Apparently our new football coach at the U. of Tennessee has never learned the maxim espoused by Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly, and carry a BIG stick”. While Teddy meant them more as a philosophy for life, these words easily translate to football: “Anyone can run his mouth, but the thing that ultimately matters is if your team can deliver some hits on autumn Saturdays”.
Kiffin has demonstrated he can run his mouth with the best of them, and that he has a mouth big enough to fit his foot into. What he has never proven, however, on any level as a head coach, is that he can actually put a team on the field that can lay a stick on their opponents.
As has been widely reported, an exuberant Kiffin publically accused Florida’s Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation. The problem with that… Meyer’s actions transgressed no NCAA or SEC rules. Kiffin’s guffaw immediately brought a reprimand from the SEC Commissioner.
It’s ridiculous. This guy is what excites fans in Big Orange Country? This is an improvement on Philip Fulmer?
This guys record as a coach is well documented: Poor. But that was the NFL. So maybe in collge he would fare better. So the first thing Kiffin achieves is to take a recruiting class compiled by Fulmer and his staff that was predicted to become a consensus Top 5 nationally, alienate some top tier prospects, and end up with a class that is, at best, 4th or 5th in the SEC East; 7th or worse in the SEC; and at least initially outside of the Top 50 in the nation. And while bragging about that accomplishment he brings a reprimand from the conference Commish, embarassment to the University, and slightly eclipses the shine of a monumental day when Pat Summitt won her 1000th game with the Lady Vols.
I agree with Joe Biddle, of The Tennessean, who suggests that Kiffin might want to beg Pat Summitt for the opportunity to Intern for her. From Summitt Kiffin might – I repeat, might – learn what it means to coach, to carry oneself with class, and how to be an ambassador for UT and the State of Tennessee. Nobody is better at that than Summitt. But if Kffin can’t get that Internship, or thinks he doesn’t need it, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t land the Volunteers on NCAA probation before he skips town.