Great post. I am surprised by how easily the very intelligent people on here fall into the tired stereotypes played up by the national media.
People in Tennessee are in fantasy land thinking their job is comparable. This is a California guy being asked to take the best job on the west coast that might not come open again in a decade if ever. Most of the hate is just sour grapes from small town crackers who can't face reality in the situation. He spent a year luring actual talent to a program that had been allowed to wither by past his prime Phil Fulmer.
USC, Miami, Michigan, Washington, Arizona State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Texas are always going to have a leg up because of the size and location in or near great cities with a lot to offer. They are easier to recruit to. Tennessee for it's part relies almost exclusively on out of state talent because high school football there is so poor.
It was a no-brainer decision for a west coast guy and former Carroll assistant. I am sure he probably would have preferred it opened up further down the line to avoid the criticism that he cut and run.
Kiffin made a huge vertical move for himself and his family. Start with 320 sunny temperate days a year and an hours drive to the mountains or beach.
Here's reality: He's doing a great job out there navigating through some very unfair sanctions as well. As far as the baseless cheating allegations people like to throw around, ask Pat Haden if he is comfortable with him. He is the current AD, Three Time Rose Bowl and two time national champion quarterback, Rhodes Scholar, and clean cut choir boy face of the program. He was brought in with total power in rebuilding the new USC program to be totally rule compliant. His motto is: I don't want to do something that might embarrass my mom.
He had no ties to Kiffin when he took over and elected to keep him. He has publicly endorsed Kiffin and his honesty too many times to count.
As far as the offers, great for Michigan. It shows we are going to be awesome down the road because Kiffin is an ace recruiter. He only offers elite national talent.