Trojans Could Call Back Former Coach After Firing Clay Helton
When the USC Trojans go coach-searching again – and Athletic Director Lynn Swann may already be doing this behind the scenes to replace the overmatched Clay Helton – he may be doing like a quarterback does when he drops back to pass.
That is, making his progressions, ideally looking for the big hit down the field. And the biggest target of all should be Houston’s Tom Herman (tho the Trojans will likey have to fight off Texas, perhaps LSU and any number of teams also currently or potentially looking for coaches).
Yet here’s one name that might make sense. He’s someone familiar with the culture of USC, certainly knows how to exploit the fertile Southern California recruiting area and can step right in without any learning curve.
Now before you throw up the arms and say “awww, this guy doesn’t know what he’s taking about!,” then take a moment to think about it.
Kiffin – a miserable failure earlier as USC’s coach in large part because of his immature shenanigans – has been under the strict discipline of Nick Saban the past three years.
He’s had to keep his trap shut (and thus not say stupid things, as was one of his trademarks at USC and also Tennessee) because Saban only allows his assistant coaches to be interviewed twice a year, once before the season and again before the bowl game.
Other than the occasional quips on Twitter, Kiffin has been silent.
Has he matured under Saban? Learned self discipline? Studied the system and what makes it successful? Picked up the essential elements of “The Process?”
If so, then he’s a potential home run hire as a head coach.
Saban himself obviously thinks so and must be getting indications that some school is going to hire Kiffin at the end of this season. That is surely the reason he brought in Steve Sarkisian as basically a gloried graduate assistant. It’s my opinion that Sark is there in case Kiffin departs; Saban then will plug in Sark as offensive coordinator.
By bringing him in now, Saban is grooming Sark into the Alabama culture and will simply hand things off to Sark to keep things running smoothly in Tuscaloosa.
So it’s likely that Kiffin will get hired somewhere in this offseason. If Swan asks the right questions and gets the right answers about Kiffin’s maturity and ability to focus on football rather than creating silly sideshow distractions, then as shocking at it may seem, he may be a very good hire for the Trojans.