Lane Kiffin moves all of his crap into the head football coach's office at Tennessee today, only the third time someone has done that in the past 31 years. Phil Fulmer said goodbye on Saturday and Kiffin will be announced as his successor today, most likely what he's had in mind since the last Sunday in Sept., when he called for that 76-yard field goal against the Chargers. Attempt comically doomed field goal; get self fired by elderly, cantankerous owner; field college coaching offers; profit. One thing he probably didn't think through, however:
Now you're coaching in the SEC. Think Al Davis and Norv Turner were formidable foes? As Ray Ratto said in the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday: The company around him is world-class fast — Nick Saban at Alabama, Urban Meyer at Florida, Mark Richt at Georgia, even Houston Nutt at Mississippi — and what he has proven as a head coach is mostly that he could irritate the boss.
The 33-year-old Kiffin is taking over a program that hasn't won an SEC title in 10 years, in a state that takes college football a bit more seriously than breathing oxygen. So we'll really see what he can do as a head coach, and more importantly, as a recruiter. The Vols had the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals.com. After several players decommitted, the ranking dropped to 17th.
His background suggests Kiffin will be able to secure many of the remaining recruits, as well as bring in other top-notch players in the coming years. He spent six years under head coach Pete Carroll at USC. He helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back national championship games and had a hand in signing Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.