JOE BIDDLE: Lane Kiffin is bad for college football

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

When you sit down to share Thanksgiving goodies with family and friends, be thankful you are not a college football coach.

For former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin, the Thanksgiving meal will offer little flavor. It will be a far different celebration than it probably was three years ago when Kiffin was hired by Southern Cal. He was called home for his “dream job.'' The fact he left Tennessee's program high and dry, mattered not to Kiffin. People like him have no conscience.

Kiffin is the gift that keeps on giving, as the NCAA tacked two more years of probation on the Vols football program last week, thanks to rules violations crafted by former Vols/Kiffin assistant Willie Mac Garza.

Kiffin tried to hide a lot of things during his short reign of error on the Hill. He was someone you trusted like a pickpocket.

Now it is seemingly all catching up to him at Southern Cal.

His USC team just got blown up by Pac 10 and cross-town rival UCLA last Saturday. It was not a good sign for Kiffin's longevity with the Trojans.

Not only are his Trojans about to become the first program since the 1964 Ole Miss team to start the season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, only to be missing in action at the end of the season.

Kiffin's job security is shaky at best. If Southern Cal loses to top-ranked Notre Dame, it will be the first time in 17 years the Trojans would lose to Notre Dame and UCLA in the same season. That would put him one step closer to getting a ride on the coaching carousel.

He would become the first USC coach since Paul Hackett to have at least five losses in two of his first three seasons.

So far, Trojans Athletics Director Pat Haden has not tipped his hand on Kiffin's future. He inherited Kiffin and will do what is best for USC.

Assuming Kiffin has a five-year contract, he would join coaches like Derek Dooley to have the plug pulled after only three years. The old five-year plan for coaches to turn a program around is history. These days you get three strikes and you're out.

There are other disturbing character flaws exhibited by Kiffin. blogger Arash Markazi details several of them in his blog.

Markazi points out that Kiffin denied casting a No. 1 preseason vote for the Trojans in the USA Today coaches poll. Kiffin pulled his vote and lashed out at the paper for breaking his confidence when they failed to back his version of the vote.

He also refused to let visiting teams stage a walk-through practice at the Coliseum. It's a courtesy that is widely shared by coaches.

Kiffin tried to lay the blame on the venue, while Coliseum officials claimed it was totally USC's call. Who would you trust?

Kiffin reportedly switched jersey numbers between a backup quarterback and his punter during a game against Colorado before he attempted a two-point conversion in a 50-6 blowout against a 1-10 opponent.

It gets better. It's why Tennessee officials should say an extended Thanksgiving prayer. They should give extra thanks that this lying skunk is no longer a Tennessee Vol.

It was widely reported that Kiffin blamed a student manager for letting some air out of the game balls during the first half of USC's game against Oregon. Student managers usually follow the orders of the head coach. Instead, the school fired the manager and the school was fined $25,000 for the plot to break the rules.

Kiffin is a wolf in a sheep's uniform. He is not to be trusted and trust is paramount in his profession.

The USC program will lose 20 scholarships over the next two years, thus extending the damage orchestrated by Kiffin.    

Haden needs to cut his losses. A Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes scholar, former attorney and sportscaster, Haden is more than smart enough to realize he has a rat running his football program.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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