November 8th, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

Well I think from what you are saying and what I am reading fans already are wanting a change. The issue is more about Pat Haden and what his plans are. By most accounts they have a great working relationship. When given the chance to distance himself from Kiffin since taking over as AD, Haden has done totally the opposite. Recall that Kiffin was under the gun from the NCAA over stuff from his  Tennessee seasonand Haden looked at it and subsequently backed him unequivocally.   Even appearing on his behalf before the committee on infractions.

My guess is the things working in Lane's favor currently with Haden are:

--His age and his desire to remain at the school for as long as he coaches which brings attractive continuity

--His excellence in recruiting

--His having to deal with a talent dip left by Pete's two very weak last 2 full classes in terms of offensive linemen, d linemen, and linebackers. The 08 and 09 classes whiffed heavily on quality o linemen and left the new regime scrambling and rebuilding quality depth. When we say out talent other teams, that's true and it's not. The trenches matter and they weren't being addressed adequately before Lane took over.

--His guiding them through probation and two very high quality wins last season.

--He is considered a bright mind offensively in a lot of circles

--The lack of reasonable alternatives that bring the above attributes to the table. One guy who would fit the mold and would bring a smoother presence with the media and probably a more likable reputation overall would be Sarkisian at UW.   Now if he is at all available after next season, Kiffin's seat gets very hot with a 3 plus loss season. Sark was very popular in Los Angeles and has all of Lane's upside without the side shows that seem to erupt.

It will be interesting and I do think there will absolutely be staff changes in the off season barring a rally to end all and a Rose Bowl berth.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

Haden supports Kiffin, but what else is he going to do? Public speak out against his coach? DB supported RR too, but he still fired him. I agree Lane wont get fired after this season, but he'll need to put together something big over the rest of this season and the next to keep it beyond 2013. My guess is that if he loses 4 more games before the end of the 2013 season (bowls excluded) he'll be gone.

I agree with you that Sark is a much better coach, but he's putting together a pretty good squad in Washington and I don't think he'll leave. They're not great this year, but they're recruiting we'll and hold be good soon.


November 8th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

You can definitely be a power program up there and if Kelly leaves Oregon  for the pros (as is widely rumored), the North goes back to Washington as a lead dog most likely. So him leaving is remote I agree. 

I am coming out for Notre Dame on the 24th. I am going to the Michigan-Ohio watch Saturday morning at American Junkie in Hermosa Beach. Is that where you go? I'd like to buy you a couple rounds.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

Before I was a dad I lived in Hermosa, but that was before American Junkie existed (it was called Sangria and was not much of a sports place). You'll have a good time - Hermosa is full of Michigan grads (as well as other Big Ten grads) so the atmosphere will be great I'm sure. I will be in my little suburb 40 miles north of there because I'm now an old guy. Thanks for the offer though.


November 8th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

Great to hear and it's good to talk to a grown up. Might hopefully rub off on me.

Pretty much any place in the Southland is great to be and live in my book. Love that place.  I'll be there 5 days so if you can get into town, we'll have to get together and chew the fat.

 I'd like to pick your brain about your favorite restaurants. If you can make time, shoot email me at [email protected]?   Whatever you can do I'd be so appreciative. It's been 7 years since I have been in Los Angeles.  When I was there before I worked so many hours in my brief stay I basically lived off McDonalds and Corn Nuts driving around in a car all day.   


Johnny Walk On…

November 8th, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

As both a USC and Michigan alum, this type of thing makes me appreciate Brady Hoke so much more. I did not like the hire of Kiffin, and I did not like AD Mike Garrett who hired him.

USC hired Pat Haden after Kiffin was hired and Haden is cut from the same cloth as Dave Brandon. USC has put a lot of money this year into a new football practice facilities and I'm not sure his loyalty is to Kiffin a la DB to RR.

I would not be surprised if after probation ends, Haden looks to go in a different direction.


November 8th, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

Apparently part of the Trojan mystique is to fall on your sword to protect the rest of the program, because that's the only reason why this kid would be taking full "blame" for deflating balls.  I knew student managers while at UM, and those guys don't remove dirt from the ball without a coach's approval.  To think some kid independently deflated a bunch of balls after a couple of officials approved them is ludicrous.  



November 8th, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

Hopefully this sort of thing isn't so common as to need a fix, but this would be less likely to happen if both teams had to use a common set of balls. I don't know the history--how did this become normal in football? Except for bowling, where your ball has to custom-fit your hand, I can't think of another sport where this is done.

Ed.: forgot golf. Gofl's a special case, I suppose--it's self-policing in a way few sports are. Football certainly isn't.