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Report: Lane Kiffin to help evaluate Alabama’s offense

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Lane Kiffin (Getty Images)

Lane Kiffin might have a career in consulting.

According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the former USC coach is in Tuscaloosa this week as a special guest of coach Nick Saban to help evaluate the Tide offense.

Kiffin made his coaching hay as an offensive coordinator at USC under former coach Pete Carroll. Between 2002-2006, USC only lost six games, and the offense was consistently one of the best in the country.

Kiffin also was a gifted recruiter. In his three seasons as recruiting coordinator for USC, the Trojans had the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class.

Moreover, Kiffin made Tennessee a better offensive program during his one season there even if the record didn’t show it. The Vols offense went from 115th in the nation to 60th. The scoring increased from 17.83 points per game to 29.31.

But Kiffin got a bad reputation during his short tenure at Tennessee after he publicly questioned the recruiting tactics of then-Florida coach Urban Meyer while actually violating NCAA rules of his own. Kiffin also had some poor interactions with recruits, notably receiver Alshon Jeffrey. Kiffin, who was recruiting Jeffrey, told the then-high school senior "he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina" if Jeffrey chose to play at South Carolina instead of Tennessee. Jeffrey went to South Carolina and is now a receiver with the Chicago Bears.

But most of dislike for Kiffin stems from his decision to leave Tennessee for USC following his first season with the Vols in 2009. The Vols went 7-6 that year and seemed to be on an upward trend. But since Kiffin left, the program has floundered and many Tennessee fans still hold that against him.

Could Kiffin get yet another chance to prove his football worth at one of the nation's most prestigious programs?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It’s no secret Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is one of the hot names around coaching searches, but Kiffin doesn’t have the greatest reputation these days. Still, an offensive coordinator position might be a place where Kiffin excels especially as Alabama tries to find a new direction without quarterback AJ McCarron.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

 

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