Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
We had high hopes, but what did we really get?
One of the story lines that may of us clung to when Lane Kiffin was hired was the notion that he could recruit. Kiffin did a decent job with the class he pulled in at Tennessee and he was able to keep Pete Carrol's last together when PC left for the NFL.
Since then Kiffin has signed two great classes (on paper) and as of today it looks like Kiffin has another top-5 class in the queue.
But is it all that?
It is hard to know if the talent is all that its cracked up to be if Kiffin and staff can't coach them up.
I mean after the 2012 campaign is anyone confident that Kiffin is the long term answer? Rhetorical question I know.
I am starting to have second thoughts about the whole Kiffin mystique about recruiting and having an eye for talent. He steals an Aundrey Walker from Ohio but he supposedly plays him out of position as has been noted elsewhere on some of the boards? I know we are down some scholarships but is moving a player out of position the right answer? Hard to know, none of us are in the coaching offices.
You can't have it both ways. Either we trust that Kiffin has more info than we do because he is the coach and he sees every detail of the players skill or Kiffin isn't all that when it comes to recruiting, talent evaluation and development.
Even though Kiffin was part of the field good story about that former UT QB's dad thanking Kiffin for getting him drafter by San Diego, Kiffin is rumored to have said Alshon Jeffrey would end up pumping gas if he went to So. Car....last time I checked Jeffrey is in the NFL. Yes Jeffrey is struggling, but he made it. Kiffin was infatuated with Seantrel, who looks to be a bust, but there is nothing on this current USC coaching staff that would show me that they would do a better job of maximizing Seantrel's talent more than the crew at the U.
Kiffin's players will now start heading into the NFL, so like Pete Carrol, Kiffin will scrutinized about how he prepares "HIS" players for the league.
Maybe Kiffin is falling into the trap that PC did with being enamored with "stars" instead of actually looking at the players talent. Are these players as hungry as their "stars" indicate?
After 3 years at USC, Kiffin loses the argument that PC left the cupboard bare. He kept PC's last class together and is about to sign his own 3rd class. He has missed on landing some top talent on the O-line but he has nabbed some other talent as well.
Kiffin is no different any other coach...he has his favorites, that's just human nature. But for all the talk of changing the culture and banding this program together after the NCAA carpet bombed the program, why did this team play so uninspired yesterday? After 2 years of bowl ineligibility and a preseason #1 ranking I would have thought these guys would have come out fired up to prove the skeptics wrong. Instead the skeptics have had their argument strengthened.
When PC was the coach it was said that 'SC was always fired up for the OOC game or the bowl game. It was the conference play where the team got disinterested. With Kiffin this team has NEVER look fired up. That's a bad thing, teams take on the personality of the head coach. We are seeing that play out now.
Something is not right here and there plenty of avenues to explore as to why that is.