Johnny Majors: Lane Kiffin would have won at Tennessee

Lane Kiffin led Tennessee to a 7-6 record in his lone season there. (AP photo)

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Lane Kiffin led Tennessee to a 7-6 record in his lone season there. (AP photo)

Lane Kiffin rankled several folks in his one season at Tennessee.

Recruits. Fans. The NCAA. Urban Meyer.

But longtime Tennessee coach Johnny Majors told "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM that Kiffin would have turned the program around if he had stayed longer than that 20o9 season.

“Dooley treated me wonderfully well, but he didn’t get much done, to be frank with you. Kiffin would have won if he had stayed there, and there is no doubt about it. I know a lot of Tennessee people don’t like him, but he had a good reason to go to Southern Cal.”

Full disclaimer: Majors said he’s known Monte Kiffin — Lane’s dad — for more than 40 years and he was treated well by the family. “… I came back to the practice fields for the first time since (Tennessee) ran me off after the 1992 season,” he said.

Lane Kiffin bolted Tennessee after his lone season there for the job at Southern California, where he lasted three-plus seasons.

He joined Nick Saban’s Alabama staff as offensive coordinator before the 2014 season.

Majors had a couple of other points.

“To be frank with you, Tennessee could have been 8-4 last year. They really blew the Florida game and the Georgia game. They outplayed Georgia but fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line, and that ended up being a touchdown for Georgia. Tennessee dominated Florida defensively, and that was probably the most subpar Florida team since before (Steve) Spurrier.”

“Well, to be honest with you, they wouldn’t be struggling these last eight or 10 years had they not run me out the back door. We had the three winningest years of my career in ’89, ’90 and ’91. We won a Cotton Bowl, won a Sugar Bowl and went to the Fiesta Bowl and lost to Penn State.