For once, usc doesn't get everything it wants. For once, score one for the good guys.
- Pete Carroll high-tailed it out of town after finding out that usc football was facing possible sanctions in the near future. Apparently usc was notified 90 days before their scheduled February meeting, which accounts for why Carroll would surprise everyone and take a NFL job. Still, its really not that surprising since we all knew that Carroll's ego would not allow him to go his entire career without trying to prove that he's not a failure at the pro level. Also, with his dominance over the Pac-10 slipping from his grasp along with the possible sanctions about to hammer his program, he figured he might as well bail now. Anyway you look at it, its a good thing for UCLA.
- Unable to get Mike Riley (whom I was most afraid of), Jeff Fisher, Jack Del Rio, or Boise St's Peterson, usc AD Mike Garrett (who doesn't look like he's very good at his job and doesn't care very much either) settled for .... Lane Kiffin. Unbelievable. This guy is the only person I can think of who was absolutely mediocre at his first 2 head coach jobs and managed to land one of the biggest jobs in college football. I realize that it was a package move for Orgeron and Monte but it still comes down to Lane. Had Al Davis not gone braindead and hired an absolute nobody, Kiffin should probably be at San Jose St or some small school like that cutting his teeth and earning his way. Instead, now Lane thinks he's on top of the world at sc before paying his dues.
I have a huge problem with Kiffin bailing after ONE YEAR. The Tennessee AD took a big chance and hired a young brash coach when nobody else wanted him. Lane then deserted UT and left the program in a horrible position - in the middle of recruiting season without any good head coach options. It shows a lack of responsibility, a lack of respect, a lack of maturity, and a lack of integrity. And the fact that usc was willing to hire him tells you what you need to know about them. And again, the funny thing is, he's not even a proven coach like Petrino or Saban.
Then, in the face of possible sanctions, Lane Kiffin proclaims at his press conference that his priority is to run a clean program. That's of course right after Orgeron controversially tries to poach Tennessee recruits to usc, a highly unethical move in college football. I think its clear that Kiffin is an agressive, self-serving, egomaniac who will stop at nothing to succeed. Having said all this, I think he has a great chance to succeed at usc. They are indeed made for each other, aren't they? Now whether or not he can win championships is a whole other deal. Plus, I don't believe that the NCAA will ultimately really do anything to usc football other than a weak slap on the hand.
UCLA's victories this week? Perhaps its Pete Carroll leaving. Maybe its Lane Kiffin coming. But for sure, its the fact that Norm Chow is staying. They can't buy everything they want. At least not this year.