Sunday, September 29, 2013

For Texas and USC, Situations Couldn't Be More Different

Ben Fishman
College Sports 24/7

Edit: USC Fired Lane Kiffin on Sunday September 29th.
    When will it end in Austin? Or Southern Los Angeles for that matter? In March we wrote an article about Tubby Smith and Ben Howland being fired at their respective schools. The title of that article was, “When is Enough, Enough?”
    Minnesota and UCLA fired their basketball coaches after disappointing season in which both of them spent time in the Top 25. Minnesota spent time in the top 10 before losing to Florida in the third round.
UCLA brought in a recruiting class that many had a top 3 class. The result? A loss in the second round the aforementioned Golden Gophers. We discussed whether or not Minnesota or UCLA was right in firing
    Except there is a difference here. It’s not when is enough, enough? Well, for USC it might be. The Trojans are not very good this year. Lane Kiffin showed them just how bad he really was in Oakland and Knoxville. Hell, students stormed the streets and lit fires when he departed, now they may as well be, actually, they are back to their usual days as an SEC school.
But how are USC fans taking it? After the 10-7 loss a few weeks ago to Washington State they spray painted, “Fire Kiffin,” along streets and chanted it as good ole Lane left the field.
    In Austin, the problem couldn’t be more different. We’re talking about a guy who has been in charge of the Longhorns since 1998. Behind Vince Young, he brought the Longhorns their first championship since 1970. Yet, since he met Nick Saban and Alabama in the 2010 National Championship game, the Longhorns have been in a downfall which included disappointing and embarassing blowouts to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry.
    So where do both schools go next? Texas and USC both could easily turn it around this year and make bowls, Texas is 2-2 and USC is 3-1. But is that going to be enough if Kiffin or Brown’s squads get blown out in December?
Here’s what Texas should do. If Mack Brown and Texas don’t get it figured out this year, then Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds should allow Brown to leave on his own accords. Don’t fire the man who has brought Texas back to national prominence. The big question would be whether or not Nick Saban would spurn the Crimson Tide, a team that’s won 3 of the last 4 National Championships. Would Saban leave after a 3-peat? Unlikely, but why not throw the kitchen sink and make the man Governor of the state. The Longhorns still have games against Oklahoma and TCU remaining before finishing with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor.
    What happens at USC? The Trojans suffered a disappointment in a 10-7 loss to Washington State and things can’t really get much worse than that. Will USC stand behind Kiffin, especially after the 7-6 debacle last season when they entered the year ranked #1? It’s doubtful they will should Kiffin and USC stumble to another 6-6-esque season. Did USC not see that Kiffin wasn’t the right man for the job? Did USC just forget the one season he had at Tennessee in which he pissed off the entire SEC? And he was just perfect to take over the Trojans? The Trojans still have games against Stanford, Notre Dame and UCLA, and it’s not looking like they will be favored in any of those.
    Either way, don’t let USC and Texas be grouped together. Unlike at UCLA and Minnesota where both schools had high hopes heading into the season and didn’t make it past the first weekend in March, both USC and Texas are in different situations.
USC can do better than Lane Kiffin.
They will.
Texas can’t do much better than Mack Brown.
But they’ll have to, because either one of these men, could very well be turning in their whistles in December.

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