SOURCES: “ZERO” CHANCE ALABAMA OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR COMES TO COLUMBIA TO COACH THE GAMECOCKS
Of all the prospective head coaching names floated in the aftermath of Steve Spurrier‘s stunning decision to resign from the University of South Carolina, the one that’s generated more buzz than any other is that of Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Wait … what?
Yeah, Kiffin is the guy who left Tennessee in the lurch after one year. He’s also the guy who once told star recruit Alshon Jeffery not to come to South Carolina because if he did, “he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.”
According to Fox Sports’ Aaron Torres, though, despite all that Kiffin is more likely to wind up at South Carolina than any other school when this year’s early-starting coaching carousel eventually runs out of steam.
“Kiffin to South Carolina makes too much sense,” Torres wrote.
“For starters, the school already has everything Kiffin would need to be successful: A solid fan-base, great resources and awesome recruiting base. Kiffin already knows the state’s high schools well; remember the whole ‘Tennessee recruiting hostesses scandal’ originated when Kiffin sent a bunch of college girls to a high school game in South Carolina. So in a lot of ways, it’s almost like this was the job Kiffin was born to eventually take. It’d be like a homecoming of sorts if he accepted.”
Um yes … we remember that scandal. Torres also believes Kiffin and South Carolina are a perfect fit from a talent standpoint (which, by the way, is not a compliment).
“I see a lot of parallels between this job, and Kiffin’s actual coaching ability,” he wrote. “The truth is Kiffin isn’t Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh or Nick Saban, and he never will be. But it’s ok; South Carolina isn’t Florida, Alabama or Georgia either. Instead, Kiffin is a ‘good enough’ coach, and South Carolina is a good enough program, one where going 9-3 is perfectly acceptable, and 11-1 is not the expectation. Yes, there would be pressure at South Carolina, but not the insufferable, overwhelming pressure he’d have at other schools.”
According to a source close to the Gamecock program, there is “zero” chance Kiffin will be South Carolina’s next coach.
Kiffin’s name “has not been mentioned by anybody I know (who is) associated with university or with connections to the search.”
Aside from “the way he left Tennessee” and his lack of success at Southern Cal (to say nothing of his disastrous two years in the NFL), the source said Kiffin is also viewed as a less-than-stable personality who brings a host of extracurricular baggage with him.
“And we haven’t even plugged in the bimbo problem yet,” he said.
Far more likely prospects? Alabama’s defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Texas head coach Charlie Strong, Memphis head coach Justin Fuente or Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Of course the search is less than 24 hours old, so … expect the field of possible candidates to change considerably over the coming weeks and months.