Kiffin also appears to be a boob who can assemble a bunch of non-boobs on his coaching staff, another underrated aspect of coaching. I have a lengthy post brewing that divides head coaches into categories depending on whether they have found the right coordinators to handle the head coach's weak side of the ball, i.e. an offensive-minded head coach hiring the right defensive coordinator. Mark Richt has struggled since losing Brian VanGorder. Pete Carroll has struggled (relatively speaking) since losing Norm Chow. Les Miles was a national championship coach when he had Bo Pelini, then he was an idiot when he lost Pelini and replaced him with the scraps on the staff. I'm no fan of Lane Kiffin's offensive acumen, but Tennessee can be very good with a talented roster, Ed Orgeron coaching the defensive line, and Monte Kiffin supplying the brain power. There are certainly models for offensive-oriented head coaches succeeding on the basis of recruiting well and having smart coaches on defense make up for offensive shortcomings:
Anyway, it was a little reassuring to know that I'm not the only one having a bit of a re-think about Kiffin. If Kiffin continues to recruit well, then he does pose a threat for Georgia, especially with the program looking a tad wobbly right now. Here is Mark Bradley on the subject:
There’s room for two giants in the SEC East — Fulmer and Spurrier co-existed in the Top 10 for years — but not three. And Kiffin has staked his entire stewardship on recruiting, and there are only so many places he can go. Many of the finest Vols have come from other Southern states: Peyton Manning from Louisiana, Stanley Morgan from South Carolina, Condredge Holloway from Alabama, and now Eric Berry from Fairburn, Ga.
Berry leaving for Tennessee in 2007 didn’t mark the beginning of a Grant-Coleman-Lewis exodus. There were mitigating circumstances: Berry’s dad played at Tennessee. But Kiffin and henchman Ed Orgeron have served notice: They’re going to recruit anywhere and everywhere, and with Florida and Alabama and LSU among the nation’s elite and Auburn apparently on the rise, the SEC brand name that seems most vulnerable is, sorry to say, Georgia.
The Bulldogs should win Saturday. But the battle with the Big Orange is just beginning anew.
The good news for Georgia fans is two-fold. First, Mark Richt doesn't lack in recruiting ability, so it's not as if Kiffin will be able to waltz in and pluck players from the Dawgs. Second, a threat from up north (not to mention from the Flats) ought to be the right spur for Richt to make a change or two with his own coaching staff.