Kiffin creates college football's perfect storm 

January, 13, 2010

When I got the call from a source with the story tip saying, "Lane's getting the job," my initial reaction was "What job?"

"The USC job," the voice said.

"Get out the [heck] outta here. USC's not hiring Lane Kiffin. ... They can't."

"No, seriously. It's true."

And sure enough, the source proceeded to explain the hows and whats of what would go down Tuesday night. Quite frankly, 15 hours later, I still can't believe it's true.

Not because Kiffin had talked about loving Rocky Top and how he was building for the future in Knoxville and that UT fans, in the face of the rest of the SEC and pretty much the rest of the college football world, had his back whenever someone ripped him. Not even how he'd named his newborn son "Knox."

No, I was -- am -- more shocked that USC, with the NCAA police lurking, would move to hire Kiffin, who gladly wore the black hat and embraced the role of being the rogue of the SEC. A coach I talked to later Tuesday night joked (at least I think he was joking), "Who was next on [USC] AD Mike Garrett's list, Jackie Sherrill?"