Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Recruiting is life blood of the football machine. Lane Kiffin thinks USC has hasn't kept the engine topped off over the last five years...
Lane Kiffin said at yesterday's presser that having six teams in the AP Top 25 this week had to do with USC missing in recruiting the past five years.
It was brought to Lane Kiffin‘s attention Sunday that six Pac-12 Conference teams cracked this week’s AP Top 25. The USC coach had an interesting take on that.
First, Kiffin threw out the usual explanations: It’s a “very competitive” league. Several “pretty dynamic” coaches joined the conference this year.
Then Kiffin added this:
“I think that’s a result of us just not nailing recruiting over the last five years – players getting away in this conference. That’s been our goal, to stop that.”
Considering that Kiffin and his staff have been responsible for the past two recruiting classes, plus keeping together the previous one, that’s a pretty sweeping indictment.
That is an interesting way of looking at things.
And you know what?
I agree with him 100%.
It can be said that if PC did a better job in recruiting during the last couple of years of his tenure USC would have kept a number of those players from going to other schools in the conference and probably would have a little bit more depth...especially on the lines.
Remember PC taking 10 RB's one year? Heck, PC hardly, if ever, took a full 85.
Players that didn't come to USC but stayed within the conference went to schools with poor coaching and preparation...except for Stanford and Oregon. It is entirely possible that if those players went 'SC, the conference standard bearer for most of the decade, instead of elsewhere USC might have better depth.
What about all the malcontents Kiffin had to cull out the program when he arrived? Malcontents that took spots that other and quite possibly better players could have and should have taken.
I mean really, take a look at all the coaches that were fired last season, any of those on the level PC, Chip Kelly or Jim Harbaugh? PC had his issues, but he could adjust in-game for the most part and he could be a real charmer on the recruiting trail.
Of course there were some in the press yesterday that immediately took exception to Kiffin's comments. Lisa Horne, formerly of Fox Sports and Pedro Moura were the two that I went back and forth with on my Twitter timeline.
I have no problem with Kiffin's comments I think he has a pretty good point. I think his opinion is pretty informed...he evaluates the talent a lot more closely than anyone in the media does.
Of course the inference was made that Kiffin was making more idiotic comments. Kiffin has had some issues with some aspects of the game, but I agree with him that not missing on some talent (both on and off the field) has hurt the team.
And it won't get any easier with all that freshly printed money from the Pac-12 media deal going to hire better coaches across the conference.