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

Sam

January 13th, 2010
11:05 am

I cannot see how anyone (outside of a person with a lot of orange in their wardrobe) thinks UT is a better job than USC. We are talking Southern Cal, not South Carolina.

Someone said USC gets 5 star recruits and wins. Carroll got them because he was a good recruiter (along with his staff). However, if USC goes south in terms of winning, the recruits will not come. Those with short memories might forget that USC had a horrible run between Robinson’s first go around and the arrival of Carroll. It can happen at any program. NCAA sanctions will speed that up.

As for enforcing a contract, I read that Kiffin had specific language that allowed him to leave if the USC job came open. Also, the contract is between the university and the coach, not the coach and the NCAA.

I do think that if a coach leaves or is fired that the players should be allowed to transfer without having to sit out. Signees should also be released if those things happen as well. The scholarship (funny that it has “scholar” in there) is really a 1 yr contract. It must be pretty tightly written.

Of course, I also think that players should be eligible for the NFL draft any time they want, but that is an NFL rule (and upheld for some strange reason by SCOTUS).

noonereadscomments

January 13th, 2010
11:06 am

Thought Kiffin was weird fit from the beginning. He hasn’t really done anything to change my opinion. Strange move by SC. They could have done better

Sam

January 13th, 2010
11:07 am

Hey PanHandleBuzz, schools also fire coaches if they do not win immediately. How many coaches last if their 3 year record is not >.500 or no bowl game? It cuts both ways.

Rebel Ace

January 13th, 2010
11:09 am

Lane Kiffin just saved Mark Richt, because Orgeron sooner or later would deliver SEC East-winning players to UT. You Dawgs ought to be doing cartwheels.

Shankit

January 13th, 2010
11:11 am

Spurrier’s name was mentioned before Kiffin was hired.
Spurrier’s comment was ” I was born and raised in Johnson
City”, wanted to go to Tennessee. They never made me an
offer. Went to Florida, had success as a player and coach,
Tennessee had their chance and they can go fly a kite.”

jmoon

January 13th, 2010
11:12 am

I respect Tony, but he’s wrong. USC is a much better job than Tennessee. Better on almost every level.

Fladawg

January 13th, 2010
11:13 am

Tennessee is getting what they bargined for. Alabama and Arkansas are only a matter of time as both Saban and Petrino have proved similar character qualities.

murfdawg

January 13th, 2010
11:15 am

UT will be better off in the long run without Kiffin. It may hurt for a while, but UT is a good and proud program. They will be back.

Gen Neyland…..I hate the gators as much or more than you do, but I don’t want their coach to have any health problems. You have always seemed to have a good insight and a mature opinion(maybe old school opinion) about football. Have some decaf and relax.

Is Manny Diaz still available?
Can we win 8 games with grad assistants coaching the D?

Asheville Dawg

January 13th, 2010
11:20 am

Have they taken those Vols billboards. Npw that Kiffin and Eric Berry are gone.

Just saying……………..

BuLLDog Troll

January 13th, 2010
11:21 am

If any of the Vol recruits follow this unethical lying slimeball to USC I would not want them playing for ANY SEC team as they are slimeball material in the making! They deserve to go where the leftist loonies live!!!!

VolAlum

January 13th, 2010
11:22 am

Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. UT needs a pro style coach unlike Peterson and Calhoun and Cutcliff is too old and too old school. Harbaugh is high energy and has class unlike Kiffin.

RayFinkle

January 13th, 2010
11:22 am

USC is a better job because:

1. PAC 10- you play Arizona, WAZZU …ect. You dont have a conference championship game.

2. Because of the lack of competition, USC has a great tradition. You hold a monopoly over football on the west coast & you build tradition. USC is basically the entire tradition for the PAC 10.

3. Its Hollywood. Ego city baby. Look and listen to me Im Lane Kiffin. He loves it, the LA Times will love it.

David

January 13th, 2010
11:25 am

What happens if Muschamp is hired for Tennessee and then Richt gets fired or Mack Brown retires this could be a nightmare losing your coach to another place for Tennessee.

TyK9887

January 13th, 2010
11:26 am

One thing Lane did do was beat the living daylights out of Georgia. And I bet that Tennessee beats Georgia again next year because they can’t even get a DC after how many weeks has it been?????

Simple Man

January 13th, 2010
11:29 am

Is Spurrier a possibility? I know its Tennessee but it might be good timing. He wants to win and Tennesse is a better place for that. It brings instant excitment to Knoxville. But is he far enough removed from Florida for UT fans? I think fans(at this point)get behind him. It just seems ideal at first glance. Just some thoughts, maybe to far fetched.

GeoffDawg

January 13th, 2010
11:29 am

“Knoxville fire officials and university police were on campus after Kiffin’s announcement as hundreds of students burned mattresses and piles of trash and gathered around the athletic department building in hopes of blocking Kiffin from leaving campus.” Wow, talk about a vol scorned.

BTW – what’s jmoon’s job with the ajc? I agree that USC is a better job today but the opposite would’ve been true ten years ago. Depends on if you want to be a big fish in a smaller pond or a medium sized fish in the Atlantic Ocean of college football.

Otto

January 13th, 2010
11:32 am

Who else thinks Tubberville is kicking his own but for taking the Tx Tech job after this bomb was dropped?

He could have been a top candidate for UT.

Gator Growl

January 13th, 2010
11:33 am

Wow, I just saw a video of a TV report out of Knoxville that even while Kiffin was having his farewell meeting with his players that Orgeron was in the background calling UT recruits to try and get them to go to USC with them! WHAT A BUNCH OF SCUMBAGS!! Evidently, some of the players overheard and became angry. They said the players were shouting down Kiffin and didn’t even want to hear what he had to say. Wish I had the link, if someone else does, you might want to post it.

Otto

January 13th, 2010
11:34 am

Harbaugh has more class than Lane but I wouldn’t say he has class.

We own you

January 13th, 2010
11:40 am

Tennessee got what they deserved for hiring the slimeball to begin with. Techh fans—you are idiots if you think Tennessee or anyone else wants your over-rated coach. He is exposed. All of Chan Gailey’s good players have deserted him like rats leaving a sinking ship and you will be back in the middle of the mediocre ACC pack next year. Florida is in chaos and Georgia will see Kirby Smart in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 4. He who laughs last laughs best.

Midday Links: The Lane Kiffin Edition «

January 13th, 2010
11:54 am

[...] Tony Barnhart weighs in on his Mr. College Football Blog [...]

Will Muschamp

January 13th, 2010
11:56 am

Tennessee has offered me 3 million a year to be their new HC. I really don’t want to leave Austin for Knoxville but Mack Brown ain’t retiring anytime soon. This is a very tough decision. After all, burnt orange is much cooler than tangerine dream orange.

West Coast Bias

January 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

Reality Check- USC is a better job than Tennessee. Everyone steals coaches- Florida poached Urban Meyer from Utah, Alabama poached Saban from the Dolphins, Arkansas poached Petrino from the Falcons. The list goes on and on. Can you really blame Kiffin for taking a better job? This is how college football works in 2010.

yo mama

January 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

the real coach leaving Tennessee right now is Monty. He is a helluva coach who gets scrutinized for his son’s actions, all while he keeps churning out great efforts on defense. lane is a punk ass, dirtbag.

jim

January 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

Muschamp isn’t walking through that door, Smart isn’t walking through that door, Peterson isn’t walking through that door….

Kevin

January 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

Tony, there should be greater protection for the players who are left behind when a coach leaves for another school. Perhaps the NCAA could allow any and all transfers during the offseason for players in that situation.

You'd do the same

January 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

C’mon folks. I guess any head coach of another school who decides he now (as of 1/13/10) wants the TN job is a traitor to that school as well? It’s not like the USC job has been open for weeks or months. C’mon guys, Kiffin was a POS, but he had every right to go after the USC job, especially when it just opened up 2-3 days ago. He did coach there for 5-7 years before he went to Oakland and then UT. I doubt he would have left for another job. Instead of being mad at the clown, we should be rejoicing that the POS is gone from the SEC. He was about as sorry as you can get.

The Grinch

January 13th, 2010
12:07 pm

Kevin

January 13th, 2010
12:04 pm

I agree, but the naysayers will spout “you come to the school for the school, not the coaches”. I that is indeed the case, then why doesn’t UGA send out Michael Adams or other faculty members to recruit the athletes? The COACHES are the ones that convince the kids to attend the college. I’m sad for not only the UT fans, but the existing players and upcoming recruits.

Barack Dawg

January 13th, 2010
12:12 pm

All the Vol fans saying Gruden. Why the hell would Gruden come to UT? Have you seen the pro openings lately. Remember what Petey said – in the pros you don’t have to deal with NCAA compliance. Plus – does Gruden have contact with the recruiting world any longer. The pro boy got you in trouble once, do you really go right and get another one?

Also – you talk about Fulmer coming back – why would he come back after all the embarrassment he had to put up with after he did a very good and respectable job at UT? He might come back for alot of money and public ass kissing by the Vol Fans, Media, and Admin staff but not otherwise. He is still collecting from you fired him previously….

I think your best bet is Cutcliffe. But good luck with the coaching because there are lot of teams – Pro and College looking for coaches in some shape or capacity.

Thank you Mark Richt – DC or not, we are proud you are with us!

winterDawg

January 13th, 2010
12:20 pm

Am I to feel sorry for an istitution that ran off a legnedary alum head coach in Johnny Majors becuase he had a heart attack? Or should I feel sorry for the same school that ran off a national championship winning head coach who one year previously had won the SEC East? Tennessee and it’s redneck fans got exactly what they deserve. I hope more dissapointment follows.

Peter Dawson

January 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

Hire Terry Bowden. He instantly produced winning seasons at Samford, Auburn and UNA. He went 13-0 his first season at Auburn.

John

January 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

Ya got what you deserved… no whining is allowed. All those times you chuckled at Lame’s comments and antics and claimed – oh it’s just how he does things… you all are reading too much into his behavior… he’s just trying to excite boosters and alum… he really didn’t disrespect other SEC coaches – you all just hate UT… blaaa blaaa blaaa… Isn’t it a amazing how loyalty blinds you?

GT45

January 13th, 2010
12:23 pm

What a shame! College football fans need to remember this the next time he is in this part of the country. Surely he want be able to recruit around here anymore.

The Grinch

January 13th, 2010
12:26 pm

GT45

January 13th, 2010
12:23 pm

From what many UT fans are saying, it appears he IS recruiting around here. They are alleging that he’s calling the recruits he lured to UT to go to USC instead.

Phil Fulmer

January 13th, 2010
12:30 pm

Hey Barnyard, How about singing Lamer Kiffens praises again for that great 7-6 season.

Born2Buzz

January 13th, 2010
12:36 pm

Hypocrites all around. UT gets what they deserve for running off Fulmer after one bad year. And yes Tony, why is is such a travesty for Kiffin to leave after 14 months at UT but not a problem for UT to take Cutcliffe after 28 months at Duke. Hopefully Cutcliffe has more class if UT come calling.

Here is my prediction…not only will UT be better off in the long run by getting rid of Kiffin, USC will get what they deserve by taking this guy on. And I predict that Pete Carroll will be a colossal failure in Seattle. After the flashy smiles, nice hair cuts and quick talking are done, you actually have to be able to coach football.

And UGA fans, PLEASE run off Richt like UT ran off Fulmer. Please?!!?

CFB Fan

January 13th, 2010
12:43 pm

THIS IS HILARIOUS…

This is GREAT to see, considering how alot of Vol fans would get on the UGA Blog to talk trash talk about the Dawgs!!!

Please see the link below. It is hilarious!

http://sixpackspeak.yuku.com/topic/39171/t/LSUFreek-on-Kiffin.html

Hmmmmmm

January 13th, 2010
12:43 pm

Kiffin leaving Tennesse….
I can’t think of anyone devious enough to fit in at Tennessee. I mean Charley Pell is dead so there is no one available with the low moral standards that the University of Tennessee requires other than Kiffin who just dissed ‘em!

Vol Nation

January 13th, 2010
12:44 pm

Let the rationalizations spill forth like rain from the clouds above!!

Tide Rising

January 13th, 2010
12:44 pm

Gator Growl,

Couldn’t agree with you more. Its standard practice that when you change jobs you leave the recruits committed to the previous school alone and if anything you encourage them to stick to that school. The reports are that Kiffin and co. are talking to several of their high profile recruits to try and get them to come to USC. It doesn’t get any lower than that. Good for UT that they are rid of the clown.

Kippy Brown

January 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

My name is Kippy.

winterDawg

January 13th, 2010
12:45 pm

Not a chance Buzz. This makes us more sane UGA fans have even more reason to get our own rednecks to shut up about firing Richt. Richt will have monuments to him on campus when he is done.

Dr. Dave

January 13th, 2010
12:47 pm

Lane Kiffen has proven yet again that he is a dirtbag. That being said, he recruits agggressively and in a way that appeals to kids these days. He will resume doing that at USC, especially with his dad and Orgeron in tow. In the end I hope he that heavy probation penalties will kick USC down for a few years. This could be a blessing for Tennessee.

Tony – why doesn’t Orgeron want the head coaching job?

I hope Georgia can jumb in and pick up some of the TN players, especially J. James and Mike Taylor. They have to do this quickly.

Ed Orgeron

January 13th, 2010
12:47 pm

Gator Growl– Pot, meet kettle. Urban Meyer brought at least one recruit that I know of with him from Utah to Florida. Not a big deal.

Mark Richt

January 13th, 2010
12:50 pm

Now maybe all you idiots at the AJC will leave me alone and let me find the right man to run my defense for the next few years.

Frankly

January 13th, 2010
12:51 pm

Look – UT wanted to follow in Miami’s footsteps… wanted to come across as a bad as* that’s brash, irreverent, tough-talking, couldn’t care what others in SEC think, etc. Karma baby… Love it.

How2fish

January 13th, 2010
12:53 pm

Short term blow for UT but I can’t help but feel they dodged a bullet with this guy..and I think David Cutcliffe would be a REAL step up !

David Granger

January 13th, 2010
1:02 pm

I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, Tony, on whether being head coach at USC is a better job than Tennessee. I think it is a much better situation. They had a down year this season, but year-in, year-out for the last several years they’ve been a very strong team…without having to play through an SEC-caliber schedule. If Pete Carroll left an impending sledge-hammer that’s about to fall heavily on the program…as it sure looks like he did…then that’ll have to be endured, and will certainly affect the status of the job.
Tell you one thing, though: If Ed Orgeron really was on the phone with UT commitments, offering them scholarships at USC (as reports are he was), then USC should be required to reimburse Tennessee for any recruiting expenses. I know that a verbal commitment is not an iron-clad thing, and a recruit is not “officially” committed until he signs the scholarship…but still. I’m a Dawg fan, and don’t care much for Tennessee, but the UT athletic department should not have to pay for a disloyal group of coaches recruiting players to ANOTHER school.

Dawg Tired

January 13th, 2010
1:04 pm

All those folks saying LA is nicer than Knoxville have obviously never lived in LA. I did for three years. It is the absolute pits. The people are jerks, the traffic is horrendous, it is wall to wall people every where you go. My wife cried for all three years we were there. Terrible place to raise kids. Our first grader came home from school with a note telling us to make sure he did not take candy from the man on the corner because it was laced with LSD. And we lived in one of the nicer neigborhoods! Trust me, even Knoxville is nicer than LA. Take it from one who spent three years ther.

Frinkly

January 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

Dawg Tired must be a hick. Forget the inner city of L.A. or any other large city for that matter, there’s a million more things to do out in California – only problem is that it’s expensive. But then again, maybe Dawg Tired has a point… many like Dawg would probably miss all the incest that comes with hillbilly country… WHEWWWWW DOGGGGY