On the surface, image-wise, you could contort the argument for Lane Kiffin to Miami as the Hurricanes' next Head Football Coach into making some sort of sense. Both Kiffin as a coach and the Canes as a football program have earned the reputations of being outspoken outlaws. They're kindred spirits in an odd way. But the timing makes for a bad marriage. For Miami, it's simple. In the wake of the most recent off-the-field scandal, Hurricane football needs proven, mature leadership -- not more distractions. When I turn on an Alabama game, there are still too many sideline camera "isos" on Kiffin. It tells me he's still a hot stove figure surrounded by the anticipation of an impending crash. Kiffin needs to get more... shall we say... forgotten about before it's time for the prodigal son to return to the big chair. He needs more time to watch the master (Nick Saban) at work. Before he becomes "the" guy again, he could benefit from more time observing "the" guy. Kiffin knows the game. He's a proven recruiter and smart on running an offense. But being a Lieutenant in charge of a platoon is a whole lot different than being the General running the army. Kiff could use more confident boosters. Not in his mind, but in the eyes of the public. Gaining their confidence again is still a ways off.
Tom James is a 2-time Edward R. Murrow Award-winning sportscaster, who does play-by-play & studio work for the ESPN Family of Networks (including ESPN Wide World of Sports, ESPN3, college football, basketball, & a wide array of other sports), CBS Sports Network, Lax Sports Network, & Pro Watercross. Tom also hosts and produces sports documentaries & is part of the weekly regionally syndicated college football radio show, "Southern Pigskin Tonight."