Thursday, August 29, 2013

USC Coach Lane Kiffin Is A Liar





USC football coach Lane Kiffin is a liar.

Does he think we're stupid? How does he expect us to swallow his bull about not naming a starting QB because he can't chose between third-year sophomores Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. The Hawaii game is tonight and, as of this morning, he's still playing musical chairs with his QBs..

Look at Kiffin's credentials. He learned offense under Pete Carroll during SC's spectacular run last decade. Kiffin was such a boy wonder that he was, for a time,  head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Then he fell into another prestige gig, head coach of Tennessee in the rugged SEC, before taking over at SC, where he tutored QB Matt Barkley, who's now with the Eagles. So Kiffiin, revered as this wizard of offense, is trying to make us believe that he can't see which of these two young QBs should be starting.

Lies, lies, lies....

Apparently it's not the close race Kiffin keeps talking about. Much of what goes on in pre-season at SC is done in secret. The media is shut out of practices but gets to see some scrimmaging. But players talk to assorted sources. Word gets out. Based on the entire pre-season, Kessler deserves the job. According to sources close to two players, Kessler has been the Man all along. He has superior accuracy and athleticism,  a greater grasp of the offense and is more skilled at reading defenses. In the huddle, he's a more commanding figure. The players know who's best. Most of them, say the sources, side with Kessler. Insiders say it's a no-brainer, that Kessler should be the starter.. If it's obvious to the players and those close to the team, then Kiffin, with all his knowledge, has to see it too. Yet he won't commit to Kessler.

Why?

It's simple. Kiffin doesn't want to alienate Wittek  If he knew he was going to sit on the bench all season, Wittek might transfer to a school that guarantees him playing time, If Kiffin had decided weeks ago, and  handed the starting job to Kessler, Wittek would probably be gone now. That would leave SC with no backup QB and force Kiffin to use heralded but raw freshman Max Browne instead of letting him redshirt..Mainly, though, without a decent backup QB, the season is one solid hit from going down the drain. Kiffin doesn't want SC to be in that position.

So, to keep from losing Wittek, Kiffin has to create this too-close-to-call sham, with lets him give the pair equal playing time in the early games, until one emerges as the starter. Fortunately for Kiffin, the first four games are relatively easy, so he can carry out this "experimental" plan without hurting the team's chances for a 4-0 start. Meanwhile Wittek sticks around and gets enough playing time, removing transferring as an option.

Most likely Kessler will start the Hawaii game tonight. Actually it's not starting, just being first in line to play. But the "contest" will go on, with.Wittek taking plenty of snaps against Hawaii. Unless Kessler really louses up and Wittek suddenly blossoms, this QB-by-committee could keep up through the first part of the season..

But all this is unfair to Kessler. He's earned the right to be the starting QB and should be getting the developmental benefits, like extra tutoring and the majority of snaps, that come with being the No.1.guy. Instead he has to play his role in Kiffin's game, which has to slow his progress. .

It can't be a picnic for Wittek either. The stink of his last performance, the Sun Bowl disaster, still hovers around him. He's looking to get past that but, stuck in a QB battle, that's going to be tougher. He might be better off starting over at another Division 1 school. But, at this point, transferring isn't likely.

Who's Kiffin, with his lies, looking out for? The school, for sure. Himself, for sure. Without a solid backup QB, SC might have a losing season and Kiffin would certainly wind up jobless.What about Kessler and Wittek? Kiffin isn't looking out for them. Either one could wind up as collateral damage.

And what about the players? They see Wittek as a pawn in Kiffin's game. They know their coach is not being truthful. The respect level for Kiffin, report the sources, is way down. That's not good.

Nice going, Lane