Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kiffin (both of 'em) to USC

Chicken soup for a slow news day:

Tennessee's Lane Kiffin has agreed in principle to become the next head coach at Southern California, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com's Chris Low on Tuesday.

According to the sources, Kiffin will bring his father and defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, and assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron to Southern Cal with him, and wide receivers coach Kippy Brown will be named interim head coach at Tennessee.

A deal is being worked on in hopes of bringing longtime offensive coordinator Norm Chow back to USC in the same capacity, sources close to the school told ESPN's Shelley Smith.

Wow. I predicted that Kiffin would be one of the first guys contacted based on his USC background, but the searched seemed to be moving in a different (and not good) direction. After being rejected by Mike Riley, Jack del Rio and Jeff Fisher, USC could have done a lot worse than Lane Kiffin -- especially when you consider that he's bringing along Norm Chow and Monte Kiffin, two of the best coordinators in all of football.

Is Kiffin a good coach? I don't think anybody really knows yet. Is he an asshole? Yes. But he'll probably be a successful asshole with a coaching staff like that. The only thing that could get in his way is his own ego.

The hardest part will be making enemies in the Pac-10 as fast as he did in the SEC. It won't be easy, but I'm sure he'll find a way (stealing Chow from UCLA is a good start).

Other than that, he'll just have keep the recruiting class intact (one thing he shouldn't have too much trouble with given his recruiting prowess), guide USC through likely severe NCAA sanctions and follow a legend who made winning 11 games and a BCS bowl every year look like a walk in the park. It's not exactly an ideal situation to step into, but if USC was looking for a guy with abundant confidence (also known as cockiness) who knows a thing or two about dealing with negative publicity, they sure found him.

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