—So I hear that Lane Kiffin is getting paid $4 million a year by Southern Cal. There were a couple of times last year when Lane Kiffin said and did things that made me want to ask what on earth he was smoking. Now the burning question is what on earth the people who HIRED him were smoking. Lane Kiffin was toiling away in obscurity as an assistant at Southern Cal when Al Davis made him head coach of the Oakland Raiders. He went 4-15 in two seasons and somehow parlayed that into a $2.375 million a year gig at Tennessee. There he went 7-6 in one season and parlayed that into a $4 million gig at one of the premier football programs in the entire country. Know how many other head coaches out there are making $4 million a year or better? (Heads up: They’ve all won at least one national championship. Except for Lane Kiffin.)
–Speaking of Southern Cal, I hear that the NCAA investigators are getting ready to come out with their findings. This is going to be interesting. Because if the NCAA finds that Reggie Bush was ineligible, would he be stripped of his Heisman? And would Southern Cal have to give up its 2004 national championship? Of course the NCAA could not strip Southern Cal of a national championship because it does not award national championships in Division 1-A college football. But the BCS might, if the NCAA proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Southern Cal cheated. And what if, after all these years, the NCAA investigators find nothing? What if they decide to let Southern Cal walk with nothing more than a slap on the wrist because they simply don’t have the same righteous indignation for lack of institutional control out in Caly as they do for lack of institutional control at Alabama?
—Rumor has it that the Big 10 has extended offers to Missouri, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Rutgers. All of the schools in question have responded by saying, “That’s news to us.” Now with a story like this you have to understand that we won’t know anything for certain until the whole thing is ready to go down. The Big 10 will not publicly extend invitations to any school until and unless it is certain that those invitations will be accepted. There is just too much at stake in the way of PR for them to extend an invitation to, say, Notre Dame or Missouri, and say “Take your time on this. Do your due diligence and get back with us.” They cannot and will not take the chance of this thing dragging out in the media for weeks and possibly months, only to end with the invited schools saying no. So any negotiations, any due diligence that has to happen, is going to stay strictly on the DL. If the invited schools decide to pass, then there was never a story there to begin with and everyone walks away with no bad PR stain. But if it gets to the point where the schools decide to join the Big 10, THEN we will hear all about it. Get used to it, people; this is how college football operates nowadays.
–All this talk about Mark Richt being on the hot seat just doesn’t seem to go away. The latest report comes from columnist Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel. Which is kind of ironic: Considering all the success Florida has had against Mark Richt, wouldn’t Florida fans want Georgia go keep Mark Richt for as long as possible? (That post was part two of a five-part series on coaches on the hot seat. Here is part one, which looks at Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez.)