Firstly let me start by saying the only team I dislike as much as, if not more than *insert SEC team here* is USC. USC has nearly every advantage one can have in college football like money, location, prestige, money, history, connections, money, famous alumni, and money. Yet they still cheated to build a dynasty in the mid to late 90's through most of this decade. Much Like the SEC they have, and use well, an advantage created by a tilted system which screws over mid majors.
So when I say I am happy that Lane Kiffin is leaving Tennessee for USC after just 14 months on the job it's because everybody (save Kiffin and his accountant) lose. Tennessee (and in the near future USC) have both been burned as badly as Buffalo and CMU were burned this season, probably worse as the Bulls and Chips got a combined seven years out of their coaches and both landed quickly on their feet with new coaching staffs of equal measure.
Watching Tennessee (or any SEC team's fans) cry, or even riot at the prospect of 'betrayal' by a coach leaving for Greener pastures (Yes USC is greener pastures than any SEC school) is good comeuppance. On top of losing a coach who was putting together a pretty impressive recruiting class they lose him to an institution with enough prestige to possibly take them with him. Does anyone really believe poaching kids that he had groomed while on the pay roll of the Volunteers is below Kiffin?
You know that knot we had in our gut about James Potts (worried he would not stay) felt like, imagine a whole class full of quality SEC recruits getting eyed not only by the rest of the SEC and neighboring BigXII but also USC.
The flip side of this is USC who has, in my view, have probably set their program back 15 years for three main reasons.
The first is the fact that Lane Kiffin's derisive, dismissive, and disrespectful attitude towards his fellow coaches played to his advantage in the SEC where it's almost an employment requirement to put down your rivals. But the PAC-10 is *slightly* more low key when it comes to coaches calling their peers cheaters or telling recruits they will end up pumping gas if they go to Oregon.
The second reason is the looming NCAA sanctions. The noise generated the past few weeks means that finally, maybe, a big name school will get more than the standard meaningless punishment of vacated games from 6-10 years ago. Lane Kiffin is going to find himself, and his staff, under a huge microscope for the next several years plus he may be missing some scholarships. He may do well this season getting some of his Tennessee class to come to Southern California, he may even do well retaining the commits that Carroll had garnered but going forward the shine is going to be off "Lane Kiffin, recruiting guru".
Finally, and make no make no mistake about this one Trojan fans, If the 'right' and 'perfect' NFL job comes up this time next year Kiffin may be your coach for a shorter time than he was at Tennessee. If and when he kicks you to the curb I fully expect to see that same look your eye that one sees in the eyes of any person recently dumped by a lover with whom they previously had an illicit affair, "How could they do this to me, I thought what we had was special".
While the sports media seems, for the most part, to be swooning over Kiffin an LA Times poll of eighteen thousand college football fans is split pretty much down the middle. some of the comments reflect exactly what I am saying here:
This guy was a hair away from getting fired at Tennessee. He is definitely a loose cannon who has made the wrong choice every time he has had the chance at Tennessee. USC did Tennessee a HUGE favor. They should start their search for their next coach now cause Kiffin won't last long there or anywhere.
On the plus side, Kiffin keeps the recruits, knows $C and he can bring his Daddy. On the negative side: Kiffin oozes sleaze and there's no evidence he can coach. 5-15 with the Raiders and 7-6 at UT (but he didn't beat a decent team). Also I doubt the guy has the maturity to handle the NCAA sanctions.
There is a ton more, some positive, on the comments page for the poll but you get the gist. Today is a day for mid major fans to sit back and enjoy the smell of charred SEC/USC flesh, crack open your favorite beer and enjoy watching the dominoes fall.