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A&M’s Sumlin OK With Southern Cal Talk

kevin-sumlin-atm-shirt-smileTexas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Lane Kiffin at Southern Cal.  No wonder, Sumlin’s offense has thrived at Houston and now in the SEC as well.  He’s a top o’ the line recruiter and star on the rise by most accounts, a man who’s been linked to many an NFL job, too.

So did Sumlin play off the potential of a Southern Cal courtship as most coaches would?  Nope.  Instead, he made it clear yesterday that he was flattered by the talk.  “It means you’re winning and doing things the right way,” he said of the Trojans’ possible interest.

Technically, Kiffin hadn’t won or done things the right way when he landed the gig in LA, but we get Sumlin’s point.

The question is this: Would Sumlin trade what we’ve referred to as a goldmine job at Texas A&M for — potentially — a little more cash and a little more exposure at Southern Cal?  Doubtful.  He’s already at an all-time top 20 program.  What could Trojan AD Pat Haden really offer aside from great weather and — again, potentially — a bit more money?  If Texas A&M isn’t a lateral move, it’s certainly close.  If Sumlin wants to win in the college game, he’s in a perfect place to do it where he’s already become a hero to Aggie fans.

We believe A&M fans are right to be concerned about an eventual jump by Sumlin to the NFL, something he has said could be in his future at some point.  Another college job, even the one at Southern Cal, isn’t likely to lure Sumlin away from College Station.

(And, yes, “famous last words.”)

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LB Power Chooses To Play At Southern Cal, Not In The SEC

mrsec-breaking-newsFour-star outside linebacker Quinton Powell from Daytona Beach, Florida has decided to play football for Southern Cal and Lane Kiffin.  Considering the large number of last-minute flips away from the Trojans, fending off the likes of South Carolina, Arkansas, and Florida to grab Powell is a nice win for the folks in LA.

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UT Chasing Martin, Jones On Verge Of Completing Staff

Butch Jones appears to be just one major grab away from completing his first coaching staff at Tennessee.  The new Vol head coach is making a sales pitch in Knoxville today to ex-Tennessee player and current Southern Cal receivers coach Tee Martin.

Martin quarterbacked the Vols to the 1998 BCS championship.  After serving under Joker Phillips at Kentucky as an assistant in 2010 and 2011, Martin packed his bags for LA to work with Lane Kiffin in 2012 (which had to curdle some milk in the Volunteer State).

If Jones can land Martin, he’ll prove to doubting UT fans that he can at least do two very important things:

 

1.  Recruit well enough to bring a favorite son home

2.  Hurt Kiffin’s staff

 

Both would please a UT fanbase that was less than happy when Jones was hired last Friday.  The Knoxville News Sentinel looks at the rest of Tennessee’s staff here.

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Kiffin Laughs Off The Ire Of UT Fans

If Lane Kiffin has any regrets regarding his time at Tennessee or the many toes he stepped on by leaving after a single season… he isn’t showing it.  Speaking to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Kiffin laughed off the amount of blame and bile fired in his general direction by still-angry Volunteer fans:

 

“Are you sure I didn’t get blamed for the Kentucky game? I’m sure somebody somewhere blamed me for that.

After we left two years ago, and I don’t remember the timeline, there were some floods in Tennessee. So people around here were joking that was my fault — that there were floods there.

It is what it is. I still have a number of people I stay in contact with there at Tennessee. I know this: I did everything the right way there, as you can see what came out of the NCAA’s investigation. The goal was to make Tennessee better every day. That’s what we strived to do every day we were there … to build confidence in our players and our fan base, and recruit really good players.”

 

Kiffin has shown at Southern Cal that he can coach football.  But his decision to return to LA after a year in Knoxville decimated the Tennessee roster leading to back-to-back years of roster attrition (following the ouster of Phillip Fulmer the year before).  He may be able to laugh things off at this point, but his departure from UT set the Vol program back at least a year or two in its attempt to rebuild.

Tennessee — a staple of the national Top 10 throughout the 1990s — has not won a conference championship since 1998.  And whether he likes it or not, Kiffin can rightfully be blamed for helping to keep the Vols in the bottom half of the SEC the past two seasons.

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