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It seems Kiffin can't stop being cute. At Tennessee, he named a just-born son Monte Knox Kiffin, then said he'd be called "Knox," a reference to the Vols' Knoxville location. When he left for the USC job, the joke was that he could spare his next child similar embarrassment by giving him the middle name: "Mercenary."
At his introductory news conference at USC, he tried to reassure a fan base that he would run a "clean, disciplined program." But even as he was speaking, his recruiting coordinator, Ed Orgeron, who followed Kiffin from Tennessee to USC, was busy getting back in touch with some Volunteer recruits to tell them how much more fulfilling the coursework is at Southern California. The tone was set. USC is still clean, but after back-to-back humiliations by Oregon and Arizona, especially on the defensive side, "disciplined" is in question and the blame is being passed around.
"They can control the rest of their season," Kiffin said. "There's a lot of teams in the country that can't after everything that's happened."
But it's not just the players who need to step it up. Already, there have been a few calls to fire Monte, a possibility his son dismissed after last week's debacle.
"You can't make major changes in season," Lane Kiffin said. "That never works."
Of course, neither did taking the air out of the football. Better get back to the drawing board and fast.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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