Lane Kiffin’s gone, and the Big Orange is mournin’

So how do you feel now, Vol fans? Your brash young coach is no longer your coach at all. The guy you defended whenever he committed one of his secondary violations, which was hourly; the guy you believed would recruit his way to the top of the SEC … well, he’s in the wind, and you’re up the creek.

This is what you get when you entrust your program to a brat. He hits town talking big, and  he leaves you in a Big Orange lurch. Ten years from now — heck, 10 minutes from now — we’ll be looking on Lane Kiffin’s season in K-Town and saying, “What the heck was that?” Called Urban Meyer a cheat, choppered down on Georgia high school stadiums, smirked at every abrogation of NCAA bylaws and then … poof, he’s gone.

Like Keyser Soze. Gone so fast you wonder, “Was he here at all?”

What do you do now, Vol fans? Gonna go hire yourselves another fast talker? Jon Gruden, maybe? Gonna let your heart be broken by another guy with an eye on the escape hatch?

Say this for the guy deposed to make room for Kiffy: Phillip Fulmer was a loyal Volunteer. He won you a national title and two SEC championships and never ran off to California or Connecticut or anywhere in between. He wasn’t glib and goodness knows he wasn’t sleek, but by gosh he was a Vol. That orange jersey meant everything to him. (Heck, he wore the thing.) Know what it meant to Kiffin? A way back to L.A.

Apart from signing a few players and making a slew of enemies and beating Georgia by 26 points, what exactly did Kiffin do? His one and only team finished 7-6. And if you were looking for his second team to topple a Tebow-less (and perhaps Urban-less) Florida, you can forget it. There’ll be no second team. Just another coaching search, another new man, another season of transition. Only this time — surely — at lower volume.

I feel for you, Vol fans. You gave your hearts to the brat, and he tore them out and stomped those suckers flat. (Apologies to Lewis Grizzard.) He’s gone to Southern Cal with his lovely wife and his professorial dad and his henchman Ed Orgeron. And you’re sitting at home in Caryville and Oak Ridge and Sewanee and Chattanooga weeping tears of rejection.

Weep not, I say. Or at least not for long. For all the turmoil you’re about to undergo, yours is the luckier program. You’ll find yourselves a coach and go forward and try to forget this ever happened. The Trojans, meanwhile, have traded the NCAA scrutiny left in Pete Carroll’s wake for the heavier dose sure to come under Kiffy and Eddie O. And here’s the darnedest part: Nobody is yet sure if Kiffin the Younger can coach a lick. (Career record: 12-21.)

You can do better than him, Vol fans. You knew as much all along, but you let yourselves be charmed by glitz and brass and promises now rendered as empty as the West Town Mall on a day when the Vols are playing. Deep down you’ve known all along this would never work. Deep down you knew the proud program of Cafego and Atkins and White and Holloway and Majors and Gen. Neyland was never a place for a brat.

1,115 comments Add your comment

SLP

January 12th, 2010
9:42 pm

High five to Al Davis.

Coldbeer

January 12th, 2010
9:43 pm

dawg nation

January 12th, 2010
9:43 pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:43 pm

oh geeze. only third

Dawg stuck in Bham

January 12th, 2010
9:44 pm

wow…i’ve never been in the top 5…THIRD!

Dawg stuck in Bham

January 12th, 2010
9:44 pm

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:44 pm

i broke the story on the other blog.

dawg nation

January 12th, 2010
9:45 pm

this should be a great weekend for the recruits to visit

Bride of Chucky Knapp

January 12th, 2010
9:45 pm

Kirby Smart?

haywood...

January 12th, 2010
9:45 pm

adios, a$$hole.

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:45 pm

broke the story while Mark was in the kitchen eating cocoa krispies

Texas Hillbilly

January 12th, 2010
9:45 pm

porkbelly

January 12th, 2010
9:46 pm

I wander if Lacy Pearl Epps is going west with her pimp?

Dawg stuck in Bham

January 12th, 2010
9:46 pm

UT, and the SEC for that matter, is better off without him.

Kennesaw Dad

January 12th, 2010
9:46 pm

I am a big time college football fan but have to say that the 2009-2010 college football coaching carousel (climaxed by Lane Kiffen) has provided a horrific example to the 17-22 year old players. I used to think the BCS was a mess!

MattDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

Wow. So unexpected, but so so wonderful. I can’t wait to see Vol fans crying or just shocked.

Larry Munson

January 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

USC just stepped on their face with a hobnailed boot and broke their nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

matt r

January 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

With all the shakeups, is there any reason at all now that Georgia should not be division champs next year (provided they get their DC)?

And for the record K-town is Kennesaw.

mike w. on the lake

January 12th, 2010
9:47 pm

happy birthday rhb!

Sonny Clusters

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

We was reading that and was moved to tears. Somebody close by is going to Tennessee . . .

Ron Mexico

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

I for one love this story and it couldn’t have happened to a better group of people!

Knox Kiffin

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

daddy, you gonna change my name to cal now?

red5.ws

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

FINALLY Mark, you should hang this one on your wall.

Cobb Dawg

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

Hate to say it but Vol fans got exactly what they deserve. There’s no more trash talkin’ fans in all of college football.

ChopperWatchingDawg

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

LK leaving UT is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time…hahahhahahahahahahah
I’m glad he left before we offered his Dad the DC gig here at JAWJA!!!!!!!!!

Robin Huud

January 12th, 2010
9:48 pm

Well Mark Bradley; sounds like sour grapes to me. Remember he beat the hell out of your revered Georgia Bulldogs. So what are you smirking about. Tennessee is Tennessee, but it is Southern Cal. Get real.

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

this might be the opportunity of a lifetime for me.

Swampthing

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

John Chavis anyone?

Mark Bradley

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

I’m a little different. Even though I’m from Kentucky and Kentucky folks are supposed to hate Tennessee folks, I never have. I have great respect for that football program — my dad played baseball in the Army with Hal Littleford, who was a captain of one of Neyland’s teams, and spoke glowingly of him — and what it represents. And that’s why I couldn’t believe Tennessee allowed itself to be seduced by this twerp.

Mark Bradley

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

Don’t know if the Chief has the personality to be a head coach, Swampthing.

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

if chavis were any good, wouldnt he be usc bound?

Dawg in Grovetown

January 12th, 2010
9:49 pm

Kiffin knew he was going to lose to Georgia in Athens so he took his toys to Cali…..I’m just wonderin’? I know we are having a problem getting the right D-coordinator, we’ll find our guy. But what does that say about the University of Tennessee when their coach leaves after one season to coach So. Cal?

treyingeorgia

January 12th, 2010
9:50 pm

Priceless to all you UT fans… priceless…how does it feel to be used and abused… talk about a sinking ship…

Decatur Dawg

January 12th, 2010
9:51 pm

Serves Vol fans right for sure. My only regret is that Kiffin won’t have to come Athens in October and answer for his guarantee that he would “never lose to Georgia”.

willie martinez

January 12th, 2010
9:51 pm

Mark, this is obscure, but do you recall a major league pitcher from the 1940’s named Ace Adams? Ace was his real name.

Bryan G.

January 12th, 2010
9:51 pm

Kiffin was right….he would never lose to UGA while at UTK. lol.

buzztheirazz

January 12th, 2010
9:51 pm

good article. volnation will be in a better place b/c of this. might be awhile and UGA might start leading the SECe again…which stinks but…

GO JACKETS!!

Trojan Fan

January 12th, 2010
9:51 pm

Is there any way Tennessee can match our offer? PLEASE?????

BehindEnemyLines

January 12th, 2010
9:52 pm

At least a few of us never fell for the act in the first place & now we just hope he didn’t do enough to cause serious NCAA problems down the road in the short time he was in Knoxville. Meanwhile, I can’t think of a better replacement available at the moment than Kirby Smart. Let’s see how sincere Saban was about not having a problem with an assistant taking a head coaching position.

Mark Bittner

January 12th, 2010
9:52 pm

Kiffin can go but I’m heartbroken his hot wife will be going with him. She was the only reason we hired him, anyway.

Top Dawg

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

I have always wondered how to spell Keyser Soze. Now, I know. Thanks Mark. :-)

Rex

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

hahahahahahahaha.

Mark

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

Schlabach says muschamp will get a call first for the job.

All overweight Vol rednecks

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

SEC East you say? Now this is truly funny. Hope you can keep dem dere recuits. Yuckity, yuck, yuck.

treyingeorgia

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

Mark do you really think he would go there… what a homecoming it would be… it will be an interesting couple of day’s…

Sonny Clusters

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

Mark, our journalistic instincts cut right in when we found that story on the USC website. We was sure you was on it, too. Wonder if they are singing Rocky Top about now?

GT STILL IS A 4TH RATE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A SMALL CHILD IN A CANDY STORE????????????????

Dan

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

I wonder if the Vol brain trust was laughing last winter when Kiffie requested a clause be inserted in his contract that he could walk if the SC job (the real one, not Brand X in Columbia) opened up? Who’s laughing now?

Mark – in the event ESPN offered you Bill Simmons job withe the salary to match would you stay to blog away at the AJC?

Kiffin’s dream job opened up and he grabbed it – in the moral sewer that is college football head coaching Kiffin is simply a highly evolved member of the species

OneandDone

January 12th, 2010
9:53 pm

Get that obnoxious loser out of the SEC.

BTW, am I the only one trying to figure out what he has accomplished to
make people so high on him.

GT STILL IS A 4TH RATE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM

January 12th, 2010
9:54 pm

UGA SHOULD PUSH RICHT FOR THE VOLS JOB, THEN GET MUSCHAMP. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA