Saturday, June 12, 2010

A new ball game for Kiffin
When Lane Kiffin left Tennessee after coaching the Vols for just one season, there was talk that some of his players would follow him to USC. After Thursday's announcement of penalties assessed by the NCAA against the Trojan's football program, it's doubtful that any players will be moving from Rocky Top to Heritage Hall. In fact, one of Kiffin's biggest tasks will be to keep USC players, especially those in the incoming freshman class, from transferring to other schools.
The key to holding the USC football team together through two years of no post-season play and a limit on the number of scholarships it can offer will be how well Kiffin can coach, and win.
It remains to be seen if USC will follow through on it's intent to appeal the NCAA's sanctions. If the Trojans appeal, they would go into 2010 season as if all is well, with a chance of playing in a major bowl. Appeals of this kind usually take between 9 months and a year to be resolved. But if the appeal is rejected, USC must then serve the full sentence.
With good coaching by Butch Davis and then Larry Coker, Miami came back to play in the national championship game in just six years after receiving similar NCAA sanctions. With the real possibility that the Pacific 10 could grow to as many as a 16-team league, adding several schools from the Big 12 including Texas and Oklahoma, Kiffin's first season at Troy becomes all the more that of a monumental challenge.


add Kiffin: It would seem that the first-year USC coach is more fortunate than ever in having two veteran assistant coaches on his staff, one who can literally give him some fatherly advice. They would be his dad Monte Kiffin, and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. It's ironic that both Lane Kiffin and Orgeron were assistant coaches under Pete Carroll during the years Reggie Bush played at USC.

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