Was Lane Kiffin In Charge Of Parade?

Any Alabama person who complains about anything Nick Saban does probably needs his head examined. For one thing, anyone who has been paying attention knows that everything Saban does is for a good reason. And who can argue with results – or the process that delivers those results?

Alabama winning a national championship in football is good beyond fantastic. Nick Saban delivering that national title in three years, particularly considering the situation he inherited, is all any Crimson Tide fan could wish for.

But many today are wishing the team could be honored with a parade.

I'll admit that I had forgotten about the awards party Alabama held in Coleman Coliseum following the 1992 national championship until I was reminded of it in a recent newspaper article about this year's event. I did remember the parade, and how happy the fans along the parade route and the players and everyone else in Tuscaloosa was. Coach Gene Stallings had a grin as big as Paris, Texas, riding in that convertible and exchanging waves with jubilant partisans.

But Stallings didn't have the parade on a day when he had prospects in town. There have been reports that Alabama will have over 100 prospects in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Not prospects for the February 3 signing day. Prospects in 2011 and 2012.

One can understand Saban wanting to have a one-hour ceremony in the stadium where he is in complete control and has everything choreographed for the benefit of recruiting.

The current players who won the national championship will be there. But no autographs allowed. One wonders if the players will be allowed to wave to the fans. Maybe if they don't make eye contact.

Can you believe there's not even a Walk of Champions? The players have to go into the stadium. Would that have been so bad?

That's not to say it won't be a good event, a fun event, and that it won't be remembered fondly by all who attend. It would be shocking only if it were not spectacular.

It will certainly be better than what they are having in Knoxville.

One of the more bizarre events of Southeastern Conference football occurred this week when Southern Cal hired Lane Kiffin to replace Pete Carroll as head football coach. Kiffin has one so-so year of college experience in which he demonstrated a shallow understanding of the rules. Prior to that he had been fired as coach of the Oakland Raiders, and called a liar as he was booted.

Vols fans may end up better off than they were. Kiffin will win at USC. That's a softer league and there are more prospects within a few miles of the Southern Cal campus than there are in the state of Tennessee.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of better coaches than Kiffin to make the Vols a contender. Thank goodness Tommy Tuberville has already taken a job. Where will Tennessee look? It doesn't sound like David Cutcliffe is getting much love. Cutcliffe, the Alabama graduate who was given much of the credit for Tennessee offensive success under Phil Fulmer and who has been head coach aty Ole Miss and is now head coach at Duke, would seem to be a natural.

Except for that Alabama graduate thing. Bill Battle haters are still alive.

After the Kiffin episode, there's one guy we're pretty sure doesn't stand a chance.

Skip Holtz...emphasis on Skip.

We're not going to give Saban complete credit for the Kiffin skip, but who is to say the upcoming Sports Illustrated cover didn't play into Kiffin's thought processes.

The SI cover on the Tide Dynasty teases an article regarding whether anyone can stop Alabama.

Saban does get some credit for the opening that allowed Kiffin to get the job at Tennessee. And in Saban's three years there have been coaching changes at (in the SEC West) Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and (in the East) Tennessee (twice) and Kentucky, with Florida and Georgia perhaps pending.

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