National columnist believes Lane Kiffin is “more accomplished” than Jim McElwain, Kirby Smart
There are Lane Kiffin supports and there are Lane Kiffin doubters.
There is no doubt about where Fox Sports columnist Clay Travis stands on the Alabama defensive coordinator.
In his weekly mailbag, Travis was asked why Kiffin was not considered for any of the coaching vacancies that surfaced.
Travis used the stage to not only make his his case for Kiffin to be a coach again in the future, but also take a jab at the rest of the SEC East’s coaches.
“Hell, Will Muschamp just got another SEC job and he only went 28-21 at Florida. That’s quite a bit worse than Kiffin did at USC while they were in the middle of probation,” Travis wrote.
“Let me put it this way, the SEC East presently has the worst and most unproven collection of head coaches in the history of the division: you’ve got Butch Jones, Mark Stoops, Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain, Kirby Smart, Derek Mason and Barry Odom.
“Where would Lane Kiffin rank if you added him to these seven? I’m not sure Kiffin isn’t more accomplished than all seven of these guys. If Muschamp can get another chance, Lane definitely deserves another head job.”
Travis makes a fair point in that Muschamp’s run at Florida was far from impressive, but South Carolina’s new coach seemingly knows what mistakes he made in Gainesville, Fla. and is out to make amends in his new stop.
This is Muschamp’s second opportunity to be a head coach; Kiffin has had three.
Kiffin went 5-15 in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. He is 35-21 with stints at both USC and Tennessee, but like Oakland, all three tenures ended in precarious ways — from Al Davis’ infamous press conference to to getting called off the Southern Cal team bus at the Los Angeles airport.
Meanwhile, McElwain led Florida to an SEC East crown in his first season with the Gators. He survived a quarterback suspension to finish at No. 19 and a 10-3 record.
More so, Jones helped Tennessee turn around its season and finish at No. 23. UGA hired Smart, one of the nation’s most coveted coordinators that oversaw a top-10 Alabama defense for several years in a row.
While some of those coaches and others in the SEC East have yet to coach a game in their new positions, they certainly lack the off-the-field controversy that seemingly follows Kiffin.