Like Tornado in a Trailer Park

Well, it's official.

We here at MBN have no clue what is going on in the world of college football.

Not that it was a big surprise, but Charlie Weis is run out of South Bend just as fast and with as much swiftness as when he was brought in and hailed as the savior of Notre Dame football. Charlie out...Cincinnati's Brian Kelly in. Kelly, leaves his post with the Bearcats just after they finish their first 12-0 season to become ND's next savior. 

Then, Cincinnati goes back to the Central Michigan well to hire Butch Jones because, well, why mess with a good thing?

Mark Mangino was fired after a up and down career with Kansas that ultimately led to him having to reach a settlement with his former employer. Mangino had several controversies while with Kansas including improper treatment of players, many NCAA rules violations, and numerous campus parking tickets. But he did win 2007 coach of the year honors from pretty much everyone who gives out that award...including, most appropriately, the Woody Hayes national coach of the year award.

Then it was Urban Meyer who resigned the Florida job the day after Christmas. But the very next day he comes out publicly and says he's going to take a "leave of absence" and will be back in time to coach the 2010 season. So Gator Nation can breathe again.

University of Southern Florida is also jumped in the mix when they fired Jim Leavitt after he went all Woody Hayes (like Mangino) and struck a player in the locker-room during halftime of the Louisville game on November 21st. Leavitt said he was just trying to "console" his player and did not strike him like everyone else said he did. According to ESPN's Ivan Maisel, the act of punching his own player was not what got him fired, but telling his team and coaches to change their story of the incident is what got him canned. He has since hired attorneys what is sure to be a nice and easy trial.

So in Leavitt's absence, USF interviewed Michigan assistant head coach Calvin Magee earlier this week, but it seems as if Magee is safe at Michigan for now.

And then that brings us to USC.

Amid a flurry of speculation that the NCAA is about to hand the Trojans a rather healthy dose of investigation from alleged gift-giving by boosters to former football and current basketball players, Pete Carroll is gone back to the NFL faster than you can say "Charlie Weis".

So there's a huge coaching vacancy at what used to be a very lucrative and highly sought-after position in southern California. But with the specter of the NCAA's judicial hammer about to fall in Troy, Oregon State's Mike Riley kindly rejects USC's offer. Next, Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach Jack Del Rio says no thanks.

0 for 2, USC tosses up a Hail-Mary in the second quarter and surprises everyone by hiring former assistant and current Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin.

At this point, everything I thought I knew about college athletics goes out the window.

Lane Kiffin, 34 years old, is about as strange of a hire as I could think of. First of all, he's only been with the Vols for 1 season, going 7-6. Before that he coached 20 games for the Oakland Raiders from 07-08 going 4-12 in 2007 and then 1-3 in 2008 before being fired by Raiders owner Al Davis in a rather ugly sequence of events that included a letter of resignation drafted up by Davis at the end of  2007 that Kiffin refused to sign because if he did he would forfeit the 2 million dollars left on his guaranteed contract.

Before that he was an assistant for USC from 2001-2006...right in the heart of when all the alleged rules were broken by such players as Reggie Bush. It is widely speculated that Kiffin was a central figure in said questionable activities during his time there.

So, needless to say, when the headline crawled across the bottom of the ESPN screen last night, I just about laughed out loud to myself. But in a time when so much movement is being made my coaches all over the country, you could argue that USC is just trying to stick with a guy they know. It's something you can say to yourself to legitimize the hire, but hardly a good reason.

So ultimately, that leads us to the vacancy at Tennessee.

Former Vols coach Phillip Fulmer has been mentioned as a possibility. Which I think makes no sense and total sense at the same time. But the latest man to be questioned about his interest is none other than our very own Rich Rodriguez.

Detroit News columnist Angelique Chengelis who covers Michigan football about as well as anyone out there posed the question to Rodriguez's agent Mike Brown today, to which he replied, "No way." with a laugh. [Link to story]

It's the laughing part that concerns me.

According to Chengelis, while en route back home from the American Football Coaches Association convention in Orlando, he apparently was spotted in Knoxville. If this were coming from Rosenberg at the Free Press I'd laugh it off, but having come from what I consider a pretty knowledgeable and level-headed source, I'm giving it it's due attention.

And to add a cherry to the top of the coaching madness cake, to replace outgoing LB coach Jay Hobson, Michigan is interviewing former tOSU defensive coordinator Mark Snyder. Snyder has spent the last 5 years as the head coach at Marshall (before resigning), and the 4 years prior to that as the DC at tOSU. He also coached with Sir Teflon at Youngstown State.

So, long story short, I have no idea what to make of all this insanity. But one thing is for certain...someone has to replace Kiffin at Tennessee, and maybe...just maybe, we might all be surprised who it could be.

Oh yeah, one last thing. If the coaching insanity wasn't enough for you, just try and make sense of the recruiting picture. HA!

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