Friday, September 03, 2010

Reevaluating Monte Kiffin

Kudos to the Senator for a sharp point about Monte Kiffin:

I hope it’s not too heretical for me to say that I wasn’t quite as impressed with Monte Kiffin’s coaching prowess in his return to the college ranks last year as others were. Sure, he had his moments against Georgia and Alabama (not so coincidently, the two SEC offenses most pro-style), but his boys stunk up the joint against the likes of Ohio, Auburn, Mississippi and Memphis.


My optimism about USC this season is based on the idea of Vito Kiffin (I'm going to guess that you'll figure out which Corleone son Lane represents) putting together an outstanding defense. In my head, I was imagining the performance of the Tennessee defense against Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Blutarsky makes a great point: Tennessee was considerably less effective against offenses that were not pro-style. The Vols' performance against Florida is an exception, but given the subsequent struggles of the Florida offense without Dan Mullen, maybe Tennessee holding the Gators to 23 points and 323 yards wasn't the epic achievement that it looked like at the time. Blutarsky also omits Tennessee's dreadful performance in the Chik-fil-A Bowl, in which the Vols allowed 37 points and 438 yards to Virginia Tech, another team that uses a non-pro-style offense.

So here are the questions:

1. Does USC have the talent on defense that we would expect? Recruiting rankings would say yes, but those rankings would have said the same thing about Georgia last year. I buy that there is value in recruiting rankings, but they aren't infallible.

2. Does Kiffin understand how to stop college spread offenses? Is he an example of a guy who had one great idea - the Tampa Two - and that idea works in a certain environment - the NFL, where everyone runs a version of the same offense - but he is exposed when his big idea encounters a different environment? Is he a finch on the wrong island, surrounded by predators that don't attack in a way to which he is accustomed?

3. Is Kiffin the same coach who was so good in the pros? Coaches can decline, just like players.

[A sidenote about the Corleone analogy above: Fredo jokes have been played out by this point. I recognize that. The problem is that the next f***up son I think of in popular culture is King Edward's son from Braveheart, but the portrayal of Prince Edward is so unbelievably homophobic that I feel bad using it as a running theme for Lane Kiffin. (With Mel Gibson's subsequent downfall in mind, it's hard to say that his characterization of Edward wasn't intentional.) So help me out here: give me a good example of a father-son duo from a movie where the father was outstanding and the son was an arrogant, entitled boob who didn't understand his own limitations.]

9 comments:

peacedog said...

I thought we were supposed to emphasize with Edward's son a little, since Longshanks was such a bastard. Sure, Sophie Marceu wasn't happy in the marriage but that's hardly an indictment of Ed Jr's, ahh, lifestyle. I felt like he was portrayed as the world would have seen him at the time. Maybe I'm wrong.

Next of Kin is something I would mention though it doesn't fit. Andreas Katsulas is a mobster, Stiller is his reluctant, not quite ready for prime time, son. But Stiller isn't incompetent nor a bastard. It's Katsulas' lieutenant that has that distinction. I always felt like that character was something of a son for Katsulas' John Isabella, though.

Also, lol at USC's defensive performance last night.

TJ Eckleburg12 said...

Judge Smails and his grandson Spalding!

Anonymous said...

Karl and his daddy in Slingblade?

Anonymous said...

Karl and his daddy in Slingblade?

hoodawg said...

How about Commodus/Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator? Lane may yet knock off his father if his defenses keep giving up 30+ to WAC teams. And with the way he's been treating his brother in law, it's not crazy that he covets his sister in some unhealthy ways....

Michael said...

Ding ding, we have a winner! Commodus it is!

Mabee said...

Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker....

The only reason Luke won the fight was because Vader let him, and only because he loved his son so much! If Vader was as evil as portrayed he would have pummeled Luke who thought he was good enough to take on both Vader (Papa Kiffen) and the Emperor (Orgeron)!

James said...

It's not a movie, and I'm sure the Bluth/Corleone parallels aren't totally coincidental, but how about GOB?

Anonymous said...

William the Conqueror and William Rufus