Cavalcade: The Kiffin Aftermath

Campus Insiders & CFN
Posted Oct 1, 2013

The Lane Kiffin experience & more in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy

Cavalcade of Whimsy

College Football For the Handsome

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- August 27 - Kickoff Cavalcade | Sept. 3 - Enter Jameis Winston 
- Sept. 10 - Trying To Quit Texas | Sept. 17 - Trying To Help The NCAA
- Sept. 24 - Cupcake Saturday Fiasco

Oct. 1, Part 2 Ten Reasons To Be Grouchy

Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … my bags are still on the bus.

19 days since … the Yahoo Sports allegations against D.J. Fluker, Tyler Bray, Maurice Couch, Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis, along with the Sports Illustrated allegations against Oklahoma State.

Your 2013 list of everyone really, really upset over Lane Kiffin being fired, followed up by the complete directory of those in support of the former head football coach in his time of embarrassment ...

1. Lane Kiffin

"The average Ruskie, son, don't take a dump without a plan." ... There's never, ever a good time for a coach to leave. Whether he's taking off for another job, or if he's being Paul Zarad and asked to come into the SUV in an alley, it never works out well. Recruiting is 24/7, 365 days a year, so a coaching change always affects the mood of some dopey 17-year-old for about ten minutes, and then he gets back to his video game. But for Pat Haden and his "gut feeling in the third quarter," there's a reason for the move to be made and made now. It had to be done, and it's not necessarily Kiffin's fault.

Who's the ideal guy for the job? Actually, it's probably Lane Kiffin, only without the NCAA restrictions. It's easily forgotten that USC being mediocre was sort of the point behind the sanctions – the program was being punished. Fair or not, back when the NCAA actually had a spine and wanted to police collegiate athletics, taking away scholarships really was the tough part, and Kiffin could only do so much. Does that excuse the problems in the bowl game last year? No, but overall, once the injuries hit, or when someone isn't getting the job done, there was little to count on.

Even so, Haden wouldn't have done this right now if he didn't have something specific in mind. He's not going to cast a net and do a coaching search for the best candidate, and he's not going to be turned down. There won't be a chance for any coach to say he was offered the gig, but the the job wasn't right. No, Haden is way too smart for that. Once the timing is appropriate he'll name his guy, and it'll be done.

If it's not Jack Del Rio, or some other USC-tied option, then Haden's timing is more vital than ever. This off-season, there's a chance Texas, Nebraska, and if the NFL comes calling as expected, Texas A&M – USC, you're not getting Kevin Sumlin – Notre Dame and UCLA could all be just a few of the monster gigs open. If Haden is thinking of a Bobby Petrino-type of hot guy, better to get this done now and not risk losing the No. 1 choice to somewhere else.

As long as he didn't question whether or not that whole 9/11 thing really happened ... If Kiffin had Pete Carroll's personality, he'd still be the head coach of the USC football program.

It's been a while since Tennessee students voiced their displeasure by burning something tasteful ... Only half-joking, Haden isn't doing his job as an athletic director if he doesn't at least take a strong look at Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. If the NCAA is consistent with its punishments – obviously, that's hardly a given - then Tennessee, who's already on some sort of probation thing, should probably be given the USC treatment if the Maurice Couch and Arian Foster things have any merit. Jones is young, energetic, brilliant in the social media world, and considered one of the rising head coaching minds in the business. He's Lane Kiffin without being all Lane Kiffiney.

Hand … still … hurting …from deathgrip … handshake ... My impersonation of USC interim head coach, Ed Orgeron, and trust me, it's spot on.

First, to get this right, you have to scream at the top of your lungs for 19 straight minutes, and then follow it up by gargling with the hottest Tabasco sauce that you can find, and then scream louder and louder and louder as long as you can until your voice gives out completely, and then powerslam three Red Bulls.


Countdown To Jim Mora Jr. taking another job in the NFL at 98 days, 13 hours, nine minutes and 14 seconds … 13 seconds ... USC, just weather the storm. Mora is a terrific head coach, and he was talking about going to the college ranks when he was in the NFL, but the big league is the big league. He's too good not to be back in the show, and then this whole UCLA thing will blow over. For now, it's going to be ugly – shhhh, this Bruin team might be BCS championship good – and there could be a rocky few years, but you're USC. You know how this is all going to go.

"If you gave an order, that Santiago wasn't to be touched, and your orders are always followed, then why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?" ... Anyone who'd give Zach Mettenberger's mom, an administrative assistant at Georgia, any sort of mean-spirited hazing – and not just the fun, our-team-is-going-to-win kind – because her son plays for LSU, should be fired on the spot. Really, why would it have been "awkward for her to be hanging around all week," as Mark Richt said when he wanted to give her the week off? Richt was trying to be nice, and he wanted her to enjoy the moment, but if there was any sort of real problem, then there's a bigger issue.

But Mettenberger's mom should have to wear an Aaron Murray jersey for a week ... Here's how it works when it comes to wagering with your friends and co-workers when it comes to the big game. It's the job of the guy with the favored team to offer to give points, it's the right thing to do, and it's the duty of the guy with the underdog to act insulted and not take them. If your team loses by five and the spread was seven, are you really going to eat that $5 footlong you won with any pride? I don't care if your team is Savannah State and the spread is 65, you never, ever give away points. Your team wins, or it doesn't, and if that means taking the bet and losing, you do it, and you do it with honor.

"You're still here? It's over. Go home... go!" (ba bam … chick, chicka chicka) ... Has Mariano Rivera finally retired? He was a closer. He was the greatest closer of all-time, and he was a good dude, but he was a closer. How can the game of baseball miss you if you won't leave?

Early BCS championship line: SEC champ, minus-a gajillion ... Miami University. UCF. Cal. UAB. Michigan State. Nebraska. Indiana. Purdue. Penn State. Illinois. Wisconsin. Michigan. Buffalo. San Diego State. Cal (again). Florida A&M. Wisconsin (again). There. That's your 17-game Ohio State winning streak under Urban Meyer. Yes, you can only beat who's on your schedule, and yes, if it was so ever, everyone would do it, but c'mon. California has been awful, there hasn't been another non-conference game of note, and beating Wisconsin twice, while nice, isn't exactly pushing the envelope.

It's Pass Defense 101 - DON'T GET BEAT DEEP ON A BOMB WITH NO TIME LEFT ... What was better, the Braxton Miller touchdown pass at the end of the first half against Wisconsin, or the magical play by Jameis Winston to close out the end of the first half against Boston College? The Winston play was fantastic, but after the dipsy-doo escape, he basically just chucked it up hoping for something good to happen. Meanwhile, you could tell the second the ball left Miller's hand that something amazing was going to happen. He didn't lob it up in a Hail Mary sort of way, he had his man open and he put that thing on a 50-yard rope.

Funny, no one complains about the high-octane offenses when Florida and Mississippi State play ... This isn't all that hard to figure out. KiKi Mingo, Dee Milliner, Sheldon Richardson, Jarvis Jones, Eric Reid, Sharrif Floyd, Alec Ogletree, Matt Elam, Darius Slay, Johnthan Banks, Kevin Minter, Jon Bostic, D.J. Swearinger, Bennie Logan, Tyrann Mathieu, Damontre Moore, John Jenkins, Shawn Williams, Corey Lemonier, Sam Montgomery, Zaviar Gooden. Nico Johnson, Jelani Jenkins, Sean Porter, Devin Taylor, Sanders Commings, Jesse Williams, Tharold Simon, Lavar Edwards, Quinton Dial, Josh Boyd, Josh Evans, DeVonte Holloman, Cornelius Washington, Bararri Rambo. Why are SEC defenses down? The conference is a talent factory, and there will be more defensive players gone to the next level next season, but 35 key defensive players were drafted, not to mention a slew of starters who weren't. LSU and Georgia are rebuilding and reloading, meanwhile, the league is loaded with tremendous veteran quarterbacks.

In the Week Five episode of the Baker Mayfield NCAA Record Watch Of Whoopee ... With the right coach and the right team, everything is set up perfectly for the Texas Tech true freshman to obliterate Case Keenum's NCAA passing records. Texas Tech didn't play this week, but Kliff Kingsbury remained handsome.  COUNTDOWN TO KEENUM: 18,464 yards, 150 touchdowns.

"So please please please let me, let me, let me let me get what I want this time" … Welcome to my shameless and impossible quest to be on the committee that helps pick the playoff teams. Why do I deserve a spot this week? Select me and I promise not to whine and complain that San Diego – where every Super Bowl and major college football championship should be held until the end of time - isn't among the eight communities that submitted bid to host the College Football National Championship Game in 2016 and 2017,

Oct. 1, Part 2 Ten Reasons To Be Grouchy