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

VolsRBack

January 13th, 2010
1:13 pm

Will Muschamp is coming to Knoxville. Mark my words. Now that UT has thankfully rid itself of the Kiffin experiment and all those over-priced assistants are gone, there is plenty of coin (may take up to $4MM) to lure Muschamp away from a potential head coaching job at Texas. Besides, he could always leave and go to Texas in 5-7 years.

DawgBuzz

January 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

Phillip Fulmer would indeed bring back class and respect for UT and from those in the SEC. Doubt if it will happen, but the man was and will always be twice the man Kiffin is ( not just because of his size ). Kiffin reminds me of Bobby Petrino – will say what sounds good until the truth behind the man comes out. Shameful.

gatorman

January 13th, 2010
1:23 pm

As a Gator, the only coach that I really fear going there would be Will Muschamp. He was great when he was in the SEC and would be great at UT. Fullmer doesn’t deserve it because he did the same thing to Johnny Majors as Kiffin did to him. A young agressive coach would be tough for the whole SEC east to handle as well as Saban whom Muschamp has firsthand knowledge of.

H.D.

January 13th, 2010
1:25 pm

Let’s not pay those players, though. College football is all about integrity. The White Skin Privilege club members, like Kiffin, do things for above board reasons- we can’t give $300/month to those players of color, right?

smorris

January 13th, 2010
1:26 pm

Barnhart has lost his mind if he thinks that the USC job is not better than the Tennessee job. The USC job is better by every single measure in terms of on the field performance (more NCs, wins, conf championships, Heismans, everything…). Much better school academically. On top of that, USC has a much larger, more fertile recruiting area with less competition from the Meyers and Sabans.

gatorman

January 13th, 2010
1:33 pm

Both jobs have there pluses and minuses; it depends on what kind of lifesyle you like. Me personally, I would prefer Knoxville ( cant believe I am saying it) to living in SoCal for the same reasons I moved from Central Florida to NE Georgia.

Gen Neyland

January 13th, 2010
1:36 pm

ReptilesRule : Nice to know you remember my posts. Now if you could only remember the context on Rogan. There wasn’t any reference to him breaking another’s jaw. You, my scaly friend, tried to induce that one. Albeit, you have an obvious prejudice from the posts I’ve read of yours regarding anything Tennessee. Just call it tete-a-tete between us two…

Neutral Observer

January 13th, 2010
1:40 pm

The best coach for Tennessee is Mike Leach. His offense would create problems for other SEC teams. The Vols ought to get Mike Leach and Jon Tenuta.

gatorman

January 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

Neutral Observer

How about Mike Leach as HC, Jim Levitt as DC and Mark Mangino as OC. Most teams already run a variation of some type of spread except for Bama which if you have the horses (and Bama did) is still the best.

Anonymous

January 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

USC IS a better job than UT.

Sorry Vols, but it’s the truth.

ReptilesRule

January 13th, 2010
1:53 pm

Neyland…What do you think about Orgeron calling your recruits right in the players meeting, including THE ONES ON CAMPUS(!) to try to get them to switch their commitment to USC. I heard alot of the players wern’t exactly happy about it. Good for them! Surely your boy Kiffin had knowledge of this, hell he was right there. Yep, that’s your guy and Orgerons right there with him. Two peas in a pod. Can you say I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y?? I can tell you this…if that had happened at UF, the campus police would be escorting those coaches right to the airport, tasers on ready (haha). and Ol Kiffey boy would have really been screaming “don’t tase me bro”!!

Richard

January 13th, 2010
1:56 pm

So let me get this straight, Kiffin was offered a higher paying job and took it, but he’s somehow a villian? Look, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Kiffin bailing on Tennessee. If you think there is, imagine working for a company for 5 days, then being offered a 25% raise by another company in the same industry. Would you take more than a second to bolt? I doubt it.

While fans are loyal to colors like white and gold, or orange and blue, employees (like Kiffin) are loyal to one color, green. The company that offers more green is going to be more attractive every time. If Tennessee wants to keep Kiffin, they could add another half million to USC’s offer, and he’d probobly take it. There’s nothing decitful about it. Everyone with a job is always looking to make more money. Kiffin cares more about his salary than UT’s football team, as he very well should.

ReptilesRule

January 13th, 2010
2:04 pm

BTW, I have always, up until Kiffin, had a healthy respect for Tenn athletics. Have been up to Knoxville on two occasions for ball games (including 1998 game, you rmember that yr don’t you??) and have always been impressed by the passion of Tenn fans and the traditions. People were very nice, even to a Gator!Got a chance to meet Bruce Pearl and talk with him for just a minute during the SEC Basketball Tourney down here in Tampa last year and he is a great guy! So now that Kiffins gone…

winterDawg

January 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

Ideally you have these people getting into the coaching profession becuase they want to help groom young men into better people. Along with that comes the recruiting speeches and trying to convince students to come give their all for you. I don’t disagree with leaving but the manner in which he did his job and left it before he could build something is what makes it deceitfull. While it is a business it really shouldn’t be all about the business side of it. That said, one bad season at Tennessee and they run off all their legends. It couldn’t have happened to a better university.

Johns Creek Vol

January 13th, 2010
2:08 pm

The reality is Kiffen and staff were phenomenal recruiters but lackluster game coaches. Their offensive and defensive scheme against VA Tech was pop warner grade. No imagination or risk taking that you would associate with a young coach (think Boise State). Papa Kiffen obviously took December off. If we can hire soeone in the next few days, there will be little impact. If we wait 2-3 weeks, it will be a Fulmer class over again (22nd). Net, good riddance to the pin-head and his pin-head staff. We will miss his pin-up spouse, however!

Atlanta Gator

January 13th, 2010
2:11 pm

Wow. Just when I thought there was nothing left in college football that could surprise me . . . while I’m sure Lane Kiffin’s leaving for Southern Cal does sting, I am also quite certain that Tennessee football will be better off in the long run. Now, the short-run problems include finding a good replacement and holding a decent 2010 recruiting class together.

ARdawg

January 13th, 2010
2:22 pm

There Vol nation….right in the pooper and broken off

Love,
Lane and Monty

ARdawg

January 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

Hey, maybe Petrino isn’t such a bad guy afterall

Pitbull

January 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

This Bulldog is sad Kiffen left UT. The UT program would have been in shambles in another 2 years if Kiffen made it that long.

Oh well, Vol fans got what they asked for and they deserve it.

I say that UT goes ahead and deep sixes the program by bringing in a certified idiot like Leach, O’Leary, or Petrino.

Fulmer and Cutcliff deserve better than UT.

Hiring Fulmer would be like asking your first wife to come back because your sexy second wife that you dumped the first one for left you for someone with more flash and money. Not a good deal.

outsideopinion

January 13th, 2010
2:29 pm

USC is a better job than Tennessee. More tradition and Success(more National Championships, Heisman Trophy winners). And no question a better location! Cmon Socal or East Tennessee? I see a lot of SEC spin in this piece. It was his dream job, the timing is bad but you can’t blame him. Possibly the only person that would not leave their current job for USC is the head coaches of Texas and Florida.

AUMax

January 13th, 2010
2:32 pm

I think Smokey has some coordinator experience. I feel kinda bad for the kids that signed and enrolled. They are commiting to the university but the coaching staff is the sales team. They’re just kids and I’m sure some are feeling pretty betrayed.

ARdawg

January 13th, 2010
2:34 pm

USC a better job than TN? Bullschitzel. How could that possibly compute to a “better” job? Ritzy? Limelight? Sure. Competitive? Not even close. Kiffin is a flash in the pan and will drive the USC program in the ground just as he attempted to do in Knoxville. Wish him well, the Pac-10 and USC just dropped tremendously in competition and integrity. Hello Mountain West! Theres a vacuum to fill.

Got 12?

January 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

Richard,

You seem to have forgotten about the 28 kids he recruited and the 100+ already in the program. One of the incoming quarterbacks’ whole family (including younger siblings) moved to Knoxville.

It’s not nearly as cut-and-dry as accepting a new job with a raise.

Delbert D.

January 13th, 2010
2:49 pm

I’m a really big fan of Oregon, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona St., Washington, Oregon St., Cal, Arizona, and Washington St. right now.

gomdawg

January 13th, 2010
2:54 pm

PLEASE REMOVE KIRBY’S PICTURE OFF GEORGIA PAGE,,,,,,, THANKS YOU

Got 12?

January 13th, 2010
2:56 pm

Pitbull,

I agree that Cutliffe deserves better but Fulmer doesn’t. In case you forgot or didn’t know, Fulmer stabbed Johnny Majors in the back to get the job in the first place. And, when Bama boosters outbid UT boosters for Albert Means, Fulmer turned double-top-secret witness against the NCAA against Bama. Add to that the T.Martin stuff and I’ll say that Fulmer and UT deserve each other.

Foothills football fan

January 13th, 2010
2:56 pm

Kiffin should be ashamed for moving his poor old father all over the country. NCAA already looking for office space in SO.CAL. What’s next? His wife doing guest appearance on Real Housewifes of ORANGE County…

Foothills football fan

January 13th, 2010
2:59 pm

Pitbull-As I recall, Tenn. fans did not ask for it-he was shoved down their throat.

Born2Buzz

January 13th, 2010
3:03 pm

Richard, you are a sign of what is wrong with this country. Not everyone is just looking for more money. Some people have scruples and are interested in doing the right thing. The money will come in due course.

Now, Kiffin taking the USC job because it was a better job and he had ties there, that I can understand.

If it’s always just about the money you are going to end up miserable eventually.

MUDDY

January 13th, 2010
3:07 pm

Forgive my lack of compassion but when a program like Tennessee shows nothing but public support for a guy who is obvioulsy loose with the rules, in no way is a role model to these players, and publically draws inappropriate attention to himself, well, I just see this as getting what is deserved. Bruce Pearl is hauntingly similar. Maybe its time to get a coach in Knoxville who will represent the team, the University, and the state in a honorable way and teach these young men to carry themselves with dignity and let their actions speak for themselves. You can say whatever you want about Hamilton but you’re not a good guy if you embrace the likes of Lane Kiffen. It’s like sleeping with a hooker. Cleaning up the mess afterwards makes you question whether it was worthwhile.

That Lane Kiffin, with all those antics, got tired of banjo music and the pressure of having to follow up after his mouth, is now bolting for home, to me seems like we should’ve seen it coming.

John

January 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

Sources say that Fulmer has been offered and has accepted the athletic director’s job at Tennessee. He is now targeting Muschamp as head coach.

bart

January 13th, 2010
3:20 pm

We can argue all day about whether UT or USC is the better job. I think it’s USC. Kiffin is a jerk, no doubt, but in the long run UT will be better off. Kiffin is a much better fit at USC than he would ever be at UT. The problem for UT now is,any coach who leaves their current job for UT is not unlike Kiffin, bailing out at the last minute. The possible exception might be Cutcliffe who has strong ties to UT. He might be able to make the move without too much bad PR, especially since Duke is not a powerhouse program. Certainly the Duke students have too much class to be burning mattresses, shouting obscenities, and threatening the coach.

The Grinch

January 13th, 2010
3:21 pm

John

January 13th, 2010
3:08 pm

Who are those sources, the Volunteer “Hostesses”? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Tee

January 13th, 2010
3:23 pm

Tennessee fans – I can’t stand hearing Rocky Top played — but I do feel sorry for you being treated this way. Kiffin pulled out of town faster than Bobby Petrino leaving the Falcons.

Kiffin should be cast as the lead in the remake of “The Shawshank Redemption – Part 2, The Reeming of the Vols!!!! HaHa

The Grinch

January 13th, 2010
3:30 pm

Seriously, I believe the Vol fans will have the last, and loudest, laugh. I believe UT will be willing to pay BIG bucks to get a more stable leader for their program. Cutcliffe is too safe. But some of the bigger name coordinators (Muschamp, Smart in particular) will be lured with a package that could easily triple or quadruple their salaries. There’s a lot less desirable positions than to be heading up a solid program in the strongest conference in college football and making $3-4 million per year.

UA Alum92

January 13th, 2010
3:31 pm

I feel sorry for the Vol Nation. Rivalries are one thing, but hard to see one of your own get screwed. Buck up, guys. In the long run, you’ll be much better off without him.

I hope the NCAA buries USC and Kiffin loses every game he coaches.

I bet Charlie Strong and Tommy Tuberville are kicking themselves right now.

Nerd Central @ North Ave

January 13th, 2010
3:32 pm

Everyone,

Keep your comments short. This is not a forum for 500 word essays. Nobody wants to read a page-long comment. You’re just wasting your time. GT Rocks!!!!!!!! (((((45-42)))))) You know it still burns a year later!

Dawg Tired

January 13th, 2010
3:33 pm

Frinkly – Want to compare educational levels, travel experience, diferent number of places lived? While there is nothing wrong with being a hick (whatever that is), I am a member of a profession, have three years of graduate studies, etc.,and have never been called a hick before. Mine you that I am not insulted by the term in that I’m not exactly sure what it means. I work in cosmopolitan state capital that annually ranks as one of the top 10 cities in America for quality of life, level of education, etc. LA has never made that list, Why? Read my previous post or have someone read it to you if necessar.

MB

January 13th, 2010
3:39 pm

This is a business and the Vol Nation got what they deserved. They backed this guy and loved it when he trampled over rules to get them the exposure he desired. Tony please explain how SC is not a better job than UT???

UA Alum92

January 13th, 2010
3:41 pm

I also believe that USC is getting the coach they deserve. They’ve played fast and loose with the rules for way too long. Speaking of which, how has it taken so long for the Reggie Bush investigation to be completed? Did the NCAA decide to drag their feet on USC until another strong, prominent program stepped up?

Otto

January 13th, 2010
3:44 pm

Born2Buzz, Fulmer had 1 bad season? lol I’ll assume you are a GT fan from Buzz in your screenname and that just goes to show how far standards have fallen on the flats.

USC is an easier job, more talent, easier path to BCS bowls.

Muschamp going to Tenn? It depends on how much $$ is offered. Texas has the same advantages as USC.

Tenn. has to play Bama and UF EVERY year and then UGA with talent that is recruited in from outside Tennessee. UT isn’t an easy job.

Otto

January 13th, 2010
3:48 pm

As for UT they did get what they deserved. UT had cheap buyout. If you want to keep a coach pay him well and demand a large buy out.

Lane did what any American should do. He went after his dream job and made more money doing it.

Which is worse leaving before the bowl game, after 1 season, or with 3 week to go before signing day?

If you leave at any time the media such as Schultz and Mark will jump on you for leaving these kids who “bought in” at any point in the season.

UA Alum92

January 13th, 2010
3:50 pm

Good points, Otto. USC is definitely a cushier job and they treat their HC like a rock star. My company has an office in LA and when I’m out there, my colleagues and SoCal fans like to talk about the latest Pete Carroll siting. He’s normally spotted driving around in his Ferrari. Something tells me that wouldn’t exactly fly in Knoxville (or Tuscaloosa for that matter.)

reservoirDAWG

January 13th, 2010
4:01 pm

My sources tell me UT will be better off in the long run.

Got 12?

January 13th, 2010
4:02 pm

UA Alum92,

After this season, Saban can fly around in a helicopter for all I care. lol

Otto

January 13th, 2010
4:14 pm

UA Alum92 Exactly Thank you.

$3+ mil a year why shouldn’t Carroll be in a Ferrari or Saban in a helicopter? Its their $ they can do what they want.

I’d take a new Aston Martin thanks.

Florida VOL!

January 13th, 2010
7:07 pm

Look tennessee got got screwed!Hopefully they make a good decision and not rush it for the recruits we have,most are lost anyway! All the fans that enjoy this laugh, but until they give up recruits or heavy fine the coach or the university that alumni laughs at this will continue!So the gaytors,dawgs,tigers,tide,enjoy could happen to u?Ohh im sorry Saben,Myers aready did that before guess its not a big deal?Hope NCAA fixes the problem and makes the coaches honor ther contact like the young men that commits to the school!

Bamarules1

January 13th, 2010
7:28 pm

* If Vol fans think Kiffin was so bad, then why are they all crying like babies? You would instead simple post “Great, Kiffin left now we can get a real winner in here”. You would be happy not mad.

* You dump your last coach and got dumped back. Tennesse is no saint. Kiffin is not saint. Neither is any of the rest of us. Saban? Do we have to go over that again? Please. It’s a business not a marriage. Boo hoo. Grow up.

* SC gets sanctions? So what. We at Bama went through them. So do nearly all majors that are successful. They’ll get through it and come out the backend at the top again. Wishing them on then is bad karma kiddies.Sc and their fans don’t even know Tenn exists. They could care less.

* USC is consider by all the better job except Vol homers and the author of this blog. LOL. What’s next, Buffalo Bills job the same as the Dallas Cowboys?

* Kiffin will fail you state. Then bet all your savings against SC and you will retire. Right? Didn’t think you believed it either. LOL. NCAAF starts and ends with recruiting, and SC has that is spades. Two top asst. coaches added in. Guy is 80% home no matter that he is untested. The SC fans will give him three years give or take a sanc. year. Then no top 2-3 finished and they will fry him. That’s his real hot seat, ask Weiss what that does for the old ulcer.

Bamarules1

January 13th, 2010
7:38 pm

Oh, and to top it all off

– some of the coaches names brought up for Tenn have only been at their school one year
– would be leaving just as recruiting ends and signing starts for their schools
– have some pretty shakey pasts etc.
– would be “screwing” their fanbase

All sound like something we have heard before? Yeah. It’s okay to stick it to someone else, “steal” their coach, or turn a blind eye when it suits you.

Please.

charles daugherty

January 13th, 2010
8:22 pm

we need a coach that loves tenn. we need a coach with experience. football is about fundamentals. we need a coach that wont leave for a better job.( SEC IS A TUFF PLACE TO PLAY). lets go back to fulmers last year. he was the victum of players leaving for the NFL remember!. i say you put fullmer back in place let him trane his succesor then give him mike hamiltons job. if we make a hasty decision it will be another mistake. i hope the trustees are reading this. (stop) how quickly we forget as a fan for 45 years i will never forget the undefeated season and a national championship.now! why were kids leaving early? because he is a great coach!