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

Larry

January 13th, 2010
9:17 am

Interestingly, this presents a bit of an opportunity for UGA here. With Tenn in turmoil, and the Meyer situation still unresolved (there are rumors floating about that Urban bolts soon after signing day “for his health”) UF may not be the same divisional juggernaut it has been, Georgia has an opportunity to seize the reins of the SEC East. Of course, they won’t, but its an opportunity at any rate.

Lane Kiffin

January 13th, 2010
9:20 am

Boy oh Boy, talk about gullable? I played Tennessee faster than a country boy playing a fiddle!

King Gator

January 13th, 2010
9:21 am

What will Georgia’s excuse be this year when the Gators continue to beat’m like they owe us $$?

GeoffDawg

January 13th, 2010
9:22 am

WonderDawg – Besides his incomparable intergrity when placed next to Kiffin, CMR wouldn’t leave in the dead of night because of the huge buyout clause in the contract. Makes Kiffin’s 800k look like chicken feed.

Also, I’ve been seeing old USC pics of Kiffin this morning. He was sporting just about the lamest goatee ever. Really, the only thing I’m going to miss about him is seeing Layla in the news periodically. I wonder if she was put on the Trojan staff as hostess coordinator?

Roll Tider

January 13th, 2010
9:29 am

For those wondering, West Virginia falls BELOW the Mason Dixon line. Just saying…

MOOOOOOOOO

January 13th, 2010
9:29 am

bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!

Nick

January 13th, 2010
9:31 am

Tony,

I have to disagree with you about USC not being a better job than Tennessee. The recruiting alone would make it a better job. Plus Tennessee is the 4th or 5th best job in the SEC. USC is #1 in the PAC-10.

CLEVON LITTLE

January 13th, 2010
9:31 am

Mike Hamilton Just got sold a lemon by a young used-car salesman. There were warning flags everywhere, but he refused to look at them. Shame on him for hiring this punk in the first place.

RHR

January 13th, 2010
9:32 am

My first thought after hearing this was “why would USC want HIM?” immediately followed by ‘oh snap, bet Vols fans are mad’.

Kiffin has a 12-21 record as a head coach. Seriously Vols, I know it stings but USC fans can’t be too happy either. I think that USC is just using him as a name coach since they know NCAA sanctions are coming. As soon as those are lifted and Kiffin coaches the worst USC teams in recent history, they’ll fire him and hire a better coach.

Too bad Tubs already signed on with Texas Tech, he’d be the top guy for the Vols job. Knoxville is a beautiful town and UT has plenty of money to pay a coach and offer him whatever he wants. It stings right now, Vols fan, but IMO you’re better off.

Dave

January 13th, 2010
9:36 am

All you people in favor of an early signing period for college football recruits got the biggest reason why that is the stupidest idea out there. An early signing period is just like putting kids like this in jail and saying just shut up we will tell you who you play for you are nothing more than cattle to us. We all know coaches don’t stay at schools very long. Kids need to know who the coach will be and who they will have to compete for playing time at their position against in the class they sign to.

cantondawg

January 13th, 2010
9:38 am

My momma always told me to be careful how you treat people because if you do somebody wrong it will come back to you.

UT absolutely crapped on two of their best and most loyal coaches. (Coach Fulmer and Coach Chavis). These people bled orange and white. They brought UT several conference and one national championship only to be discarded like trash after one bad year.

UT truly got what it deserved from Kiffin!!!

The idiots that are calling for CMR’s head need to take heed of this. When you have a loyal coach doing a good job you don’t throw him under the bus for the next johnny come lately

Gen Neyland

January 13th, 2010
9:40 am

ReptilesRule : I care not what others think. I look not for sympathy for Tennessee, nor do I put much emphasis on the piling on’s from a Kangroo Court of arm chair college sports enthusiasts with knowledge of a man and a program they learn about from a majority of negative blog postings. As far as CLK’s coaching record, I see it only as 7-6 at Tennessee. That’s where it begins and ends for me but in your case, you really need to study the facts on his time with Oakland… Be not mystified. I am disappointed in his departure from Tennessee. The team loved him and the fanbase appreciated his ability to get the most out of what CPF left him. He steps into a program at USC player-wise similar to what Meyer and Saban had when they arrived in their current positions. A far cry from what CPF left. We’ll see in a couple years if he can mimic Saban and Meyer’s accomplishments. As for CLK, I wish him well. As for Tennessee, this may be their finest hour going forward. As for Meyer, I hope he nuts out…

Tom

January 13th, 2010
9:44 am

I love the name calling to make a point. Let’s have more.

Denver Dog

January 13th, 2010
9:45 am

The only thing that makes sense is that the NCAA was coming down on UT and coming down big. Lane leaving might lower the impact of that. USC is going to get burned for the Bush and McNIght incidents. This way he won’t get burned as badly. UT needs to go after a proven, younger, but not a young gunslinger like what they just had.

Dawgie Bowser

January 13th, 2010
9:45 am

Just a couple thoughts…. The Vols took a chance on a very young coach and embraced him even though he got off on the wrong foot in many ways. Some level of loyalty on his part would appear to be in order. On the other hand, he is returning to his own kind where his attitude and personality will mesh with the rest. While the S.E.C. is the greatest conference with intense rivals in all our surrounding states, I will look beyond that fact and wish U.T. the best as they deal with this present situation. We all care deeply about our football programs and I understand that as much as anyone else. Go Vols.

TonyBFan

January 13th, 2010
9:45 am

The BIG Winner in all this? Urban. Nobody cares about his “story” now. It’s all about that little prick Lane. Richt needs to take advantage of all this turmoil on the recruting trail and talk up the stability of his program. Saban has to be shaking his head and thinking it can’t be this easy to recruit in the SEC these days. The BIG losers??? Any red blooded male that thought Layla was hot. Sheeeessss gooooonnnnneeee…….

Redman

January 13th, 2010
9:46 am

What would make this a real cluster-F* is if kirby smart left for Knoxville.

now that would be rich.

collegeballfan

January 13th, 2010
9:47 am

I agree that USC is not a better job than UT. But the perception with the national college football media is that USC is one of the plum jobs. You should know this Tony. All you have to do is watch Sports Center during the football season.

dip

January 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Rick Neuheisel’s reaction of the news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOZDG9UgzkQ

Concerned Pirate

January 13th, 2010
9:51 am

Skip Holtz.

He would fit very well at UT and he is a heck of a football coach.

TS

January 13th, 2010
9:54 am

Just in: Lame Kitten calls Chip Kelly a cheater and a liar and says he can’t wait to go into Tucson and play Trojan March all night long, it’s gonna be great.

I’m embarassed for TN. Their fans loved the guy. Glad he’s leaving the SEC..

Big Orange

January 13th, 2010
9:55 am

Tony, Thanks so much. As usual, a voice of reason in this mess. There’s a lot of hurt in Big Orange Country right now. And it will take some time to get over, especially when it comes to recruiting.

North Avenue Ned

January 13th, 2010
9:58 am

Send Johnson up there. That’s an option(al) school anyway.

frmrvol

January 13th, 2010
9:59 am

Will TN be better off without Kiffen? Without a doubt. His actions however shine a spotlight on the sesspool college athletics have become. Drunk with outragious media revenue, intstitutions, conferences and the NCCA continue to fuel an unabated arms race of inflated coaches salaries, Ritz Carlton athletics complexes and incesant pampering of over hyped high school kids. The days of my collegiate athletics experience are long gone – and with it the illusion that commitment and loyalty meant something in this society. Collegiate athletics needs a wake up call and a reality check – in the end maybe Kiffen did us all a favor.

robodawg

January 13th, 2010
10:02 am

I have to ask why you don’t consider USC a better job than UT? The recruiting is easy, the media scrutiny less severe, and you’re instantly at the top of your conference and in the national title picture just about every year, instead of having to claw your way up past Florida and Georgia and the other USC just to win your division, plus Bama on the schedule every year and a conference championship game to get past. If your goal is national accolades and national titles, USC makes so much more sense. Even if NCAA probation comes along, they have enough depth to weather through it.

The advantage UT has over USC is fan passion. So this definitely hurts. (Not sure how many matresses were burned in LA over Carroll’s departure.) Cutcliffe is an intriguing idea for a replacement.

Brian

January 13th, 2010
10:05 am

Huh? Usc not a better job than tenn? Are you insane? Sometimes you write the stupidest crap tony.

pi$$onatechie

January 13th, 2010
10:06 am

DawgInTheHouse, FYI Gruden rejected the Washington Redskin’s job which is 10 times better than any college HC job. beside Georgia got their DC already, Brian Van Gorden turn out to be very interested in the job along with the cowboy’s DL coach. Im with Richt take as much time as you want as long as you get us the best coach, quality over quantity and I have no problem for not signing one already so patience and pursuing for the right guy will pay dividends. and Bradly and Scultz both can go to hell! both are Idiots! trying to create stories from nothing. Pushing Richt to hire some crappy coach in order to bring material for their stories. Coach take as much time as you wish.

TY44

January 13th, 2010
10:10 am

Saban is next! You just watch! Folks….stay tuned! M Kookin, good riddance….! Go Dawgs!

Rick

January 13th, 2010
10:11 am

Kiffin was a time bomb that in time would have kicked some butt..

I thought that his style was somewhat rough but also refreshing in the dull world of College FB and Slives and Mike Adams.

.. Especially in the SEC.. Mark Richt is not exactly Mr. Excitement. I had rather watch paint dry than listen to Richt. Excitement is not exactly the Coach at Auburn, UK, MSU, Vandy etc…

Kiffin was a walking headline.. I kind of liked the guy.. He provided energy to the conference much like a Deon Sanders or Andre Agassi.

Good luck Kiffy.. That one year was fun. LA is a great town.

Vol4ever

January 13th, 2010
10:18 am

I got on the Lane Train and was excited for a while but I always had this funny feeling in my stomach that it could blow up quickly. I guess you always go with your gut!

ReptilesRule

January 13th, 2010
10:19 am

Neyland…Your last post was pretty disturbing, especially that last part. I have read some posters on here call your comments “classy”. But that last little snide comment in reference to a mans health and well being strongly suggests otherwise. Perhaps you should go back to making snide little comments about how your player broke the UCLA QBs jaw like you did early in the season,, remember “jaw breaker Rogan??” There’s NOTHING classy about those kind of comments. Also, you refer to Kiffin’s 7-6 record with the Vols almost like ot has become an acceptable standard for UT. That is truly sad. Oh, how the once mighty have fallen…

M A Double T

January 13th, 2010
10:19 am

Otto

January 13th, 2010
10:19 am

RHR, USC will be fine if Norm Chow comes back as OC as has been rumored. Monte will run the defense. Lane will be the CEO and speaker at the press conf/recruiter with Ed O. IF you can get away with breaking rules that is a top level recruiting staff. I’m glad Lane is out of the SEC but having him at USC with that staff just made it harder for everyone in the country to get to the BCS title game.

If USC does not get put under probation they are in a BCS title game in the next 3yrs assuming Chow is at USC.

Gator Growl

January 13th, 2010
10:35 am

Vol4ever…It would seem that the only ones hopping on the “Lane Train” now are the assistant coaches and possibly a few Tenn recruits heading west. And Gen Neyland, I agree, that little comment about Urban Meyer was uncalled for. Stay classy!!

Nelson

January 13th, 2010
10:36 am

VOL-NO-MATTER-WHAT

January 13th, 2010
10:38 am

It is like we were friends with the drunk guy at the party who kept talking sh*t and trying to start fights all night long only to be punched in face at the end of the night for trying to drive him home. He was our coach so the brashness was accepted and we defended him only to be hung out to dry.

KingGator

January 13th, 2010
10:38 am

TN played with fire when they hired this guy, and the consequences speak loudly

You Reap What You Sow

David Pollack

January 13th, 2010
10:40 am

I knew this was going to happen…I should have tweeted it!

Got 12?

January 13th, 2010
10:40 am

I wonder how Slive celebrated last night. It was probably too cold to BBQ and too short of a notice to throw a house party. He probably just got drunk at home with his wife.

luny lane

January 13th, 2010
10:41 am

Please, God, let the NCAA drop a bomb on USC. Yes, I do understand that Lane’s antics at UT play no role directly in the USC hearing in February — but the Committee on Infractions leaves wide latitude for discretion. They utilized that for Indiana’s basketball program when they determined that the program “already had suffered considerably” and issued only mild sanctions. They can utilize it again if they determine that USC really and truly regards itself as an organization that can play by its own rules. Please, please, please — hammer them.

boots

January 13th, 2010
10:43 am

A week ago, I wrote that the Vols had issues in their Athletic Department. Between NCAA investigations, numerous arrest of both football and basketball players on felony charges, and the prostitution ring run in Knoxville, things could not have gotten much worse. Uh… they just got worse. This reflects very poorly on the school, the president of UT and the AD. They get paid a lot of money to make sure things like this don’t happen, but they are happening – a lot. As a Dawg grad, I guess I could delight in it, but it is bad for the SEC and bad for college football.

boots

January 13th, 2010
10:46 am

Another note from Athens… When UGA hired Harrick, he had lots of baggage, but we won and started heading to the tournament each March. I remember a Tech friend telling me, “enjoy it while it lasts, because that guy is trouble.” Sure enough, we got what was coming to us, and were hammered even harder because of Harrick’s history at UCLA. Will USC be hurt even more by what Kiffin did at UT? I feel for the Vols, but they should have known what a clown this guy was. Everyone else sure did.

RayFinkle

January 13th, 2010
10:55 am

@ luny lane….I second that.

I understand Kiffin leaving Big Orange Country for USC.

H/E I am so alittle peev’ed with coaches who break their contract. And I am completly HACKED OFF at coaches who break their contract after ONE SEASON. Its a freaking joke.

richard cranium

January 13th, 2010
10:58 am

Don’t you know Coach MR is breathing a huge sigh of relief…

He was going to get his butt kicked by Kiffin every year!!

Sanford Drive

January 13th, 2010
10:58 am

What goes around comes around.

However, this will actually be good for TN in the long run.

Tide Rising

January 13th, 2010
11:00 am

The short term embarrassment and the loss of several recruits is going to hurt UT. But in the long term this program is far better off without this clown as their coach. UT fans may not realize it now but given time they will. It won’t take long before they can ease their pain with the humor that will undoubtedly come from the first set of antics that Lane pulls when he gets to USC.

Tide Rising

January 13th, 2010
11:01 am

TY44,

Keep hoping.

lenny

January 13th, 2010
11:03 am

i bet tommy t. wishes he would’ve waited a couple weeks before taking job at TT…

panhandlebuzz

January 13th, 2010
11:04 am

College athletics, i.e. football and basketball, is a moral cesspoll and ethical wasteland. It is a microcosm (sic??) of the worst part of our current society. The days of coaches with 20-30 year tenures at schools is a thing of the past. No coach, I repeat none, can be trusted. The recruit kids and talk about commitment and loyalty, is BS. are coaches liars ?? Are their lips moving ??? Then, they most certainly. And, talking heads on TV and talk radio host they say, well that just the way it is, are idiots too.

lenny

January 13th, 2010
11:04 am

kirby smart to UT?