I read Pete Thamel's piece in SI about Lane Kiffin. There was the normal negative hyperbole and anonymous sources taking their shots that you would expect in a piece that isn't meant to be flattering.
Thamel's overall tone is predictable, he has taken shots at Kiffin before. When I sat with Kiffin at the first Pac-10 media day in NYC Thamel sat at the table with Kiffin as well. I could tell by Thamel's questioning that he already had his mind made up...probably based on Kiffin's antics at Tennessee.
But when you strip all of that away you have to ask yourself is the article factually wrong?
I have been as supportive as I could be with Kiffin. He is polarizing figure who has traded off his family name to get where he is today.
As has been said in the comments, it's not like Kiffin has a 25 year history of building relationships and working his way up the coaching ladder like other top coaches. Kiffin does not sniff the USC gig without Monte and Ed O coming along. I am willing to discard Al Davis' comments as the ramblings of a senile old man who became out of touch with the game. Kiffin was right about Jamarcus Russell and Davis was wrong.
Still, after a very promising end to the 2011 season the old Kiffin showed up this year.
I love this program, no matter how they do on the field, no matter who the coach is USC will always be my favorite program. But it is getting tough to keep defending a guy who has reached this level too fast and who won't make the necessary changes to be an effective head coach.
There have been complaints that Monte is stubborn and won't take advice...Lane is no better.
All that talent and they can't even hit each other in practice.
Lane is so worried about not getting anyone physically injured that he is missing that he is injuring the emotional stability of this team. How do you teach a guy to tackle the right way if he isn't allowed to tackle in practice? Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent.
Lane got his dream job, if he loses to ASU it will turn into a nightmare. He will lose this team and they will lose two more games.
There is no question that USC has a great tradition overall but lately USC moves the needle for all the wrong reasons. the lack of performance, the lack of discipline and being over hyped.
Lane can take all the blame he wants in the article, it doesn't change the result.
I have said Kiffin is a placeholder to ride out the sanctions, I stand by it. Kiffin not a long term solution with this type of performance. If the team performs poorly in the last three games he may not have a place to hold. With all the TV money coming in Haden can go out an buy more experienced coaching talent without all the outside noise.
I only want the team to win the games they should win and pull off the upsets where they aren't expected to.
I am tired of defending a coach who won't change or who squanders this unreal amount of talent.
In the end Thamel's piece is right in many areas. I am fine with this piece.
One overachieving season is not enough to put a coach on a pedestal.