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Monday, January 13, 2014

[OT: College Football Offseason Thread]: Lane Kiffin’s First Call as Alabama OC

I think Alabama is going to greatly regret hiring Kiffin as OC, unless they have an aesthetic fetish for the bubble screen—which is the only play Kiffin knows how to call.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 13, 2014 at 01:35 PM | 53 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college football

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   1. spike Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:32 PM (#4638222)
And Grantham gets a $5M get-out-of-jail free card from Bobby Petrino.
   2. steagles Posted: January 13, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4638240)
I think Alabama is going to greatly regret hiring Kiffin as OC, unless they have an aesthetic fetish for the bubble screen—which is the only play Kiffin knows how to call.
alabama will have a great defense, a great offensive line, great runningbacks and an inexperienced quarterback. as kiffin as kiffin's career has been, i can't believe that saban will let him screw things up too badly.
   3. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4638260)
Kiffin has proven he can coordinate a successful offense if he's given a couple of dozen really good players and a bunch of other coaches who know what they're doing.

He's most successful when he's not allowed to mess up or do any other Lane Kiffiny stuff.
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 13, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4638265)
He's most successful when he's not allowed to mess up or do any other Lane Kiffiny stuff.


The only thing he'll be doing under Saban is running Saban's offense and recruiting the hell out of 5-stars. And that is something that Kiffin is real damn good at.
   5. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:14 AM (#4638370)
If everyone in America except Saban agreed that Kiffin will be a failure in Alabama, I'll take Saban's side for any amount of money.

Really people, you think you have a fraction of the information and judgement Saban has? I hate Saban's guts, but still have to concede he's the best in college, one of the best ever.
   6. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4638479)
Oh, good, the appeal to authority. That's always a good idea.

Nick Saban builds great defenses and wins a lot of football games, but that doesn't mean he has any special magic insight into Lane Kiffin that fundamentally changes the fact that he's an uncreative OC who doesn't bring much to the table as a playcaller or offensive designer. Maybe Saban's hired him for his recruiting acumen, though Alabama has never really had much trouble in that department.

Good people made bad decisions all the time. Mike Scioscia ran Mike Napoli out of town in favor of Jeff Mathis. Billy Beane traded Carlos Gonzalez for half a season of Matt Holliday. In this scenario, you can look into Saban's eyes and hear sweet music, but I can tell you for a fact that Lane Kiffin is a #### coach, and being hired by Nick Saban doesn't change that fact.

I'm sure Alabama will be fine, but it won't be because they hired Lane "Bubble Screen" Kiffin to be their OC.
   7. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4638550)
So how good was his predecessor?
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4638572)
Lane Kiffin and Daniel Tosh were born in the same month and look exactly the same, but I can't figure out which twin is the evil one.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4638577)
Lane Kiffin is the stuff of legend. If he didn't exist, you couldn't even imagine a career like that could exist. I can't wait for the next twist or turn.
   10. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4638606)
Some NFL players around Kiffin's age are still playing (Peyton Manning is ten months younger than Kiffin) but this is his fifth high-profile coaching job. He hasn't done much at all in the last three, and I'm not sure how much credit he deserves for his time on Pete Carroll's staff. Recruiting skills and interview-ability can get you far.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4638619)
Some NFL players around Kiffin's age are still playing (Peyton Manning is ten months younger than Kiffin) but this is his fifth high-profile coaching job. He hasn't done much at all in the last three, and I'm not sure how much credit he deserves for his time on Pete Carroll's staff. Recruiting skills and interview-ability can get you far.

I don't think he gets any of these jobs if Al Davis hadn't plucked him out of obscurity. It's funny what the whim of an old man trying to relive the glories of his past can do.
   12. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4638632)
Some NFL players around Kiffin's age are still playing (Peyton Manning is ten months younger than Kiffin) but this is his fifth high-profile coaching job. He hasn't done much at all in the last three, and I'm not sure how much credit he deserves for his time on Pete Carroll's staff. Recruiting skills and interview-ability can get you far.


Everyone is downplaying the recruiting skills, but they're real, and they're spectacular. Kiffin is an A+ recruiter. He's obviously not the king of playcalling. He seems to have done an OK, though not great, job developing players at USC.

Saban is a smart enough guy to use Kiffin for what he is good at, which is an incredibly valuable skill at the college level. I certainly wouldn't want Kiffin as an NFL coordinator.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4638646)
People must really love and respect Monte Kiffin.
   14. BDC Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4638651)
Three stages of the Wikipedia entry on Monte Kiffin:

Midseason 2013: "He is widely considered to be one of the preeminent defensive coordinators in modern football."

Late Season 2013: "He is widely considered to be terrible and makes defenses so bad that even Ryan Leaf could score on."

January 2014: "He used to be widely considered to be one of the preeminent defensive coordinators in modern football prior to his recent stint with the Dallas Cowboys."
   15. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4638656)
Kiffin does seem to have a way of connecting with recruits; I'm not sure why, or what it is about that loathsome little weasel that high school seniors find so appealing, but then I'm not a hyper-talented 18-year-old with grown men begging for the right to pay for my time at college, so that's probably not a mindset I'm ever going to be able to fully grasp.

I do think he did good work with Jonathan Crompton at Tennessee in 2009. Crompton was a dumpster fire in 2008, and he was at least reasonably competent under Kiffin's tutelage the next year. He might even be a back-up QB in the NFL still. That's a feather (perhaps the only one) in Kiffin's cap.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4638676)
People must really love and respect Monte Kiffin.


Wow. For whatever reason I had never made that mental connection before. They're related. Of course.
   17. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4638734)
Well, USC had a Trooper Taylor of their own in Orgeron. I don't know how much of their recruiting success is personally traceable to Lane Kiffin.
   18. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4638735)
Monte (Papa) Kiffin has worked for about 9 NFL clubs, and five major college programs including a few 'helmet schools'. There have got to be very few coaches out there with as large of a network. Other than a falling out with Gruden at TB, I don't recall him being a bridgeburner anywhere

Lane Kiffin getting job after job is not at all surprising to me. For all the self-inflicted #### he has caused, forgotten in this, was his staunch opposition to drafting Jamarcus Russell.
   19. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4638753)
Kiffin has proven he can coordinate a successful offense if he's given a couple of dozen really good players and a bunch of other coaches who know what they're doing.

When did he do that? He was a horrible, horrible offensive coordinator whenever given the chance at USC. The worst. I'm sure Saban is hoping to draw off his recruiting connections (but really, Alabama needs help in recruiting?) but he'll have the keys taken away from him as a playcaller in short order.
   20. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4638814)
From his Wikipedia about his time as coordinator at USC:

Under Kiffin and Sarkisian in 2005 the USC offense produced numerous school records, averaging 49.1 points and 579 yards per game and becoming the first in NCAA history to have a 3,000 yard passer (Matt Leinart), two 1,000 yard rushers (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and a 1,000 yard receiver (Dwayne Jarrett). Steve Smith fell a few yards of also surpassing 1,000 yards in receiving. In Kiffin’s three years as recruiting coordinator at USC, the Trojans had the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in college football every year. The Trojans finished first in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency by averaging 142.8 passer rating, produced two, 1,000-yard receivers – Dwayne Jarrett (1,105) and Steve Smith (1,083) – and a 3,000-yard passer John David Booty, with 3,347 yards. The team produced top 20 statistics in most NCAA offensive categories and concluded with a 32–18 win over the then #3 ranked team the University of Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Kiffin helped guide USC to a 23–3 win-loss record during his tenure as offensive coordinator, an 88% win percentage


Now, you can probably argue that Sark was just as responsible for that stuff, but that is a heck of a resume.
   21. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 14, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4638869)
Nick Saban builds great defenses and wins a lot of football games,


You don't get to be as successful as Nick Saban building your own defenses. He is successful because he makes good hires and manages them well.

Whatever Kiffin's flaws are, I'm confident Nick Satan will focus Lane Kiffin on things he does well.

And any OC who can get 49 points a game out of an offense helmed by empty headed frat bro Matt Leinhart was doing something right.
   22. Every Inge Counts Posted: January 14, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4638898)
USC's offense also vastly improved from Carroll's last season at USC to the Lane Kiffin era (which remember was hit by scholarship reductions). USC went from 26 PPG/389 YPG to 31 PPG/437 YPG and 35 PPG/456 YPG.

Is Lane Kiffin a guy who was born on third base and thought he got a triple...sure he is. I don't he is a terrible OC by any stretch (and his offense for the most part have been pretty good, someone already mentioned his one year stint at Tennessee and the job he did with Crompton).

It does come to trust Saban though. I think Saban more than knows the baggage that comes with the Lane Kiffin hire. Perhaps he outsmarted himself, he did swing and miss with his first OC hire (Major Applewhite) before hitting it out of the park with McElwain and Nussmeier.
   23. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4638964)
Kiffin spent a year at Tenn, but otherwise all his recruiting connections would be on the west coast. Doesn't seem like it'd be an asset at Bama, but maybe Saban likes opening up another recruiting area.
   24. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4638977)
as some have noted: recruiting is as much if not much more an assistant coach thing as it is who is the head coach. Of course the helmet of the school matters too.
   25. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4639001)
Now, you can probably argue that Sark was just as responsible for that stuff, but that is a heck of a resume.

Right, if this were 2006. A few things have happened since then. I wouldn't let Lane Kiffin watch practice of my favorite team, much less be allowed to "coach" the players. I'm sure Saban will short-leash him but it's a pretty big gamble.

And yeah, I hope Tide fans like WR screens because Lane ####### loves them.
   26. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4639011)
Does anyone think that Kiffin is somehow going to put a wrench into the Saban machine? At worst, Kiffin screws up this season and Saban fires him. However, Saban exerts so much control over everything and everyone that its really all on him and no one can come close to his success in the "modern" era of college football. . Plus Alabama has a lot of talent - some of it may be young and raw, but that program's talent evaluation and development has a pretty good record.
   27. steagles Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4639014)
i'm not sure if this is on anyone else's radar, but penn state DL coach larry johnson sr. just took the same job at ohio state. johnson is one of the best assistants in college football in terms of both coaching and recruiting and it's kind of a huge loss, made even hugerer by the fact that he didn't just leave, but he left to go to their biggest conference rival.


   28. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4639020)
Johnson was apparently pretty pissed he didn't have more of a shot at the head coach's job. He was at Penn State forever.

The recruiting experts think this essentially guarantees Ohio State will pick up Thomas Holley, a big-time DT recruit who originally picked PSU over Florida.
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4639140)
that is a heck of a resume


It's a heck of a season, but it isn't a resume at all.
   30. spike Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4639160)
   31. spike Posted: January 19, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4642094)
Holley flipped to Florida

//PSU lost Troy Vincent to NC State(?) as well - Franklin better get busy.
   32. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: January 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4642309)
Wrong thread.
   33. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4642958)
I see some Title Game ticket information is leaking out. The 'premium pricing' is out, and the cheapest premium ticket will be at around $1900, which includes an upper corner game ticket, and a 3 hour hospitality event with food/top shelf drink and a $50 merchandise credit.

Regular joe blow tickets won't be priced publicly until next week or so, but with the old BCS ticket being $325 to walk in the door, can you say $600 (my guess)? This will not include your Conference Championship game , or the semifinal game played the week earlier at some other neutral site before you even get to Jerry World.
   34. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4642963)
I don't think anyone has given serious thought to how absurd it is to ask fans to possibly travel to three straight neutral site games located coast to coast on six days notice. College football has unmatched atmosphere in American sports, this system is certain to rip the soul of the sport out of its biggest games.

The NFL has but one neutral site game. MLB and NBA have none, the NHL has none, unless you count the winter classic, which is always played in a home city with 1 year notice.
   35. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4652048)
Signing Day is upon us. Top ten uncommitted players to announce so far:

4-star DT Derrick Nnadi (Virginia Beach, VA) to Florida State
5-star DE Solomon Thomas (Coppell, TX) to Stanford
5-star DE Malik McDowell (Southfield, MI) to Michigan State
5-star WR Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) to Florida State
5-star OT Damian Prince (District Heights, MD) to Maryland
4-star DT Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL) to LSU
5-star WR Malachi Dupre (New Orleans, LA) to LSU
4-star OG Damien Mama (Bellflower, CA) to USC
4-star OG Braden Smith (Olathe, KS) to Auburn
5-star LB Rashaan Evans (Auburn, AL) to Alabama
   36. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4652055)
I don't think anyone has given serious thought to how absurd it is to ask fans to possibly travel to three straight neutral site games located coast to coast on six days notice. College football has unmatched atmosphere in American sports, this system is certain to rip the soul of the sport out of its biggest games.


The playoff system will be an unmitigated disaster.
   37. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4652082)
Solomon, Malik, Ermon, Malachi, Rashaan


Weren't they the Children of the Corn?
   38. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4652096)
Two of the guys in 35 (Valentine and Lane) were once Florida commits. Sigh.

Well, at least they didn't go anywhere they could hurt the Ga...

God dammit.
   39. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4652157)
5-star CB Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, CA) to USC
4-star Ath Michiah Quick (Fresno, CA) to Oklahoma
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4652159)
I didn't verify this, but on the Twitter I saw that 9 of the top 9 HS recruits in Texas went to a school not named "the University of Texas."
   41. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4652177)
The 15 Texas players in the top 100 of the 247 composite rankings:

Rk Player               Pos   School
 2 Myles Garrett         DE   Texas A
&M
 9 Tony Brown            CB   Alabama
25 Solomon Thomas        DE   Stanford
30 KD Cannon             WR   Baylor
31 Jamal Adams            S   LSU
42 Edward Paris           S   LSU
49 Davion Hall          Ath   Baylor
57 Nick Harvey           CB   Texas A
&M
64 Derick Roberson       DE   Texas
72 Jerrod Heard          QB   Texas
87 Dylan Sumner
-Gardner   S   Boise State
88 Arrion Springs        CB   Oregon
89 Frank Iheanacho       WR   Texas A
&M
92 Zach Whitley          LB   UCLA
97 Demetrius Knox        OG   Ohio State 
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4652179)
Damn, KU didn't get any of them!
   43. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4652192)
Two of the guys in 35 (Valentine and Lane) were once Florida commits. Sigh.

Well, at least they didn't go anywhere they could hurt the Ga...

God dammit.

It's kind of hard to say UF underperformed on the recruiting trail this year, no?
   44. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4652203)
5-star DE Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, GA) to Georgia
   45. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4652207)

It's kind of hard to say UF underperformed on the recruiting trail this year, no?


It is. But when you're coming off a 4-8 season, you're sort of in "bring in as much talent as humanly possible" mode, so it sucks more than a little to see quality players like Lane and Valentine go to rivals.

Especially when Lane is joining Dalvin Cook, another former Florida commit who's one of the best running back prospects in the country.
   46. Every Inge Counts Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4652216)
Alabama pulled in Rivals best class since they began their Rivals250 in 2008. They signed 19 guys from ESPN's top 300. They signed 11 of Rival's Top 100 players. The Big Ten has 12 of the top 100 guys...combined (if I counted right).

Oh and that does not include Florida State transfer Jacob Coker.
   47. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4652223)
5-star Ath JuJu Smith (Long Beach, CA) to USC

And with that, the top 100 are accounted for.
   48. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4652258)
Apparently FAMU had a kid committed to them for over a year and last night they called to tell him he doesn't have a scholarship waiting for him. Their supposed reason was his test scores even though they had previously told him he was fine (and he's NCAA eligible).

Why does the NCAA make schools wait to make written scholarship offers if they aren't even true offers? This kind of bullshit is patently unjust.
   49. spike Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4652269)
Picking up Andrew Williams and Braden Smith were big gets for Auburn, but losing out on Evans - an Auburn High kid whose dad was an AU player... well it was the only dark cloud, but it was a big one. Still, another Top Ten class, which is awesome for a school surrounded by higher profile SEC programs.
   50. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 05, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4652380)
The Malik McDowell recruitment is bizarre. Did he end up sending in an LOI to MSU?
   51. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 05, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4652392)
Not yet, 'zop.

McDowell will have to take a back seat in the weirdness delartment to Dacorious Law who sent Letters if Intent to Ole Miss, Utah, and a JuCo.

EDIT: and it looks like Adoree Jackson is having the same issue as McDowell - a parent who doesn't want to sign the LOI.
   52. spike Posted: February 05, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4652397)
5 of the top 8 classes were in the SEC West. 7 of the top 9 were in the SEC.
   53. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4667367)
[url="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20140306/ncaa-lawsuit-scholarship-limit-shawne-alston/index.html"]
Former player faces uphill battle in antitrust lawsuit against NCAA [/url]


Alston's basic theory is that the NCAA and its member institutions, along with the five major conferences, have unlawfully conspired to save money at the expense of Division I football players. This comes in the form of athletic scholarships (grants-in-aid), which are capped to include the cost of tuition, room and board, books and fees and, until recently, were only guaranteed for one year. Alston charges that these limitations make athletic scholarships several thousand dollars lower in value than the actual cost of attending college and are substantially less valuable than if there were a free market. The NCAA, according to Alston, has "cloaked its actions in government-terminology, such as 'constitution' ... and 'infraction'" to lawmakers into accepting this system as fair.

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