Tennessee’s latest coaching search has been a wild ride of incompetence and tomfoolery. Here’s a recap of the last two and half weeks:
- Tennessee Athletic Director John Currie fired Butch Jones on November 12th. At the press conference that announced Butch’s firing, Currie revealed that he wouldn't be hiring a search firm, that the search was his top priority, and that he’d be looking to hire a candidate with integrity.
- The next two weeks play out.. interestingly. Jon Gruden, who is apparently so insecure he needs to be reminded how beautiful and great he is, intentionally trolled the fan base for two weeks. Chip Kelly turned down both Tennessee and Florida and went to UCLA. Dan Mullen rejected the Vols and went back to the Gators, his former employer. A million other names were floated.
- On Sunday, in a move that was puzzling as hell, Currie, who is unquestionably the most incompetent athletic director in the country, decided it would be a good idea to hire Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. This of course, was a terrible hire, because Schiano had a just a 68-67 record at Rutgers, was 20 games below .500 in the Big East, and faced a team mutiny during his second year in Tampa because the locker room hated him so much. He was basically the Butch Jones of the defensive side of the ball. No other big time school was clamoring to have Schiano as they're head coach, which made it strange as to why Tennessee was doing what they were doing. Oh yeah, and his name was also dropped in court documents alleging that he knew about the Sandusky scandal at Penn State. A fan revolt ensued, so passionately that Currie ended up pulling Tennessee’s contract offer, despite the fact that both sides had originally signed a memorandum of understanding.
- On Tuesday, after 48 hours of the national media trashing Tennessee fans as unrealistic and idiot loon bags, Oklahoma’s Mike Gundy and his mullet agreed to interview with the Vols. Tennessee went all in here; they offered him $42 million over 6 years, and they even had Peyton Manning call Gundy and make the pitch. One problem: Gundy had flirted with the Vols before, back in 2012, and used that "mutual interest" as a way to get a pay raise from T. Boone Pickens and the Cowboys. S when he turned them down again that night, it became pretty obvious it was just another smooth move to get more security from Oklahoma State.
- On Wednesday, it was reported by Jimmy Hyams that Tennessee would soon be coming to an agreement with Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, a young up an comer who, by all accounts, runs a fun, inventive offense. Of course, that turned out to not be the case, because according to Clay Travis, this was what actually happened. Hmmm.. that sounds really familiar…..
- Today, after he received a contract offer from Tennessee and a raise and extension from N.C. State, Doeren decided to return to the Wolfpack. Thank god.
Of course, due to his fortunate rejection, the Vols still have no idea who their next football coach is going to be. I think I've got the perfect name for them though, because I can’t think of a better way to end this circus of a coaching search than by… bringing back Lane Kiffin.
I’m 100% serious, and I don’t even think this is a controversial take. At this point, why wouldn’t you? Which realistic coaching option out there is definitely better than Kiffin? He passes the swinging balls bravado test, he’s a hell of an offensive coach, and he can recruit his ass off.
For the longest time, I hated Kiffin, and I never in a million years would’ve considered him a serious candidate two weeks ago. But with as bad as Currie has botched this coaching search, and the negative fan base reaction because of it, Kiffin seems like one of the few people who could drop in there, get a huge pop with fan base, and exist comfortably in the frenzied Knoxville environment.
Think about this; let’s just say Kiffin never coached Tennessee, but instead pulled a one-and-done at somewhere like Georgia. Wouldn’t Vol fans be all about him? Look at his history; he’s just 42, he was USC’s OC from 2005-06, he was picked by Nick Saban to run Alabama’s offense, and he had a 9-3 first year in this season at FAU, a program that went 3-9 in 2016. Plus, as mentioned before, he’s a brilliant offense mind, and an ace recruiter.
I understand he flamed out at USC when he was the head coach there from 2010-13, but they were on probation when he arrived, yet he was still able to pull off a 10 win season in 2011. Of course, he was only in his thirties, and when he started to struggle, he'd already made too many enemies. I just don’t think he was mature enough or ready to be a coach at a big time program like that. But now? He’s in his early forties, and he had to benefit of working with a drill sergeant like Nick Saban, who is perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time. He’s not some dope like Derek Dooley or Sal Sunseri, who we mistakenly thought would’ve contracted Saban’s brilliance through osmosis, because he’s already a smart guy. Working with Saban could only have been a benefit for him.
Again, I get it. He left Tennessee at the altar. He’s the stripper of college football. He’s the motorcycle boyfriend. We’d never be able to trust him, and he's been trolling Tennessee all week, with images like this one.
Which is why it’s time to bring the Orange Knight home. The Lane Train is coming into the station. Let's all get on.