So that's it? Lane Kiffin? One of the best jobs in the country opens up and Tennessee decides a guy with a 5-15 head coaching record is the answer? Did I miss something? Kiffin is most well known for being the youngest coach in NFL history when he was hired by Al Davis to coach the Oakland Raiders. That experience turned out miserable for both parties involved and ended in a very messy breakup when the Raiders fired him after posting a 1-3 record to start the year. It has to say something about your situation when the defensive coordinator is the most prolific coach on your sideline. Even a general skim of Kiffin-to-Tennessee articles on the internet all talk more about the coup of bringing the Lane's father, Monte, in to join the staff rather than discuss Lane's qualifications for the job. What would I have done?
It's simple really. All the Volunteers had to do was open up their checkbooks and offer the ranch to Cincinnati Head Coach Brian Kelly. Kelly has a proven track record of turning around programs. He took Central Michigan from an afterthought to the MAC Championship. A lot of people thought Kelly was nuts for taking the Cincinnati gig because it wasn't much of a "name" job and the thought was no one could win there. Well, last year Kelly led the Bearcats to ten wins and this year they sit pretty at number 13 and winners of the Big East. Yeah he has some baggage, but in this day in age, what is important is that he is bringing wins to programs that aren't accostumed to them. Brian Kelly was the Volunteers answer to the SEC's great cradle of coaches. Can you say you honestly like the chances of Lane Kiffin against coaching studs Nick Saban (Alabama), Steve Spurrier (South Carolina), or Urban Meyer (Florida)? Spurrier's already taking his shots at Kiffin. Tennessee made the right call in making a coaching change this year. There is no doubting Phil Fulmer needed to go. But you are going to have to convince me that hiring a 33 year old guy whom has never been a head coach at the college level was the way to go. Tennessee deserves better than that.