So McMurphy floated his name yesterday so I decided to do some research. I’ve never liked Kiffin; thought he was a pretty boy that was promoted ahead of schedule due to his father. However, my views may be changing on him.
Kiffin moved up fast through Pete Carroll’s USC teams and quickly became their recruiting coordinator and OC. While in those positions, they brought in the #1 classes regularly and won a championship.
He moved to Oakland and became the youngest NFL coach ever and was mediocre at best. To be fair, every coach after 2002 was mediocre as Al Davis was still sticking his nose in business and making personal decisions. Davis went with Jamarcus Russell with the #1 pick even though Kiffin was solidly against it. In the end, that relationship died as the two didn’t see eye to eye (Davis famously called out Kiffin for being a fraud and refused to pay him - wasn’t the first coach Davis did that to).
Kiffin then became the youngest ever college head coach at Tennessee and proceeded to pump life into an outdated offense (Took over for Phil Fulmer). While there, Kiffin brought in a top 5 recruiting class, but saw mediocre results on the field.
After one year, he pulled a Herman and took the open USC job. Vols fans basically acted like we are now, only worse as students rioted on campus. Sanctions came down on USC before he even started and the NCAA juniors and seniors transfer out with no restrictions or having to sit out a year and also took scholarships. Kiffin actually did well in his first 2 years, taking USZc to a 10-2 record his 2nd year. By his 3rd year, the loss of scholarships was hard to overcome and he was fired midway through the 4th year (famously on a bus outside the facility).
Kiffin then appeared at Alabama to study for a few weeks when Saban hired him as OC. Since then, Alabama has seen a lot of success as Saban now has a modern offense to go with his stifling defense. They won the championship last year and look to be the favorites this year with a freshman QB leading the way under Kiffin.
Pros: He’s still young (41), he’s got an incredible pedigree, he can recruit, he’s got a ton of coaching connections to build a staff, and he has a very good offensive mind.
Drawbacks, he was basically Herman before Herman and I’d imagine he’d jump for a blue blood P5 job in a heartbeat if offered. He’s also has come off like a spoiled brat on occasion and would probably struggle with the media.
I think I’ve changed my mind on Kiffin and he would be a great guy to take a chance on, especially if you can build in a huge buyout in his contract. In fact, I think he’d be at the top of my list right now. What does everyone think?
@CougarJim1974 you’ve watched him in the SEC; is he worth it?