Tennessee will be better off without Kiffin

I’m sorry I am going to be out of the country for the next few weeks because what eventually happens at Tennessee is going to be fascinating.

The next few weeks, even perhaps he next few months, are probably not going to be a lot of fun for Tennessee fans.

Unless athletic director Mike Hamilton can pull a rabbit out of his hat and hire somebody–like Will Muschamp of Texas–who will calm down the Tennessee fan base, the Volunteers are looking at bad stretch of road coming up with the sudden departure of Lane Kiffin to USC.

It’s clear by now that Hamilton has set his sights on Muschamp and will pay him handsomely to leave Austin, where he is the coach-in-waiting to Mack Brown, who just got a new deal at $5 million per year. Hamilton will tell Muschamp that Mack is not going to retire anytime soon. He is offering a bird in the hand at a premier spot in the SEC. Muschamp’s agent will have all of the leverage in those negotiations.

Texas will tell Muschamp that if he’ll just be patient–he’s only 39–he will inherit a powerhouse program that has averaged 10 wins a year since Brown got there in 1998. Why take over a program that is now faced with more questions than answers?

But what is plan B for Hamilton if Muschamp says no? I spoke to some people close to former coach Phillip Fulmer and there is no doubt that he would like to come back as the head coach. He can offer stability, which Tennessee desperately needs right now. And even the people who fired Fulmer never questioned his love for Tennessee. The next coach will have to show Volunteer fans that he really cares about being there and is not using Tennessee as a stepping stone. Of all the things that have infuriated Volunteer fans in the past 24 hours, it is the notion that ANY Pac-10 job would be considered better than theirs.

Hamilton said during a press conference on Wednesday that Fulmer will not be a candiate for the job of head coach. I’m suggesting that this process may be taken out of Hamilton’s hands. The next 48 hours are going to be very interesting as the levers of power start getting pulled. When the smoke clears, Fulmer coould be the head coach again. And if he’s not the head coach he could pull a Tom Osborne and become the athletic director.

But if you’re a Tennessee fan, trust me on this: Over the long haul, you are not really going to miss Lane Kiffin. The guy gave a great press conference. He knew how to get under Urban Meyer’s skin. He talked in a manner that made Tennessee fans smile because he wasn’t going to back down from anybody in this league. He had that California style and sold it to recruits.

But at the end of the day, Lane Kiffin’s rise to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and then of Tennessee was a triumph of style over substance. He TALKED a great game. It remains to be seen if he can coach one. Now he may go to USC and win a bunch of Pac-10 championships and take the Trojans to the Rose Bowl every season. But I have my doubts, especially if the NCAA drops the hammer on the program in the coming months.

Some people took me to task last night when I said that Tennessee is a better job than USC. They talked about California and Hollywood and what USC has done the last nine years.

But remember that USC was a struggling program before Pete Carroll got there nine years ago. Remember Paul Hackett? Remember Ted Tollner? USC was very mediocre before Carroll and could well be again, especially when the NCAA gets done with the Trojans. I don’t think Pete Carroll bolted for the Seattle Seahawks because he wanted to be closer to Starbucks.

I am going to miss you all but I’ll be watching from afar. Hope to see you in a few weeks.

209 comments Add your comment

SC Rules!!!

January 15th, 2010
7:07 pm

sun devil dave,

when was the last time ASU palyed in ANY game that mattered let ALONE a BCS bowl game????

Go in from the blast furnace that is the desert and drink some cool refreshing water and gather your senses. Oh, wait, just like any high school player in AZ worth a damn, we get them and all your water too! WE ARE SC!!!!

Fight On!!!

Derek Dooley

January 15th, 2010
7:14 pm

Can you imagine Derek Dooley going up against the likes of Nick Saban or Urban Meyer in recruiting top tier athletes? Kinda scary aint it UT fans? This kid is gonna get his clock cleaned in the sec.

BuLLdawg

January 15th, 2010
10:09 pm

Tony Barnhart, you are a jerk and every thought you just wrote is really stupid.

Derek Dooley, walk-on Academic All-ACC receiver at Virginia, UGA Law Degree, becomes famous overnight at $2.4 million dollars a year for 5 years.

Nick Saban Disciple both at LSU and the Miami Dolphins, he left the NFL to be head coach and then also Athletics Director at Louisiana State of the WAC.

He doesn’t or hasn’t thrown the football, which doesn’t surprise any UGA fans.

$12,000,000

That’s more than Vincent J. Dooley ever made by a long wide margin.

In Stark contrast to the impetuous aggressive arrogant presumptuous Lame Kitten hired by Mike Hamilton, Derek Dooley is smart, conservative, and very rich.

I know, he had 2 losing seasons sandwich his one good year the year before last at Louisiana Tech, but here is the common thread of Mike Hamilton’s 2 most recent hires as coach : Dooley lost many close ballgames. Moral Victories. Here, he will fit in well with the vols, whose hatred for everything Bulldog finds them reaching into the WAC to steal their head coach to come coach for the vols.

Running the football makes your Defensive Stats look better.

I expect Derek Dooley to bring some respect back to the vols long-suffering football program both in the classrooms and off Cumberland Boulevard.

Win and losses ?

That hasn’t been a priority for the vols in a long time, now.

Strengths :

(1)Classroom, Coach Dooley is a smart young man.

(2)off Cumberland Boulevard, Coach Dooley is a conservative who will not put up with that stuff any more.

(3)Respectability by saying the right statements instead of every wrong statement by every vols’ head football coach ever, in the past, this also will be a huge improvement finally for the former Hillbillies of college football.

(4)Wins and Losses might well follow, and if they don’t Coach Dooley got Vince and Barbara twelve million dollars for taking care of them in their old age, with a huge helping hand by his mentor Nick Saban of Alabama, and it does seem that Nick Saban’s Disciples actually all are extremely good at Coaching.

I know you wall expect me to criticize this choice, but I do not, I actually like it.

Coach Dooley, this is a refreshing change, finally for the vols.

It’s going to be great having a conservative, smart, student of the game, with a pedigree in coaching second to none in whom he has studied under, to the North finally, for a change. I never in my lifetime thought that any of Coach Dooley’s values were of any importance to anyone with the vols, ever.

I applaud this choice. I doubt it will change anything with the vols but if he stays there 5 years, that would be great wouldn’t it ? Just imagine, no more laughing at the vols’ head coaches’ stupid hillbillies idiotic wild crap.

It changes the entire outlook of the vols, instantly. Now, if the vols’ fans can change to his type of good person…

…wait, that is asking too much. Who knows, some truly good guys may finally even play on the football teams for the vols one day. I will hold my breath on that one too, and hope beyond hope that we see Coach Dooley’s values rub off on the worst bad boys of All-Time ever in the nation.

And, a national abomination of a football program for some time now.

Good Luck vols, but I have got to share with you that Coach Dooley doesn’t fit in with the rest of you Hillbillies, you yahoos.

TrueCrimson

January 16th, 2010
1:29 pm

USC fans seem really hellbent on insisting that EVERYONE wishes they lived in LA.

Are you just trying to convince yourselves, or have you never actually been anywhere besides LA?

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