Coaching update: Tennessee & Auburn

More news from UT’s coaching search
The buzz surrounding Lane Kiffin coaching at Tennessee continues to build. As we noted Tuesday, Internet chatter was substantial. Today, regular media outlets were reporting, “barring some sort of snag in the process, (Kiffin) will likely be announced as the Vols’ next coach early next week.” Additionally, other sources were also reporting Kiffin’s father, Monte, would likely join the younger Kiffin’s staff.

Such a hire would signal an overhaul of the Volunteer program. It would put youth into the head coach position—Kiffin is 33. Of course, UT’s athletic director denied offering the job to anyone.

While this looks like a very solid hire, Volunteer fans should temper their exuberance. Kiffin’s record as a head coach wasn’t exactly stellar. In fairness, he was in a no-win situation thanks to Al Davis. However, it isn’t a guarantee that Kiffin can win at Tennessee. Unlike some, I believe Tennessee is one of the better jobs in college football, and I don’t believe recruiting is as difficult as some would pretend. Tennessee is a good job with great resources in the SEC. The right coach can win there.

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What will determine success or failure is Kiffin’s ability to manage the program.

Alabama’s coaching failures showcase that. Could Mike Shula walk and chew gum at the same time? Could Mike Dubose tie his own shoes? Could he even see his own shoes? This season Rich Rodriguez is the poster child. Rodriguez wasn’t running the Wolverines. Nobody was. And the record showed it.

During Fulmer’s last years, Fulmer’s hands weren’t firmly on the wheel and disaster ensued. Kiffin must firmly take command to compete in the SEC East. Can he do it?

Tuberville update
Tommy Tuberville’s status remains uncertain, but media reports indicate that barring an Iron Bowl disaster, Tuberville would likely return next season. Kevin Scarbinksy wrote: “If Alabama doesn’t take away Auburn’s manhood – the way Oklahoma did to Texas Tech – all indications are that Tuberville will return as Auburn’s head coach.”

Tuberville reportedly will meet with Auburn’s president early next week for a post-season review. He isn’t going to let his meeting with president Gouge interfere with recruiting. We all know how seriously Tuberville takes recruiting. So take that nugget for what it is worth. Is it a serious move to show he has rededicated himself to the Auburn job? Or is it just more spin from the used car salesman?

It is safe to conclude Auburn insiders want Tuberville fired. It is safe to conclude (as some in the media have already said) Auburn insiders have the funds ready to pay the buyout. The wild card is the way Auburn’s administration will handle the situation. A loss to Alabama could evaporate what little support Tuberville has with decision makers and rank-and-file fans. It has been hard to find fans supporting Tuberville this season and he owns six straight Iron Bowl wins. What will Auburn fans say on Sunday if Tuberville’s streak ends? I’m guessing whatever they say would sound much like what Alabama fans were saying about Mark Gottfried this week.

ESPN and journalism
The Big Lead takes a look at a column attacking ESPN. Anything negative about ESPN is worth reading.

Speaking of the media
Anyone remember Corky Simpson? He was the journalist who voted Alabama number one all season in 1992. Bamamag.com has a story on Simpson who is a Harris Poll voter this year.