Kiffin Throws Dad Under Bus; Mom May Ground Him before AD Does
Fathers can help their sons in so many ways.
Like being a scapegoat, for example.
Lane Kiffin finally admitted what the rest of college football has known; USC's defense was awful.
Ironically, it was a defensive move of another sort: trying to protect the legacy of his prized quarterback, Matt Barkley.
Kiffin declared that had Barkley been paired with the same defenses of past Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer, the four-year starter would have won a national championhip and Heisman Trophy himself.
This approach will probably not settle well for Lane as his father, Monte, was his defensive coordinator the past three years. His mother has yet to be heard on the topic. It could be a chilly dinner setting the next time the grandkids are due for a visit.
Lane blamed his dad's defense for the 2011 loss to Stanford, where Andrew Luck threw a pick-six with 3:08 to go in the game. On the following drive, the Trojans were flagged for a head-to-head hit and gave the Cardinal a fresh set of downs. Stanford would go on to win that game in triple overtime.
Lane said if it were not for that flag, USC would have won and Matt Barkley would have beaten Andrew Luck, something Barkley never did. And it's not like USC didn't have other opportunitites, as the game did go on for another hour and spanned three overtimes.
However you want to put it, Lane is merely trying to save face, prove that he is still a worthy commodity, and thus justify comments by AD Pat Haden that his job is safe. If there's any magnaminity involved, it's in trying to get Barkley more bonus money by getting drafted in a higher position.
He should have known that's not how scouts evaluate players. They favor mechanics and game fundamentals over scores.
All Lane would have needed to do was ask his dad about that. Maybe veteran NFL defensive coordinators set in their ways against cookie-cutter NFL formations can't stop creative college offensive schemes, but they do know how their scouting departments work.
Lane is not without his own flaws, as well. Anybody remember USC vs Notre Dame this past year, where Lane was inside the 10-yard line and had nine chances to score? Half of those came from the 1-yard line and Barkley was his centerpiece.
Too bad Barkley wasn't going against his dad's defense then.