The idea of Lane Kiffin being the next offensive coordinator at Alabama seems crazy to some people. To me it seems like a good idea. Nick Saban appears to respect Lane’s ideas for running an offense. Maybe that visit a few weeks ago was more than just Saban asking young Kiffin about some ideas. Now after listening a lot of sports talk radio here in Atlanta I see a lot people don’t see this as a good hire. I on the other hand think this is a pretty good pick.
Most people who call this a disaster hire are probably speaking out of feeling and emotion and not looking at this analytically. Sure Kiffin was not successful as the head coach of the Trojans. Being a good coordinator and being a good head coach are two completely different animals. Guys like Norv Turner and Wade Phillips have sucked as the men in charge but are sought after coordinators. They are actually so good at being coordinators people keep giving them head coaching jobs. Not to mention the USC program is dealing with NCAA sanctions that forced scholarship limits on them making it a harder program to run then it used to be.
Now maybe you want to point at his other stops before coming home to USC, cool I will take those on. The thing about Oakland was he just took a job that he was not ready for, too much too soon. To fair to Kiffin name a successful Raiders coach since Jon Gruden. Now his tenure at Tennessee was short and it he ruffled some feathers in the SEC. That maybe while people in Atlanta call in to hate him every chance they get. That being said they were a solid program for the season he was there but he wanted to be at his dream job. Not worried about the off field talking too much with Nick Saban being in charge at Alabama.
The last job that Lane Kiffin excelled at was being the offensive coordinator at USC. During his tenure of 2005-2006 the Trojans were one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football. Now of course I am waiting for the first detractor to say “well he was loaded with talent”. Yes and doesn’t that sound like Saban’s Alabama teams. Under Kiffin USC averaged 49.1 points per game and had a 3,000 yard passer and two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season. The team was 23-3 while Lane was calling the plays in southern California. That being said I am sure the experience at being at a big time program like USC he won’t be overwhelmed by the pressure at Alabama. Nick Saban is a smart man with 3 of the last 5 National Championships, I am pretty sure he has thought this through.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on twitter @Kholtjr