|More Power To Kiffin, Time To Move On|
"That's a real number right there." ...Steve Spurrier 2008.
By: BE Coleman
Lane Kiffin is set to reportedly make $4 million dollars per year with Southern Cal. If he can make that amount, then more power to him.
The 35 year old and former head coach at Tennessee continues getting press in the land of the Big Orange like no other. His national following is allegedly trend setting.
Many have already forgotten how much Steve Spurrier cheered at the dollar amount Phillip Fulmer would be receiving after he left Tennessee. "That's a real number right there," noted Spurrier. "I'm glad for him. Yep, that's a real number."
The aftermath that was left by Kiffin's departure has fans forgetting or understanding exactly how deep he got into Urban Meyer's head. The Florida coach could not get past seeing Kiffin standing in the wings when the Gators were thumped in the 2009 SEC Title Game. Moments later Meyer was in an Atlanta hospital, announcing his retirement a day later.
Nor, is it being remembered how Kiffin took a team given no respect to Tuscaloosa and whipped Alabama all over the field, but not on the final scoreboard with 5th stringers starting on the offensive line. If the Trojans pockets are that deep, let the money flow. More power to him.
But it is past time for the rest of the trend chasing bunch to move on. The Volunteers have a new head coach. It is time to focus on his X's and O's.
Derek Dooley understands fully that he should have had been publicly shaking hands after the 2010 recruiting class was salvaged. Readily admitting, he does understand just how bright the media light publicly shines upon Tennessee.
Yet, Dooley was worried about the intangibles. Tennessee is a big job and a big step for him. He was concerned about the footing on the path. The players were fractured and deeply hurt.
Dooley reacted the only way he knew how, he stayed in the house tending to the concerns that were staring him directly in the eyes during troubled times. Three head coaches in three years time was conqueringly tough for the current players to token.
Sometimes hindsight is 20/20. But the 22nd head coach is learning how much passion drives the Tennessee football program. Just because his father coached at Georgia, is not a reason to give him a pass on understanding where the Volunteers stood.
So, there is a learning curve for him as well. As time moves on, fans will see more of a visible Dooley. He will not be chained to an office as he had been at Louisiana Tech pulling double duty as a football coach and as the universities athletic director.
As an administrator, that's what Dooley knew when he hastily arrived in Knoxville.
This is a question for Tennessee fans, do they want a hands on coach, or do they want a gossip columnist poster boy? The fact of the matter remains, it takes a little of both in today's college football coaching world.
It is forgotten in today's circle exactly how Spurrier's antic's were posterized by the media in the 1990's. There's a whole lot of similarity. Just ask Ray Goff, Fulmer.
For Tennessee and the SEC, it is time to move forward. But don't expect current SEC coaches that were threatened by Kiffin to be saying, "Yep, that's a real number, glad he got it."
It's a "Dooley World" in Tennessee, leave the Hollywood scene where it is, no need to bring it home. The divorce feeling is over; a family member is gone, it's time to move on.
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