My cosmic dilemma: To root against Lane Kiffin or Jim Mora?

Greg Knapp and Jim Mora, shown thinking really hard. (AJC file photo)

Greg Knapp and Jim Mora think really hard. (AJC file photo)

For some reason, UCLA has decided to make Jim Mora its football coach, and the reason might well be that he was the only one who’d take the job. (Boise State’s Chris Petersen turned it down, and apparently so did Kevin Sumlin, who just left Houston to coach Texas A&M.) But enough about process. My issue today is more visceral.

There are two major football-playing colleges in Los Angeles. One is now headed by Little Jimmy Mora. The other is Southern Cal, which is helmed (and I use the term loosely) by Lane Kiffin, whom I’ve previously described as the most hated man in sports. And this leaves me with what we Cold War Kids used to consider the ultimate dilemma: Namely, if the Soviet Union got into it with China, which side would we root against?

Kiffin is a smug little weasel who thinks the football world owes him a living because his daddy was a coach. Kiffin hasn’t been anywhere long enough for anyone to know if he can actually coach. (Though his work this year with the Trojans was — and here I grit my teeth — rather impressive.)

Mora had a good first season with the Falcons, taking them to the NFC title game, but burned enough bridges that the team canned him barely two years later. Then the Seahawks hired him, and they dumped him after only one season to make room for Pete Carroll, whose absence in L.A. made room for Kiffy. (See? It’s all cyclical.)

Falcons fans have no problem identifying their least favorite head coach: He’s Bobby Petrino, the rat lately of Fayetteville. And Petrino, we can all agree, did a terrible thing by leaving the Falcons to go call the Hogs with three games remaining in his only season here. But now I’m going to surprise you.

If asked who their least favorite Falcons head coach was, some folks who still work in Flowery Branch would have to think pretty hard. Because Mora ticked off a lot of people inside the building. (So did Petrino, but from him you expected it.) Mora had a way of big-footing the little people, and those little people tend not to forget. If he thought you could be of service to him, he’d turn on the smarm. If not, he’d just as soon smash your cell phone as look at you.

I could never in good conscience root for Kiffin, but I can’t abide Mora, either. And, as much as I hate to sit on the fence about anything, I don’t think I’ll be perched for long. Kiffin might actually turn out to be a decent coach. (Or, failing that, he’ll recruit so well he’ll look like one.) I’m reasonably certain Mora won’t pan out. I give him two years in Westwood — despite his infamous lust for the Washington Huskies’ job, he hasn’t coached in college since 1984 — and then he’ll be back on TV making me change the channel.

And then I’ll be able to loath just one L.A. coach again. Ah, sweet clarity!

By Mark Bradley

228 comments Add your comment

Ronniemackatl

December 12th, 2011
3:22 pm

Mora. Obviously.

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
3:24 pm

Not so obvious to me, ronniemackatl. This is a tossup.

kurula

December 12th, 2011
3:28 pm

my solution is to wish mediocrity on both of them. not that bad, but not that good. if i root against them and they fail, then they get fired and inevitably rehired. and i couldn’t wish that on yet another program. so it’s better for all parties involved to suffer a middling existence.

roger

December 12th, 2011
3:29 pm

Mora just couldn’t coach, can’t hold that against him, Kiffen is cheating no good whatchamacallit….

Adam

December 12th, 2011
3:29 pm

Why not root against both of them?

pdid

December 12th, 2011
3:30 pm

Mora. Duh. What did kiffin do to atl? Kiffin is an actual good coach too. Mora screwed Vick up and embarrassed our city by the way he left.

Seriously?

December 12th, 2011
3:31 pm

With all of the big-name sports programs in Georgia, is hating other teams (and their coaches) the best that Georgia sports fans can hope for any longer?

Paul

December 12th, 2011
3:31 pm

But Blank gave Mora a big ole hug yesterday after the game……..bygones have been let be

jtb

December 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

Isn’t it for the better that Mora is back to coaching. Knowing that I wouldn’t have to listen to him call any Falcons games next year kept me happy even during yesterday’s 1st half

Bill

December 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

Hate them both.

sogadog

December 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

The Moras and Kiffins of the college football world should make us realize how lucky UGA is to have Mark Richt.

Bryan G.

December 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

I’ll root for Mora or Kiffin if they play Tech…

MastersJacket

December 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

Close call but I will go with Kiffin until Mora voluntarily walks out on a contract leaving damage behind.

1eyedJack

December 12th, 2011
3:33 pm

They are both O-ring contenders, but Puketrino is hands down the most villanous swine ever. Lame does have a hot wife.

Shug

December 12th, 2011
3:34 pm

You might not like the guy, but Lane Kiffin is in line for all sorts of coach of the year awards. USC is apparently back on top (or near it) and Kiffin deserves loads of credit for it.

UGA Insider

December 12th, 2011
3:35 pm

Chris Peterson thought the UGA was his but a funny thing happened…. Our punter made one hell-of-a tackle against Vandy and Peterson is still in Boise. It was probably that close folks.

Badgerina

December 12th, 2011
3:36 pm

Mora is touched. Why else would anyone hire him?

Reverie

December 12th, 2011
3:39 pm

Patrino and Mora and Kiffin are all sourced from the Dollar Store knockoff, used Summers Eve. I pray no harm on them but wouldn’t object to an errant football to their groin occasionally. Based on their behavior and character there is nothing to damage in those regions with anyway. I would warn them the football was on its way. In Patrinos case I’d send him a fax.

Reggie Ball

December 12th, 2011
3:41 pm

All I know is the NCAA should go ahead and open up an infractions division field office in LA. They’re going to need it with these two.

Oh, and where is St. Simons?

kurula

December 12th, 2011
3:42 pm

do you think that they will have to start issuing ’smug’ alerts in LA?

Falcons4Eva

December 12th, 2011
3:45 pm

Mark, I think you seriously under estimate the hatred the Falcons fan fell towards Bobby Petrino.
Simple solution. Put of one of those quick poll questions and let us vote. I bet you Bobby “The Turd” Petrino would win hands downs. I bet you who Authur Blank would choose.

I do think however the meter will tilt to Kiffin because of you will get a lot of Tennessee fans all banding together and vote for Kiffin.

DP

December 12th, 2011
3:45 pm

I don’t like either Mora or Kiffin but prefer both of them to Mark Bradley.

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
3:45 pm

I hate it when readers write better than I do. Great line, kurula.

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
3:46 pm

No, I understand how much Falcons fans hate Petrino, Falcons4Eva. I was just saying that, at least in-house, it’s not a clear decision between Petrino and Mora.

Worm

December 12th, 2011
3:47 pm

I’ll have to Hate Kiffin more..If Mora doesn’t do well, he could resume broadcasting-More obnoxious than Hank Strahm.

Falcons4Eva

December 12th, 2011
3:48 pm

Put up a poll Mark.

1.) Petrino
2.) Kiffin
3.) Mora.

At least Mora (and Michael Vick) help make Falcons football relevant again.

Everytime I see that stupid face of Greg Knapp, he (Knapp) brings back horrible memories! !

1eyedJack

December 12th, 2011
3:48 pm

They do kind of look alike don’t they?

RedandBlackDAWG

December 12th, 2011
3:49 pm

I can’t see where Kiffin has really done anything this year to deserve any special awards. This is not even his recruiting class. He has coached up a lot of good players that Carroll left. Let’s see how he does in two years when the recruits he is getting now, play significant roles for the USC team.
I can’t figure out what the heck Mora has ever done except leave a lot of waste and trash behind him as he left town. Kiffin is the better coach, I think, but what do I know. Neither one of them will ever hold a candle to CMR. Put yourself in the role of a parent of a young teenage girl and either one of these turds wants to take your daughter out. Which one would you trust most?
Petrino isn’t even in the same discussion, because he is below these two. I am not a fan of Pro Football, but know enough to know, that Petrino is lower than snail droppings.

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
3:49 pm

They do, 1eyedJack.

SawThat1nce

December 12th, 2011
3:51 pm

I’m glad that Mora got the job.
Now, if they can get the two announcers(that would be Tony Slobagoosey and Dick Johnson) that work with Marv Abert’s boy, coaching jobs, that would make FOX Sports football telecast, more watchable.

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
3:51 pm

Biggest difference between Petrino and Mora: One can really coach.

DAWG ONE

December 12th, 2011
3:54 pm

Since the question was posed, my answer would be Kiffin. He is the lowest form of coaching and their is no telling what he is doing in LA that is against the rules.

Beast from the East Eaten by Dawg

December 12th, 2011
3:54 pm

Since I’m only a casual NFL fan, Mora really doesn’t bother me. Kiffin? He’s a loudmouth punk living off his daddy’s achievements. The only thing he’s accomplished is marrying a hot Gator gal. But, we’ve banished her from Gainesville for associating with his dumba$$. I actually felt bad for the Vol Nation for having to claim him for a year. USC, on the other hand, is a match made in heaven. They sooooo belong together!

1eyedJack

December 12th, 2011
3:54 pm

The same beady eyes.

Hail Munson

December 12th, 2011
3:56 pm

Kiffin lead to the greatest Al Davis presser of all time when Mr. Davis brought out the overhead projector from a 1984 geometry class to detail why he fired Kiffin. That right there is enough of a reason to root for Kiffin over Mora, and then you add in the fact that had Mora not been such a schmuck, or atleast won while being a schmuck, we never would have had the Bobby Petrino debacle. Not to mention Kiffin has Coach O, the greatest orator of all time, on his staff.

SawThat1nce

December 12th, 2011
3:56 pm

Petrino can probably coach circles around Mora, but Petrino is the biggest, exit of the alimentary canal, by far, between the two of them.

Groundhogday

December 12th, 2011
3:59 pm

As to who’s worse, it’s a jump ball………..but I’ll probably tune in to USC-UCLA next year just for kicks.

Gbal

December 12th, 2011
4:00 pm

I am certainly glad he’s gone from TV to Coaching on the left Coast. I mean listening to him talk on the Falcons broadcast yesterday was truely painful. He never shut up!

Gbal

Gbal

December 12th, 2011
4:02 pm

45 seconds of babble about how two possessions were successful for atlanta because they gained 15 yards in field position! What a bore

Dennis G. Berdanis

December 12th, 2011
4:06 pm

Mora was not competent, but was never the jerk Kiffin or LaTrine-o (Petrino) were/are.

ramblingbuzz

December 12th, 2011
4:06 pm

It’s a toss-up but if they ever make a movie about Mora, I vote for Mark Wahlberg to play the lead role.

lanier

December 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

Mora was a self serving turd. Petrino was just a turd

Buckeye

December 12th, 2011
4:09 pm

Bring back Glanville!

Mark Bradley

December 12th, 2011
4:10 pm

I hate to say it … but I wasn’t crazy about Glanville, either.

Les W. Moore

December 12th, 2011
4:12 pm

There will be an ESPN movie about Kiffin, one day. Not so about Mora.

Steve

December 12th, 2011
4:13 pm

I happen to think Mora will be a very good college coach, Sorry MB

Whatever

December 12th, 2011
4:13 pm

Kiffen who infamously said Georgia would never beat Tennessee again with him as coach. Um, Phillip Fulmer’s Tennessee beat UGA 2-3 prior to Kiffen taking over by the scores of 51-33 (2006 in Athens) and 35-14 (2007 in Knoxville). Not such a bold statement especially considering he only stayed at UT one year. And, I think Monte is more the brains behind the USC success not Lame. Jim Mora is just a moron.

LawDawg

December 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

It just seems like piling on to root against the UCLA Clippers.

Curt

December 12th, 2011
4:22 pm

awe shucks, can’t we all just hate them equally? I mean if they are playing each other can’t we hope that both coaches are run over like Sean Payton or change the channel to a bass fishing show or something

Hillbilly D

December 12th, 2011
4:23 pm

It’s USC-UCLA. Who cares?

Glanville had many faults and still does but he did help get a friend of mine’s kid into the M D Anderson Cancer Clinic, so I can’t really say anything bad about him.