Just an SEC fan living in the North. Missing home.
You know for the longest time I hated Saban. I grew up a Michigan State fan (still am) and I remember him coaching at MSU when I was little. Then he left, won a national title at LSU that probably could have been ours had he stayed and continued to build our recruiting classes, made it to the NFL, and came back to college football at Bama; all while we were struggling to win 3 games a year. I think I'm over him leaving now. I respect what he did for Kiffin and I'm glad he's giving Sark a chance.
Good for Sark. I'm genuinely happy for him. Can't wait to see Saban give him the ole "Run the ball, Sark" routine!
Dude he was never going to LSU. Get over it. It never made sense. Why wouldn't Saban want him back after how well the offense has been run over the past few years? The fact of the matter is that I believe Kiffin. I think he's learned. Go watch the press conference from FAU. You might get a better sense of who he is right now. The media's been out to get him from day 1, and the media has been wrong constantly when it comes to him over the last few years, and especially during this coaching cycle. He made the right choice going to FAU. He made the right choice going to Bama. I'm looking forward to what he does from here.
Already behind FSU, now Jim McElwain must battle Charlie Strong and Lane Kiffin for Florida’s best recruits, too
I wouldn't be so sure, especially considering what David did at Miami. Kiffin might draw in some talented offensive players. I wouldn't be shocked if both coaches bring in a ton of talent.
Already behind FSU, now Jim McElwain must battle Charlie Strong and Lane Kiffin for Florida’s best recruits, too
I think you probably should have mentioned Davis over Strong in the title. That being said, for football junkies like ourselves, Florida's recruiting battles are going to be great. Though FAU and FIU won't compete with Miami, Florida, or Florida State for the top prizes in the recruiting battles, I wouldn't be that surprised to see one or two 5 star players and a load of 4 and 3 star players make their way to Kiffin and Davis's programs.
"However, if his previous stints at Tennessee and USC are any sign, success won't be easy for Kiffin at a larger program." How do you measure success and how can you honestly say that his tenure at UT was successful? He led UT to a victory over Georgia and came closer to beating Bama than any other coach since the stream started. He left after a year. How do you judge someone on a single year? And as far as USC goes, nobody was going to win after the heavy sanctions the school received. Remember that right before Kiffin took over, USC had been handed a two year post season ban, the loss of 30 scholarships, and they had to forfeit a national championship. Kiffin did the best in a terribly difficult situation and Pat Haden made a rash decision. Haden would demonstrate his lack of ability to perform the task of an AD with his hiring of Sarkisian (who would be fired a year and a half after being hired due to his alcoholism) over a successful interim Coach Orgeron. If anyone is to blame for what happened at USC, it's Haden not Kiffin. Look at Kiffin's overall record as a head coach: 35-21. Look at Sarkisan's 2014 squad that was made up of players Kiffin somehow managed to recruit even with the sanctions and loss of scholarship (they went 9-4). Look at how competitive Kiffin's UT squad was. It's completely unfair and unrealistic to deny that he had success as a head coach. The fact that there's this perception out there only highlights the injustice Kiffin's received throughout his career. Get over the fact that he's young, has had jobs that people older than him would kill for, and look at Kiffin in the big picture. FAU made the right decision. They'll win games. It'll be hard. But like everything else (save his time with the Raiders), it'll be a success. TL;DR: Kiffin's been very successful despite the common misconception that he hasn't. Pat Haden is to blame at USC, not Kiffin. At UT, Kiffin had a competitive team that beat Georgia and nearly beat Bama.
It's actually a rather attractive job once you get over the fact it's a small school. Huge recruiting base right next door (Miami), a young program with a ton of history for its age (Two bowl wins, couple of conference championships, connection to the legendary Howard Schnellenberger), and with Butch Davis at their rival school (FIU), there's going to be a bunch of media coverage surrounding the team(s). If Kiffin can build a consistent winner at FAU, he'll find his way back into any power 5 conference.
The entire organization at Houston's got to be off it's rocker. First, hiring Applewhite over Kiffin or Miles, then the comments made about Kiffin, and now this. I'm over their program.
This might work out more favorably for Kiffin. FAU is considering him and even though it's nowhere near the calibre of Houston, it'd be a very nice fit for Kiffin. Consider this: Miami Dade County recruiting grounds, program connection to Howard Schnellenberger, a few conference titles and two bowl victories in its history, and an arch rivalry with FIU who just hired Butch Davis. I'd love to see Kiffin vs Davis. If Lane could built a competitive program at FAU, he'll find himself a major Power 5 school in his next go around. Maybe even at a place with a similar prestige to the schools he's already been at. ... I can already see him replacing Brian Kelly in about three years.
FAU could be a really good fit for him. He'd have the Miami - Dade county area for recruiting, and he's a hell of a recruiter. Besides, Howard Schnellenberger is the father of that program. They've got a little bit of history. And with FIU having hired Butch Davis (FAU's big rival), Kiffin's hire could create some real media buzz every year for both programs. I rather like the idea of Kiffin vs Davis and I'm sure that's one of the many things Kiffin is considering.
And on top of everything importantbrian mentioned above, he'd be playing for national titles under the best coach in college football. How's being a Saban product NOT going to get you noticed?
Even if Kiffin didn't end up getting the Houston job (or any other HC position this year), why would he leave Tuscaloosa for Baton Rouge?
I live in Big Ten country and I've gotten the chance to watch almost every B1G team play two or more games. Michigan would have been the conference's best chance to match up against Bama. OSU will get destroyed. Penn State might have scored... But the other matchups between the B1G and SEC have got to have some folks scared. Iowa - Florida: Iowa is a very good team that underperformed this year. Most people had them picked to win their division (Wisconsin ultimately won it). I'd say that the game against the Gator's is going to be 50-50. Iowa can control the ground game and they've got a tough defense. They also beat Michigan. I wouldn't be shocked to see them win a close one over Florida. Nebraska - Tennessee: Tennessee doesn't match up well against the Cornhuskers. I'll say it right now: Nebraska is going to win this game and they'll win it pretty big. QB play is going to be the difference here: Tommy Armstrong Jr and Josh Dobbs are similar QB's. Between the two, Armstrong has the better arm and he appears to be quicker. Both are seniors, and it'll be the last game of their careers. I expect Armstrong to play better. Dobbs make too many poor decisions with the ball, and I don't exactly have that much faith in OC DeBord. That's pretty much how I expect the two or three games to go. Either the SEC will be 1-2 or 2-1. Neither conference is going 3-0 in these matchups.
The B12 is also on the verge of dying. It's the weakest of the Power Five conferences. Houston might be better off leading the pact for the non-power five schools.
I chuckled a bit with your reply. Yeah, he's a great OC. I think he has potential to be a great HC. He was far too young when he took over the Raiders and he had to deal with the craziness that was Al Davis. He wasn't that terrible at USC. Like I said, at UT he fit perfectly. USC came calling and he wanted to go home. At USC, the odds were against him from the get go, and I'm not sure he ever was AD Pat Haden's man. I felt (at the time) that the hire was one of those "stop the sinking" hires. Sarkisian fit Haden's ideology much better. He (Sark) just couldn't grab hold of his demons. It's a shame, because he could have worked well for USC. But now they've got Clay Helton and he's doing a wonderful job at USC. I'm curious if their new AD has any more patience than Haden.
I don't care what anybody says: Lane Kiffin is a damn good coach and any program would be lucky to have him. Had he not left for USC, he'd probably still be at Tennessee and he'd probably have them as a powerhouse in the SEC East by now. USC fired him prematurely. Despite the team's history, locale, and success of it's former players, it's very hard to compete in recruiting when you've got massive NCAA sanctions on your back. Considering that Kiffin had a 10-2 season there is remarkable considering everything else that was going on at the time. The hire would make perfect sense for Houston. They want a hot name and they want a damned good coach. It really doesn't matter to them how long he stays. They'll just hire another up and comer like PJ Fleck in a few years.
Hoping to see Peppers win it. It's about time a defensive player won a Heisman again.
I think Lane will be approaching it as a stepping stone. Look at Herman and Sumlin. Both found themselves pretty nice jobs at bigger, better schools. Kiffin will stay a few years and move on to someplace like Notre Dame. Though, he's already had a few big programs...
Considering the schedule and the big win over UT, I'd say it was a good year! Looking forward to the bowl!
Penn State lost two games at the beginning of the season (one of which was a rivalry game on the road against a fairly decent team). The only one of those loses that was particularly bad was the loss to Michigan, and they finished ranked inside the top 10. PSU won 9 straight games, beat OSU, slaughtered MSU, and then beat the #6 team in the country to win the Big Ten. OSU lost to Penn State, struggled against MSU and Wisconsin, and only beat Michigan due to an insane amount of terrible missed calls from the refs (of course, when those officiating the game are Ohio residents...). They didn't win their conference or their division. If it wasn't for the fact that Urban Meyer is their head coach they wouldn't be in. Penn State got robbed. They did everything they had to to get that last spot. As far as the BCS system was concerned, yeah it wasn't exactly the fairest system. But I'm almost positive that they would have dropped far outside the top 5 when they lost to PSU and not have found themselves remotely close to playing for a national title. The committee is a joke.
At this point I'd rather go back to the days when the media just selected the champions. I'm done with all these methods of a National Championship game. Let's make the traditional bowl games matter again. Let's give power to the Conference Championships by ensuring that a team that doesn't win their conference has no chance to end up as the national champions at the end of the season.
Your suggestions make a ton of sense, but I'd change the 9 conference games to 8, and I'd stipulate that to make the playoffs, you have to win your conference title. The fact of the matter is that a team that doesn't win their conference shouldn't be playing for the biggest trophy of them all at the end of the season. Why have a conference championship game if you're not going to require a conference title for the playoffs?
Completely agree with your article, Chris. It's incredibly that Penn State, who won what has been arguably the most difficult conference top to bottom (I'd put the SEC above the B1G if we were just talking about the SEC West. The East kinda brought the party down this year...again...), is being left out for a team they beat. The playoff committee obviously proved today that the new playoff system is no better than the BCS system it replaced. In all honestly, the computer-BCS system might have been fairer. Despite the outcome, I find it difficult to imagine any of the other three teams coming close to playing a competitive game in the National Championship. Bama - Washington...that spread is going to be like 50 points.
Gus Malzahn's not going anywhere after this season. We'll get to 8-5 and he'll be given another year. After that, who knows? I don't trust AD Jay Jacobs to make the right decision. Firing Chizik was a mistake. Letting Tuberville walk was a mistake. Hiring Malzahn? I'm not sure whether or not it was a mistake. If your right and Malzahn does end up fired by the end of the season, I'd like to see us target PJ Fleck or Lane Kiffin, should both of them still be at their respective schools. If Auburn hires Briles, I won't watch them play. I won't buy any Auburn gear. Hell, I might just start rooting for Tennessee.
If Dantonio wouldn't leave for his Alma Mater (South Carolina) I don't think he'll leave for LSU. He's got a powerhouse school at MSU and he's older. I don't see him going anywhere.
How about PJ Fleck from WMU? The guy has done a fantastic job turning the program around (they were the worst program in CFB the year before he took the job. Now they're 4-0 with a 2-0 mark against the Big Ten).
I'd agree with you on Herman. I don't think he's going anywhere (especially if Houston goes 13-0 and joins the Big 12). I think LSU is going to have to do a lot of soul searching for their next coach. Art Briles would be a terrible choice. Here's a few guys that could be interesting: Lane Kiffin PJ Fleck John Bonamego Willie Taggart Jason Candle Three of those guys are MAC coaches (it's really amazing how many good coaches have come out of the MAC in recent years: Butch Jones and Brian Kelly being the best known) so I don't think it's out of the question to pull a guy from one of those programs. I really like PJ Fleck. He's at WMU right now and he's done a fantastic job turning that program around. He'd be on my shortlist for any Power 5 program.
Yeah it would. Dan Mullen is probably the second longest tenured coach in the SEC.
Yeah any program that hires Briles lacks any bit of self respect. Talk to Herman. Wait and see how Coach O does. Maybe consider Kiffin.
Hey, not sure I agree with you on Kiffin. Sure, I get that you're still angry over what he did to ya'll a few years back, but lets face it: Kiffin's a good coach. Maybe not a great coach, but a good coach. He's a good recruiter. One heck of an OC. And he can work with just about anything. USC should have never fired him. They'd probably be nationally relevant today had he stayed. Karma though...