Photo: footloosiety, Flickr Creative Commons
Lane Kiffin bailed on Tennessee's football program after just a year as head coach so he could take the job at USC that Pete Carroll left when he returned to the NFL. Here's what I assume was Kiffin's thought process:
"Let's see, I'm getting a larger paycheck, get to leave east Tennessee for southern California, and I get to take one of the best defensive coordinators in the business, my dad, into a conference that couldn't manage to beat a single decent team during the bowls this year and was owned by the Mountain West Conference. They'll think I'm a god on the West Coast. Besides, everyone in the South hates me now, just because I said a few things about a few other coaches to start the season. Seems like a slam dunk to me."
Personally, I'd take the Appalachians and eastern Tennessee over Los Angeles any day, but Kiffin looks like a douche and I always assume that douches like places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. If he'd taken a job in the Bay Area or north on the Pacific coast, I'd probably understand his decision a little better.
This is what I assume was the thought process of the decision makers at USC:
Seriously, why would USC have gone with Kiffin? Sure, the Vols won as many as they lost in the toughest conference in college football, even after playing both Alabama and Florida, but the guy's unproven. He sucked at Oakland in his first head coaching job, although everyone sucks at Oakland, at least during the latter half of my lifetime. He's never managed to finish two seasons in the same place as a head coach and he's never left a job without people hating him.
Sure USC, just go ahead and pretend that you haven't just killed your program for at least four years. You'll have a good defense, though. Monte, the dad, is a great defensive coach wherever he goes. Congratulations Oregon, the conference is now yours (unless Oregon State or Stanford can beat you for it. I wouldn't worry about Washington or Washington State quite yet.)