Meet the Kiffins


This pic may look familiar to Rocky Toppers. Considering the recession, we decided to save USC the money on a new photo shoot.

After the jump is the original.


First one to send an email to detailing all five differences, gets a free Matt&LenDale&Reggie&Pete t-shirt.

***EDITOR’S UPDATE*** Congrats to Rob Rosson and Steven Frith. This contest is now closed. The answers were: (1) USC Helmet in background (2) USC logo on Lane’s shirt (3) USC logo on Monte’s shirt (4) Added Nike logo to Lane’s shirt (5) Removed Adidas logo from Monte’s shirt.

Kyle Bunch

Managing Director, Social at R/GA. Co-founder of Blogs with Balls and future owner of the MLB's Austin Bats.

0 thoughts on “Meet the Kiffins


    As a member of the 20th reunion committee for T.C. Williams High School (Remember the Titans?), I have a lot on my plate: locating long lost classmates, picking hotels, making menu choices, deciding between a live band or a DJ. It’ll take us months to plan. So I’m a bit in awe of how Mike Garrett was able to pull together a 6-year reunion of USC’s National Championship-winning coaching staff at my other alma mater in less than 48 hours. Whether Monte Kiffin & Son are the right guys or not will certainly play out as wins and losses in November, not as TV and radio talk show fodder in January. But there’s plenty to talk about. Plus – we’ve shored up the short term recruiting crisis. Minus – we may have galloped into a long term problem with a 34-year old who hasn’t been a head coach anywhere for much more than a year. Plus – Kiffin’s an SC guy and brash, young, hot commodity. Minus – Kiffin’s a spoiled child with a big mouth and small list of professional accomplishments. Plus – This is Kiffin’s dream job; he’ll stay here a while. Minus – he’s a proven job hopper who’ll pull a Carroll at the first signs of success (assuming there are some.) Plus – look at all this coaching talent in Monte Kiffin, Orgeron and maybe Chow. Minus – they couldn’t get along before, why do we think they’ll get along now? The radio station phones are ringing off the hook today and it probably won’t stop until Spring Ball. But these are the trees. Let’s look for a moment at the forest.

    This new, once-highly successful USC coaching staff reminds me of an old, highly unsuccessful leadership team from the same era–the George W. Bush administration. The idea in 2000 was simple enough: get the young, blundering son of a former President to convince the country they’d like to have a beer with him. His lack of qualifications didn’t matter so much. He had a famous last name and he’d be surrounded by the top talent in his party, several of whom had credentials from his father’s cabinet. The resemblance to the movie Dave was uncanny. The President of the United States as a puppet? A figure head? Perhaps the least qualified of all the people who would now report to him? Well, it worked brilliantly until it didn’t. In political terms, it was a master stroke, and Karl Rove came out smelling like Pasadena roses. In policy terms, it was a nightmare, and we’ll be digging ourselves out of the financial, military and other holes for the next decade. At first, it worked nicely. Dubya went on vacation a lot and Cheney and pals ran the roost. But as the regulations were rolled back and the war plans were drawn, things started to unravel. A few years in, several of 41’s other pals recognized the Neocon movement as a new, ideological branch of the GOP that didn’t care so much about small government, strategic thought or political pragmatism. In an effort to protect their near-royal name, the Bush family ejected Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and others, and began to distance itself from the Cheney agenda. But it was too late. With the pyramid of power inverted, the empire collapsed. On its own disingenuous organizational structure and on its own arrogance.

    Across the nation, there were bumper stickers speaking to the reality of the situation. They read, CHENEY (big, on top) bush (small, on bottom). Around greater Los Angeles, there was a clever knockoff: BUSH/LEINART ‘04. It was fun, timely and fully synchronized with the “Leave No Doubt” theme of the year – itself a motivational response to the Trojan AP Champs of ‘03, inexplicably left out of the BCS title game. As one of the 27 or so politically left-leaning Trojan alums, even I could get behind the BUSH/LEINART ‘04 stickers and T-shirts. But KIFFIN/CHOW ‘10? I’m not so sure. It reminds me less of #5 and #11 and more of #43 (and I don’t mean Polamalu). The lightweight leader on top and the heavyweight henchmen below. Why do I get the feeling we’re in for more malapropisms in press conferences? Coach Kiffin is probably imagining himself at the top of the UT rubble shouting to USC fans, “Well, I can hear you!” Who knows, maybe he’ll attempt an awkward neck massage on Rick Neuheisel as Bush did with Chancellor Merkel. We’ll just have to wait until the 2010 season to find out. But in a few years, he’ll have to run for reelection on his record, not on a hunch. I doubt the Kiffins will be able to roll back the regulations of the NCAA, even if they dodge the worst in the upcoming announcements.

    The good news is, we have Will Ferrell. And if anyone knows both the comedic value of George W. Bush and the value of a good USC football program, it’s Will. I think we’re all going to need to keep our sense of humor to get through the next few years.

  2. This is a no-lose situation:
    –Kiffin does great => build on USC’s glory
    –Kiffin sucks => the end of Mike Garret’s tenure

  3. Nice hire USC. A guy that has lived in the shadow of Pete Carroll and as head coach has done absolutely nothing. Up here in Eugene we could not be happier with your hire. Kiffin will fail and it will take another 10 years for them to get it back after he is gone. GO DUCKS!!

  4. Hey Oregon Duck, pretty big talk from a program that last won a Rose Bowl in…let’s see…1917

    Hey, how about that Kaiser?

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