Jan 14

When the Cat is Away...

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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As many of you know, I was away on vacation last week. Our group journeyed out to Crested Butte, Colorado, where we had our eyes peeled for Mike Leach, who has a home there and had recently been in town. We didn't see Leach, but we did see that the college football coaching world has once again been turned upside down - this time courtesy of Lane Kiffin, who hosed Tennessee to skip back to Los Angeles...The accompanying photo features Mike Garrett, the USC athletic director who will get the credit or the heat for this hire, and Layla Kiffin, who had become a popular figure in Knoxville (probably not so much now), but who will not stand out so much in L.A.
* Tommy Tuberville to Texas Tech. One more week and he would have been the Tennessee Coach....As great as Tuberville's new job is, you can certainly bet that the Tennessee job would have been more highly desired for Tuberville. He is an SEC man, having cut his teeth at Ole Miss, then having a pretty successful tenure at Auburn. UT would have made sense in so many ways for both Tuberville and UT. It is funny the way things happen. Just three days after landing a great job in the Big 12, perhaps Tuberville's dream job opened up at Tennessee. "Dream job" may be taking it a tad to far, but you can bet your last dollar that Tubs and UT would have had serious talks.
* Lane Kiffin to Southern Cal. This is the shock of the year to me. I mean, if ever there was a guy who has gotten by by his name, it is Kiffin. Personally, I am not a fan. If you read over his resume, he really has not accomplished anything substantial, yet finds himself in charge of one of the most storied teams historically and recently successful programs in college football. He made a joke out of Tennessee - a very proud program - by leaving after just one season. That season was mediocre, yet earned him the Southern Cal job.
Former USC coach Pete Carroll has given his endorsement to Kiffin, but so what! Carroll could say anything right now and be fine in the eyes of Trojan fans. Like it or not, Carroll restored USC to glory, and the fans in Calirfornia must respect that. Now, Carroll has said he expects Kiffin to succeed and says that USC will do very well under Kiffin (Keyshawn Johnson also attended Kiffin's USC presser). That sounds great from Pete, and is good for program unity during this transition, but do you really think he means that? I think he is just trying to help Kiffin out with the statement, but honestly, we all know USC is about to slip. They will be good, but Pac 10 domination is over.

Kiffin said Tennessee was a "top-10 job," but that USC was his "number-1 job." He said this was a "no-brainer" decision for him to go to Southern Cal....OK, that makes sense for Kiffin, so I understand his decision, and hate it, but get, the slap to Tennessee in his leaving. But what I don't understand is how he got into the position to have that choice in the first place. You know, maybe he will do ok, but I need to see him prove it.
And what is up with Norm Chow? I am trying to get my facts straight, and please someone ("Cal'sGold") correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Chow leave USC (as offensive coordinator) in early 2005, after one national title and another national title game appearance? He wanted to be a head coach (tried for Stanford job), and I may be wrong, but it just seems odd that Chow would even consider working for a younger Kiffin at this point - especially after now getting settled in at UCLA as their OC. I still think Chow would like to be a head coach in his next coaching move. Again, this is left coast stuff, so someone correct me if I have my facts and years wrong.
* Who will Tennessee get? The top word on the street right now is that Will Muschamp, the Texas Longhorn coach-in-waiting, will be offered the Volunteer job. He is highly respected in the coaching world, and being the head man in Knoxville is just as intense as being the head man in Austin (and just as lucrative). There is no doubt that Muschamp will get an interview offer. Another name being thrown out there is that of David Cutcliffe, currently the head coach at Duke. Cutcliffe is well thought of in Knoxville, having worked for Phillip Fulmer for years on the offensive side of the rock. Cutcliffe has also turned Duke from being a laughing joke, to being a team that you actually have to prepare for. This will be an interesting story to keep up with.
* College basketball roundup. I am not as big of the basketball fan as I am of football and baseball (and World Cup), but I am trying. Today, Clemson defeated North Carolina handedly at home, and Duke beat Boston College. Also, Texas and Kentucky are still unbeaten - the only two remaining undefeated teams. The current top ten teams are Texas, Kentucky, Kansas (lost this week to Tennessee), Villanova, Syracuse, Purdue, Michigan State, Duke (lost this week to Georgia Tech), Tennessee and West Virginia.
The Big East has 6 ranked teams, the ACC has 6 ranked teams, the Big Twelve has 4 ranked teams, the SEC has 3 ranked teams, the Big Ten has 3 ranked teams, and the Pac Ten has no teams in the AP top 25.

* NFL Playoffs. The NFL playoffs have rolled around, and here are the matchups. I like the NFL pretty good, but I really start watching hard during the playoffs.

In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens will play at the Indianapolis Colts Saturday, and the NY Jets will play at the San Diego Chargers Sunday.

In the NFC, the Arizona Cardinals will play at the New Orleans Saints Saturday, and the Dallas Cowboys will play at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The Super Bowl is Feb 7th, and I will go with Indianapolis versus New Orleans.

* More Sports. Football signing day is February 3rd. Spring Practice follows a few weeks later, but football season has - college wise - come to a relaxing slow-down. However, college baseball and spring training will step up to keep things going. Please feel free to talk any sport you like here on Fans25....

Please discuss: http://fans25.com/discuss-thread.cfm?dt=2456

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