A few random thoughts on the news of Lane Kiffin's abandonment of Tennessee:
- Lane Kiffin's brief reign on Rocky Top will be remembered mostly for the smack talk. It's funny, because such chest-thumping was tolerable, even embraced by multitude of otherwise humble Tennessee fans because of the effect it had. It galvanized the team and the fan base. You often heard players say they liked it because it showed that Kiffin "had their back." And then he bolts. It's like poking Satan with a sharp stick and then pointing to your friend while you high tail it out of there. Nice.
- So much for the slogan. It's Time. Time to burn those shirts, per Pride of the Southland: "ITS TIME to stab me in the back. ITS TIME to show your true colors. ITS TIME to destroy my program. ITS TIME to burn."
- The timing. This has to be the worst time to be looking for a new coach. There are a mere 21 days until National Signing Day. I'm told by that same source I mentioned earlier that all eight mid-term guys are no longer mid-term enrollees. Twitter says that Tyler Bray's dad was fuming and "working the phones." And does anyone think that Kiffin's "ethics" will cause him to refrain from recruiting any of the players committed to or recruited by the staff while at Tennessee to Southern Cal? Anyone? Bueller?
- As if the mere bolting wasn't classless enough, Kiffin attempted to impose ridiculous restrictions on the coverage of his press conference. He would not take questions. I second that comment of Wes Rucker, who said, "If you've got nothing to be ashamed of, take some questions." Kiffin almost canceled the whole thing because some TV guys wouldn't agree to avoid live shots. Nice.
- Who now? Troy Calhoun? John Gruden? Mike Leach? Gary Patterson? David Cutcliffe? Kyle Whittingham? Will Muschamp? Can we get a guy from the NFL? Do we want a guy from the NFL?
- Spencer won the cheese bet. Of course, so did we, as it was a gift wager and we lost nothing. Except, of course, for our coaching staff -- all but one of them! But we were playing with house cheese, so, you know. You take what you can get.
- The deal. GVX says that Kiffin's buyout was a mere $800k (I've misplaced the link). That's probably a consequence of a lower-than-normal head coaching salary and perhaps some other quirks in the contract relating to spreading the wealth among the entire staff, but still. It sure was financially easy for him to leave, wasn't it? Mike Hamilton will likely be answering questions from major donors tomorrow morning.
- Speaking of Mike Hamilton, what a rotten several months this guy has had. The pellet guns and Prius debacle. The guns and dope basketball player thing, and now this. At least that's the proverbial "three," and he can set about the task of recovering now.
- Kiffin's move has made hundreds of thousands of southerners sudden UCLA fans. Who doesn't want to see the Trojans fail spectacularly now?
That's it for now, although I'm sure we'll have much, much more in the coming days. Remember, we may feel like torches and pitchforks right now, but they never look good on the tape in the morning. 'Night all.