I happened to catch the USC-Arizona State game. It was a tough one to watch. First of all, because it was in Spanish. But second of all, because I wanted both teams to lose. Scratch that, I wanted one team to lose and the other team’s coach to lose. Nothing against Lion’s alma mater, exactly. But Arizona State is coached by Todd Graham, and Todd Graham is an unusually terrible football coach. Actually, in terms of skill, Graham is fine. He’s just a grade-A jerk and slimeball. Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for USC in a midnight press conference after one season. Todd Graham left Pitt after one season by texting from an airplane. That wasn’t even the first time that he left a job after one season. The first case being Rice, which he was specifically asked about whether or not he would leave if a job opened in Tulsa and he lied. Also, when he was hired at Rice, he demanded that everybody be fired and the athletics logos be changed because he wanted a new start from from the schools losing tradition. Graham’s slimeyness goes on and on.
But USC is USC, and I like it when USC loses.
Now, it’s one thing to watch a game when you like both teams. Or even if you’re indifferent to both teams. You can at least appreciate what’s going on. But when you want to root against both teams? It’s just no fun. Neither in English nor in Spanish.
Anyhow, after the game, Lane Kiffin http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9743113/lane-kiffin-usc-pat-haden-lost-resolve“>was fired. Though I don’t hold Kiffin in the same low regard as Graham, good riddance nonetheless. On the other hand, this guy makes a good case that Kiffin was wronged:
“When you’re a sports figure and people dislike you, they’re going to look for the negatives,” Kiffin said. “Once you start rooting against somebody, you’re always going to look for the negative in everything they do.”
Haden found the negatives. USC lost the home opener to Washington State. It lost big to ASU. The program, in his eyes, had become inert. But you can’t have it both ways. In the same seven-day span, you can’t plead with the NCAA to reduce the severe scholarship sanctions that cripple your program and fire your head coach. That’s hypocrisy. And that’s what Haden did.
Kiffin had his many flaws, but he also had, through no fault of his own, those many scholarship limits. The cumulative effect of those sanctions (2015 will be the first season USC can have the full complement of 85 scholarship players) severely affected the depth chart. The Trojans have talent, but not enough of it, especially in the difficult Pac-12.
Don’t believe me? Ask Alabama coach Nick Saban what it was like to deal with NCAA sanctions when he was at Michigan State. They make a difference.
So it’s not Kiffin that’s the problem, but Carroll’s corruption and USC’s entitled fan base? I can live with that and allowing Kiffin to be the martyr.
That said, given that Kiffin was not successful at his two previous gigs (making one wonder why he got the job to begin with), it seems unlikely that he’s going to get hired any time soon. On the other hand, Louisiana Tech is having an awful season and they only hire coaches whose fathers are good coaches. So there’s always that.
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