A dream coaching gig is tough to turn down -- there was no guarantee Lane Kiffin was ever going to get another shot at the USC job if he turned it down in January 2010. But one season into his tenure at Tennessee, basic manners dictated that the timing just wasn't right to bail. And certainly, Kiffin didn't know the sanctions were going to be as bad as they turned out ... but he had to know the Bush scandal would turn into something.
Kiffin had trouble controlling his impulses to seek silly competitive advantages, even when they weren't needed. Playing Colorado at home is not a situation where you need to fool anyone on an extra point. This controversial move accelerated the downward spiral of 2012.
Coming off a breakthrough 10-2 season, his Heisman-candidate QB returning for his senior season along with 18 other starters, Kiffin had only thin tailback depth to worry about. By poaching Redd from another team similarly hit with landmark sanctions, he rendered all his previous whining about "open season" on his own players hypocritical, and further raised expectations for a team that proved it had been over-performing. Kiffin would have looked so much better if he had just said, "We know how it feels to have players poached, and we're not going to get involved in that."
So here we are, 12 days after the Liberation of Heritage Hall, looking back at seven pivotal bad decisions of the Kiffin era.
OK, OK, the timing is a little stale. Just click through it anyway.