10 @.692 – pretty close
Bowl games played – SC – 48, TN 48 – even
bowl game win % – SC 32-16 = .667, TN 25-23 = .520 – sc
TOTAL CONF TITLES – SC 38 (25 PAC10), TN 16 (13 SEC).

A good arguement that SC has more conf titles as they play in a conference not nearly as deep as SEC. Still – TN football is a great gig – SC is royalty.

This is a good move for Kiffin – but a great move for Tennessee. Vols got used.

Inside Info ....

January 13th, 2010
12:13 am

I’m a UT alum (and former Vol football player), who has THE REAL inside info on who my Vols are going after hard ……. Susan Boyle!

It’s PAYNE-ful !!!


January 13th, 2010
12:16 am

Weak Pac-1o and play in the rose bowl…or Elite SEC where you play for national titles. 4 in row for the SEC. Have fun with your pending investigations. Looks like USC could be subtracting a national title from its history books and forfeit some games as well.

Coach Johnsons Paul

January 13th, 2010
12:17 am

The only guy @ ESPN that gets it is Pat Forde. Why Kiffin for USC??? He got fired at Oakland, was mediocre in first year at UT. And some think Richt is going about his task wrong??? Seems that USC got the Heisman from several candidates and in knee jerk reaction (no pun intended) reached out and got the all time jerk!!! This train wreck is going to be fun to watch.


January 13th, 2010
12:18 am

It is a sad day for college football. I bleed red and black but I feel for the Vols. Those kids on that team and the potential recruits are left in limbo. They do not deserve this. Kiffin is a embarassment to the profession. Maybe Al Davis is not as crazy as we all thought? Kiffin would have brought UT major scandal and probation (still may happen). Tenn is better off with him. He is a constant joke in football circles and has no respect for anyone. However, I can see why he went back to USC. it is home for him and a step up the ladde. I am sure he thinks it is the pinnacle of college coaching. He did give his word to the Vol nation and he broke it. Morals and integrity stand for something and in the end it will come back to bite him in the a**. Cutcliffe is your man. A good coach with ties to your university.


January 13th, 2010
12:19 am

I already know you are an idiot. The fact that you think that USC isn’t a better job than UT…proves it.


January 13th, 2010
12:21 am

I live in Nashville, TN and still can not believe that boy blunder quit on UcheaT!! It remains of Coach
Fran at Bama in 2002 leaving in the middle of the night for Texas AM!! UT will probably lose a few recruits, but that is fine with me!! I will never forget BOY BLUNDER!! RTR

Coach Johnsons Paul

January 13th, 2010
12:22 am

Tell me that Garrett (USC AD)didn’t let his ego get in the way a bit here. Why such a rush to hire??? Seemed he was more intent in one upping Carroll on the day Carroll holds his presser @ Seattle. Me thinks there really was some bad blood going down in tinsel town.


January 13th, 2010
12:22 am

As bad as this will hurt the program in the short run, UT is better off. It was only a matter of time before this snotnosed excuse or Coach Steroid Ogerron had committed major NCAA violations. Kitten never meant this to be a long term job. He was just waiting for something else to come along that was easier than playing a SEC schedule every year. While everything is in shambles it would be a great time to give Gomer Pyle, sorry, Mike Hamilton an invitation out of town as well.

hind tit

January 13th, 2010
12:23 am

vols you hired one carpetbagger, don’t hire anotherone. to many good coaches to chose from here.

kauai dawg

January 13th, 2010
12:25 am

for the all caps bloggers….

i feel for the vowels. i thought at first that ole crazy al davis had lost it the way he treated young lame. but now i wonder why he didn’t send coach cable after him. go dawgs!


January 13th, 2010
12:28 am

Only the rest of the SEC and Fulmer’s family and cronies want him back at UT. If they were stupid enough to rehire him, there’d be 45,000 at the season opener. It’s gonna be Muschamp.

hind tit

January 13th, 2010
12:28 am

kiffin better make it at usc. this will be his last chance. if he fails, his coaching days are over.i wonder if his father gave him that advice?

Easy there Big Tone ...

January 13th, 2010
12:29 am

Mr Barnhardt …. if you didn’t want everyone to know that you are an SEC-biased, homer blohard you sure as h#LL let the cat out of the bag with your “USC is by no means a better job than UT” comment.

What in the sam-h#LL have you been smoking. Or have you eaten too many “magic brownies”. You were just at frigin Rose Bowl stadium, and hanging out in one of the greatest cities IN THE WORLD, with far better food, lots more babes, the Lakers & Dodgers (b/c you know college atheletes get tix to these events), beaches, VEGAS is only 5 hours by car, skiing is close, Hollywood, Santa Anita horsetrack (close to Rose Bowl stadium), THE WEATHER, a WAY more sexy crosstown rival than Vanderbilt. And there’s still room for USC amongst all this for 18-22 year old young men.


January 13th, 2010
12:37 am

3 wins and 9 losses! GO GATORS!!! LONG LIVE TIM TEBOW!!!

hind tit

January 13th, 2010
12:38 am

yea easy, and you can marry your boy friend to.

Reid Adair

January 13th, 2010
12:39 am

I agree with you, Tony, about the Tennessee fans. They’re the ones I feel for. They put their faith in Lane Kiffin, perhaps for no other reason than the fact he was their head coach. And this is how Lane repays them.

I hope Mike Hamilton comes up with a big play for the fans’ sake – and his.

Tech Forever

January 13th, 2010
12:42 am

TONY TONY TONY!!! This is what I want to know. I agree USC is about to get HAMMERED by the NCAA because of infractions and violations. What I want to know is what are they going to do about Kiffin and Orgeron? These two guys were there in the heyday of Carroll’s cheating, participated in it, and encouraged it. Hell, Orgeron himself has been declared the recruiting guru of USC back then. So, can and will the NCAA hold these two idiots to the fire? I say they should be banned from ever coaching in the NCAA again….EVER.


January 13th, 2010
12:50 am

Mike Hamilton

January 13th, 2010
12:52 am



January 13th, 2010
1:04 am

Why is Kiffin going to South Carolina? Did Steve Spurrier quit? Isn’t Spurrier a Florida grad? Why does Scout Carolina want a non-mannered yahoo like Kiffin? What? Oh? Wrong USC? ……..nevermind.

Dagny Taggart

January 13th, 2010
1:07 am

Ohio State Fan, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Monte, as respected as he is in the profession, should have taught his son a lesson in loyalty and also in common sense. His secondary violations at UT will pale in comparison to the mess he’ll be in at USC. Daddy will follow only because…….he’s daddy. He’s probably still wiping his pathetic ass. It’s obvious.


January 13th, 2010
1:09 am

the kids that bought in,

PJ has a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina and a masters degree from Appalachian State.
UT will call Cutcliffe first. They’d be silly not to. Don’t know if they would commit to letting PJ run his style of offense at UT. Can’t get those pro-caliber athletes for that system, you know. (sarcasm font applied).

Henry Reardon

January 13th, 2010
1:10 am

That’s OK. We’ll make things work regardless. Get Fulmer on the horn at once!

Henry Reardon

January 13th, 2010
1:17 am

No SEC team would be stupid enough to allow a triple option offense minded coach in. CPJ was smart taking a job in the ACC but it will NEVER win the big one. Hell, it can’t win a bowl game. I would LOVE to see TN take him. UGA would rule their asses now that Martinez is gone.

Paul's Johnson

January 13th, 2010
1:23 am

I’m darned near speechless on this one. I don’t recall a program, a school, a fan base ever getting more royally rogered than the Vols. Mind-boggling

sec observor

January 13th, 2010
1:24 am

I would like to feel sorry for the UT fans but I just can’t. Why? Because they blindly supported and made excuses at every turn for the embarrassing behavior of this complete freaking idiot. They enabled this jackazz to act every bit the jerk that he was and drank all that kool aid about how great he was for UT. Karma has a way of coming back round when you blindly support someone like the idiot.


January 13th, 2010
1:27 am

Your entire premise is bankrupt.

It’s bad for college football when Kiffin leaves Tennessee after one year?

But if Meyer were to step down, it would be OK for Dan Mullen to dump Mississippi State and run back to lead the Gators?



January 13th, 2010
1:31 am

Frank Tilley

January 13th, 2010
1:36 am

Actually, it’s pretty funny. At least to those of us who think UT Vols are all full of themselves. Nobody got played here. Kiffin didn’t feel the love in Tennessee, so he bolted to socal where he feels at home. Big deal. If you’ve seen pics of those UT kids rioting on campus, it helps understand why he left. He couldn’t deal with the backwoods ways of eastern Tennessee.

brian keller

January 13th, 2010
1:50 am

LaneMike KiffinHamilon

January 13th, 2010
2:04 am

LaneMike here, you Atlanta folks are just too worried about this little “shift” in the career for me. USC is the Best job in AMERICA, we’re gonna change out those Billboards and comeback to the ATL in a few weeks to sweep up some more recruits. And we did a Heck of a Job, and you know 14 months ago we set up some goals and we achieved them…so we’re moving on (which was one of the goals) to make more money, set up goals and you know…achieve them.

You guys gotta get on the LaneMike train…we’re rolling out of town…CHOO CHOO! And no more Rocky )!(@%$ top!

LaneMike KiffinHamilon

January 13th, 2010
2:11 am

Frankie…we did feel the love and the cash. LaneMike and Dad MonteEd had a heck of a good time, and really the folks were good to us. And remember we recruited the very best recruit in the history of UT (and maybe college football) in RB Brown last year…now that’s getting it done! Peyton Manning, now he was pretty good, but he’s no Brice Brown…maybe Reggie Bush was pretty good…I’m the NFL Pipeline, and I tell kids that it doesn’t matter where I coach they just follow me and I’ll get them to the NFL …my super record of 12-21 as HC speaks for itself (With my my narration of course)…don;t blame them…VOLS made me rich.

LaneMike KiffinHamilon

January 13th, 2010
2:12 am

I mean really rich!

SC Rules

January 13th, 2010
2:17 am

USC is a much better job than UT—more tradition, money, better facilities, location, recruits begging to come to school there, etc. Tennessee isn’t nationally relevant—-USC is, every year. There’s no comparison. Lane K made a good career decision–he doesn’t really deserve the job, but because of his daddy’s name and exposure in the news all the time, USC wanted a name who used to coach there, after they got turned down by riley, del rio, sarkasian, OJ, etc.

Draggin' Fly

January 13th, 2010
2:30 am

“Take scholorships for school’s who steal coaches under contract. ”

Word is Lane K had Hamilton write only a $800K buyout into his contract. Why that’s only Kirby Smart money. Hamilton will get some major heat for this.


January 13th, 2010
2:50 am

well, i do feel sorry for the vowels. at least now UGA might have a chance to come in second in the east next year. But you’ll always be our b!tches


January 13th, 2010
2:51 am

Kippy Brown is the interim head coach for the Tennessee vols.

Mike Hamilton, vols’ AD, you are a joke, have been, and continue to be.

And, what is this that the students in Knoxville started a fire to keep Lame Kitten in Knoxville by leaving their trailers to burn their mattresses ? Hillbillies.

Please come back in here and put a spin on this vols’ fans.

I can’t wait.

Tell us all again of your moral victories ?

Lame Kitten 7-6 one season who beat no Final AP Poll or USA Today Coaches’ Poll Top 25 team, gone. When he was at USC, he was NEVER the Offensive Coordinator. That was 2 other guys, both now gone. Norm Chow UCLA now who was then replaced by Steve Sarkisian who left after last year to Washington. He was their assistant and he grinded on the players, other coaches, and media the whole entire time at Southern California and all the other places he stayed for a year thereafter, too. An impetuous impatient child smart-aleck know-it-all Spoiled Brat, and a huge big loose cannon who will step in at USC for all their NCAA Major Violations including Reggie Bush’s Court Trial which finally comes up with Sworn Statements finally now. And, the added issue of now not only Reggie Bush’s Mansion provided to his entire family under market value, but now too yet the rift between Pete Carroll and USC AD Mike Garrett over tailback Joe McKnight’s illegal use now of a vehicle not in his name. A Land Rover. At least at USC, it’s a Mansion and a Land Rover. Nice perks. Lame Kitten will fit right in there. These NCAA sanctions will happen this year. Why did Pete Carroll leave for a lousy Seattle team when he is failed as an NFL Coach at New England and the Jets 33-31 record ?

Lame Kitten Fresno State Quarterback who NO ONE LIKES, who NEVER was the Offensive Coordinator at USC. Never. Pete Carroll was the Defensive Coordinator, make no mistake of that, just like Nick Saban. At UGA, all we have is a damn CEO whose only job responsibility anymore is to hire a “coaching staff” which he has been totally miserable at doing for 10 years now this season.

Coach Richt Era 17-19 vs. Final AP Poll Top 25 teams in 9 years plus another 8 Losses to teams not even ranked in the Final AP Poll Top 25, including David Greene 8-9 vs. LSU, Florida, vols, and Auburn. David Greene was 9-8 vs Final AP Poll Top 25 teams but dropped 2 games Losses to teams not even ranked in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

It’s NOT like we are something great s c dawg.

And, the problem is and has been the “coaching staff” all hired by Coach Richt including his first hire of Rodney Garner December 20, 2000. Brian VanGorder’s Falcons defense sucks. No coach with any NFL experience not 1 coach 1 day. Losing record against Final AP Poll Top 25. The real teams we played each of 9 years now. Only 3 wins against teams in the Top 10 of the Final AP Poll Top 25 in 9 years, and only 1 of those is David Greene. His 1st win which he never duplicated. The offensive woes of this Coach Richt Era are Legendary for all 9 years. Even the 2 years we did play Knowshon Moreno and not redshirt him again that year, we handed him the ball 13 times only in loss after loss after loss. Then, we actually run the ball against GA tek and low and behold, we win a game – so we KEEP Mike Bobo. I’m sorry Willie Martinez and Jon Fabris are hardly all our issues on this “coaching staff.” Which 1 is in charge of the 121 suspensions/arrests in 9 years now of the Coach Richt Era ? Who teaches a position as position coach who actually played that position as a damn player ? No one. Who is in charge of kick-offs and returns ?

vols of course, should have kept Chief. I tried to tell them that. I tried to tell Coach Richt to snap him up then too.

s c dawg, though no so damn much more about all this than all of us and than God Above.

By the way, like UGA’s DC, Lame Kitten was Choice Number 4 at USC who finally settled on Lame Kitten after 3 whiffs. It is no better for him than it is for whomever Coach Richt gets off his butt and hires as his 4th Choice.

Don’t let the trailer trash door hit you on the backside on the way out Lame Kitten, you failure.

Granddad Monte Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator, gone.

Ed Orgeron, Recruiting Coordinator, gone.

After all you said in here about how great Lame Kitten is, please put a spin on this for me vols’ fans. I eagerly await your B.S. now about Lame Kitten’s FAILURES, totally after all your attempted DEFENSE of him HERE.

Go ahead. Defend him again, or make an about-face and agree with me all along that the jerk Lame Kitten is a sorry NOTHING of a Coach and person. How is his entire only recruiting class, put in jail over armed robbery, drugs, alcohol, and weapons charges, doing ? Been by to see them at the jail, or are you waiting to leave your trailer only to burn your mattresses to keep Lame Kitten there. God Almighty.

I don’t care that you obviously now will end up with a better coach; I just want you to admit The Spoiled Brat Little Monster is gone and that you burned your mattresses to keep him there you Hillbillies – along with the fact that I told you so, and you DEFENDED Lame Kitten : Choose : Defend him AGAIN, Admit I was right all along. Where is his win like our win over GA tek ?

Letter of Prescience « Vols in the Fall

January 13th, 2010
3:12 am

[...] Tony Barnhart (Atlanta Journal Constitution) [...]


January 13th, 2010
3:25 am

Come on, Tony, the USC job is a better job by any and every measure. It’s simple, the top 3 jobs in CF for the foreseeable future are (in no particular order) USC, Texas, and Florida. Recruiting is the name of the game in college, and those 3 schools are the big dog in their respective states, which happen to be the most talent-rich states in the country.

Kiffin is a scumbag, but I don’t blame him for taking the job, and I think think he will be wildly successful at USC. Not because of any great coaching ability on his part, but the reality of being able to pick and choose 5 star recruits from Southern California and around the country, which is what USC can do.


January 13th, 2010
5:44 am

Wow. Schultz criticizes Richt for aggressively searching for a DC. Yet look at Tenn., Kiffin quits two weeks before signing day, and Florida, Meyer has a nervous breakdown and we dont know if he will be back. Rich Brooks retires too. I will take Coach Richt over any other head coach any day of the week, and I am proud to have him as our coach. CMR is a great man and the most stable head coach in the SEC. Only Vanderbilt and UGA have stability in the SEC east. It is great to be a bulldawg.


January 13th, 2010
5:50 am

It is painful now for Tenn, but in the long run, that punk quiting is a blessing for the Vols.


January 13th, 2010
5:54 am

If you endorse David Cutcliffe leaving Duke than you are hypocritical to your “stability” point above, Tony.

Charlie Dalton

January 13th, 2010
6:03 am

Dang! I feel for the Vol fans out there. I hope you find the right guy next time. Has the SEC East hit the wall or what? Urban Meyer steps down. UGA is struggling to find a DC and Lane Kiffin gets that Bobby Petrino/Nick Saben bolting desease. I wonder if ESPN is getting nervous about that huge contract they signed with the league.