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Kiffin on 'Bama vs. Gators: 'I think one poll got it right'

If you were to look up the phrase “lightning rod” in a collegiate football dictionary circa 2009, there’d be a good chance you’d see the boyish visage of Lane Kiffin staring back at you.

Love him, hate him, despise him, the new Tennessee head coach has proven to be nothing short of sheer entertainment for his supporters and despicable fodder for his voluminous detractors during his ten months in Knoxville.

Since the regular season began, though, and with his team eventually toddler-walking to a middlin’ 3-3 record, Kiffin has pretty much kept his collegiate coaching precociousness to himself.

Until now.

Following an offseason highlighted by charges of illegal recruiting shenanigans levied by Kiffin toward Urban Meyer and his Florida program — and a sheepish mea culpa — Kiffin has made his feelings known as to who the best team in the country should be ahead of his first showdown with Alabama.

And it’s not the program that’s been the target of his most pointed barbs and happens to reside at the top of the current BcS standings.

“I think one poll got it right,” Kiffin said, obviously referring to the Associated Press poll pushing ‘Bama over Florida. “If you watch football and pay attention, I don’t think there’s any doubt who the No. 1 team is. Alabama has a great team — very well-coached, extremely talented, great special teams, great on offense, great on defense.”

Certainly, Kiffin is being somewhat self-serving in pumping up an upcoming opponent at the expense of a previous foe he had publicly dissed.  But, still…

“I think one poll got it right.”

That’s good.  Damn good.

The more I hear from Kiffin, and the more I see what he’s doing on Saturdays, I’ll be damned if that lil’ ankle-nipper might not be putting together a football program whose bite can match the coach’s yelp.

Eventually.

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Respond to “Kiffin on 'Bama vs. Gators: 'I think one poll got it right'”
  1. Booner says: Oct 21, 2009 10:38 AM

    Kiffin’s sucking up to Alabama now because he knows that he’s going to get his ass handed to him this weekend.

  2. Hail2ThaRedskins says: Oct 21, 2009 12:18 PM

    Whatever his motives may be… he is 100% correct this time. If we are basing it on on field performance from this season, Alabama should be #1 and there shouldn’t even be a discussion about it!
    (disclaimer: NOT an Alabama nor an SEC fan)

  3. tampalawyer says: Oct 21, 2009 12:23 PM

    Kiffin reminds me of your average sports radio talk show host. Such a host will say progressively more outrageous things to goad people into calling the show for ratings purposes. Kiffin is no different in that he is seeking attention, and his most obvious avenue to do so is his ongoing feud with UF and Urban Meyer. He also has a bit of Vince Dooley in him to poor mouth his chances against his next opponent. Dooley used to say things like, “that Vanderbilt team we’re playing might be the best 0-5 team in the country.” It’s actually entertaining even to this Gator fan. If he had a better team, it might be even be offensive. Alabama should crush the Vols. If they do it in more convincing fashion that UF did, then Kiffin may be right. What’s amazing is how far his apple fell from Monte’s tree — his father is and always has been a class act. Our Bucs miss his coaching tremendously.

  4. overratedgators says: Oct 21, 2009 12:24 PM

    I’m sure Urban and Timmy will hold each other tightly tonight, whispering re-assuring positive thoughts into each others ears.

  5. mike says: Oct 21, 2009 12:48 PM

    I love it. I was SO tired of seeing everybody cow-tow to the “mighty Florida”.
    Keep it going Kiffin.

  6. tampalawyer says: Oct 21, 2009 12:55 PM

    Overrated — is the best you can come up with to call Tebow “Timmy” and pretend he’s having sex with Meyer? Wow — such intellect and sports knowledge must put fear into the hearts of all those who would debate you. Isn’t this article about Lane Kiffin? If I have read your prior posts correctly, you are either a Big Ten and/or Ohio State fan. If you are, then I need not remind you of your record against the SEC or Florida. If your cowardly rear end resides in Tallahassee, Athens, Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Miami, Austin, Norman, or elsewhere, just man up on the field. Maybe the Gators are overrated — last time I checked they had won 16 games in a row, including beating then-number 1 Alabama and after a few weeks they beat then-number 1 Oklahoma. Last week,UF’s consensus All-American MLB, Brandon Spikes didn’t play most of the game with a groin injury. Perhaps that and a still-conservative game plan to preserve Tebow’s grey matter contributed to the too close game against Arkansas. That and Arkansas is a good team. Let’s see, the best team in the Big Ten is Iowa? Ohio State lost to USC [who lost to Washington] and to Purdue [who lost to N. Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Minnesota and Oregon]. I actually am not sure I would rank the Gators #1 at the moment — it would be pretty close with Alabama, and I would have to see what happens this weekend with Alabama playing the Vols. Oops, I was debating facts, back to your level: I bet you and Tressel will be sharing sweater vests tonight.

  7. hrudey says: Oct 21, 2009 1:50 PM

    I guess this means that Tennessee will start playing to keep the game close rather than trying to win in the third quarter, instead of the fourth. Lane Kiffin: When you want Not Quite to look real pretty.

  8. getreal says: Oct 21, 2009 2:40 PM

    Smart man….
    Tenn has two major recuiting road blocks in its way…. Florida and Alabama. How do we get our program infront of those school??? Keep insulting the performance of the “clean” competition team in your conf. (Florida) and save your insults for Alabama until you are in the young recruiter’s home, infront of his parents, and say do you really want Nick ‘Satan’ to be incharge of – influencing your boy for the next 5 yrs??
    Sure way to be a success in the SEC….keep insulting the gates team, save some low blows for bama’s coach…. oh yea, there is that thing about overcoming your trash talking style and own team’s par performance…
    None the less…he is right. Although I’m sure the subdivisional teams the Gates tee off on week after week have very good athletes, and although the eeked out win over a very over rated LSU was 3 hours of free tv, Alabama is the only team in this covo that truly appears to be battle tested and prepared this season. I’m sure we’ll see them in the BCS…..i just hope the other BCS tightrope walking scheduling teams like Florida (caugh Texas) gets a loss too so we can see a real deserving team to play bama.
    (don’t worry….i’m a sooner fan, not a bama fan. I admit, however, after seeing my team get 3 losses because they aren’t afraid to schedule tough non-conference games on the road, like Miami and other respectful schools have done this year) I hate seeing the “power houses” like Ohio State, Texas, Florida have cupcake schedules at home, barely eek them out, yet be rewarded by the “B”ullcrap “C”orrupt “S”issy series computers.)

  9. tslagle98 says: Oct 21, 2009 4:03 PM

    I think tampalawyer is funny… “That and Arkansas is a good team.”
    This was the same Arkansas team that Alabama pounded 35-7 right? Based on that alone Florida is definitely not better than Alabama, I mean even with poor calls they won on a last second field goal 23-20… whether Arkansas is a good team or not.

  10. tslagle98 says: Oct 21, 2009 4:10 PM

    getreal, you need to do your homework… “I hate seeing the “power houses” like Ohio State, Texas, Florida have cupcake schedules at home, barely eek them out, yet be rewarded by the “B”ullcrap “C”orrupt “S”issy series computers.)”
    Texas had Utah scheduled 2008-2010, and Utah cancelled, funny thing is this game would have given Utah the opportunity to really say we deserve to be in the NCG if they won… Texas also had Arkansas scheduled 2009-2010, but it was cancelled by Arkansas, and were lucky to get Wyoming (on the road) to fill in.

  11. getreal says: Oct 21, 2009 4:59 PM

    tslagle98…….. a Texans fan much???
    Judging by the lack of a comment to defend the Oh St and Florida teams I mentioned, I’m assuming you either flat out agree with those, or you are partial to Texas and therefore wanted to defend your team. That in mind….i’ll respond this way:
    While you make somewhat of a decent point (as I admit I was ignorant of the alleged scheduling conflicts that you speak of) its still doesn’t disprove the validity of my comment. You said “Texas had Utah scheduled 2008-2010″ & “Texas also had Arkansas scheduled 2009-2010″ and say those schools backed out……these still aren’t power house BCS title worthy programs.
    The last time Arkansas was used in the same sentance with POWERHOUSE was a decade ago in reference to the NCAA Final Four. Only in a close game against the 2009 overhyped Tim Tribow Gators could they be considered any where near greatness. And While Utah was amazing this past season (in my opinion deserved to play in the BCS over my Sooners – I am a fan, but not blind) the Longhorns didn’t know they would be that good when they scheduled them (as scheduling is often down years in advance). So the fact that they had (at the time) a decent program from a non BCS conference scheduled and the fact that they had an average SEC program on the books still doesn’t impress me or give the Horns a pass. In fact, the fact that this was your best example in a defense for them just proves my point.
    Don’t get me wrong….I’m not saying they suck, and I’m not saying they aren’t a top 10 team or program…I believe they deserve to be in that convo……but what I am saying is I believe 100% they coward away (as many other big programs do) from taking on more risk they absolutely have to. They would rather be “nominated” national champions by the BCS crap system, then go out and play the best comp and actually EARN the title.
    Miami U opened the season with 4 straight ranked teams…. Non BCS schools like Fresno say we’ll play anybody anytime anywhere….why is Texas (one of the “top” programs in the nation) playing SO many pussy teams year in and year out, usually from their own grass?? Just once give me a season with a game at Miami, home against USC, away at Boise State, or home against Virginia Tech for non-conf games in the same year.
    Yeah Utah backed out (due to monetary/scheduling issues, not courage) and its a good thing……they would have beat the Austin pants off the horns last year.
    BOOMER!!!

  12. getreal says: Oct 21, 2009 5:00 PM

    tslagle98…….. a Texans fan much???
    Judging by the lack of a comment to defend the Oh St and Florida teams I mentioned, I’m assuming you either flat out agree with those, or you are partial to Texas and therefore wanted to defend your team. That in mind….i’ll respond this way:
    While you make somewhat of a decent point (as I admit I was ignorant of the alleged scheduling conflicts that you speak of) its still doesn’t disprove the validity of my comment. You said “Texas had Utah scheduled 2008-2010″ & “Texas also had Arkansas scheduled 2009-2010″ and say those schools backed out……these still aren’t power house BCS title worthy programs.
    The last time Arkansas was used in the same sentance with POWERHOUSE was a decade ago in reference to the NCAA Final Four. Only in a close game against the 2009 overhyped Tim Tribow Gators could they be considered any where near greatness. And While Utah was amazing this past season (in my opinion deserved to play in the BCS over my Sooners – I am a fan, but not blind) the Longhorns didn’t know they would be that good when they scheduled them (as scheduling is often down years in advance). So the fact that they had (at the time) a decent program from a non BCS conference scheduled and the fact that they had an average SEC program on the books still doesn’t impress me or give the Horns a pass. In fact, the fact that this was your best example in a defense for them just proves my point.
    Don’t get me wrong….I’m not saying they suck, and I’m not saying they aren’t a top 10 team or program…I believe they deserve to be in that convo……but what I am saying is I believe 100% they coward away (as many other big programs do) from taking on more risk they absolutely have to. They would rather be “nominated” national champions by the BCS crap system, then go out and play the best comp and actually EARN the title.
    Miami U opened the season with 4 straight ranked teams…. Non BCS schools like Fresno say we’ll play anybody anytime anywhere….why is Texas (one of the “top” programs in the nation) playing SO many pussy teams year in and year out, usually from their own grass?? Just once give me a season with a game at Miami, home against USC, away at Boise State, or home against Virginia Tech for non-conf games in the same year.
    Yeah Utah backed out (due to monetary/scheduling issues, not courage) and its a good thing……they would have beat the Austin pants off the horns last year.
    BOOMER!!!

  13. getreal says: Oct 21, 2009 5:12 PM

    tslagle98…….. a Texans fan much???
    Judging by the lack of a comment to defend the Oh St and Florida teams I mentioned, I’m assuming you either flat out agree with those, or you are partial to Texas and therefore wanted to defend your team. That in mind….i’ll respond this way:
    While you make somewhat of a decent point (as I admit I was ignorant of the alleged scheduling conflicts that you speak of) its still doesn’t disprove the validity of my comment. You said “Texas had Utah scheduled 2008-2010″ & “Texas also had Arkansas scheduled 2009-2010″ and say those schools backed out……these still aren’t power house BCS title worthy programs.
    The last time Arkansas was used in the same sentance with POWERHOUSE was a decade ago in reference to the NCAA Final Four. Only in a close game against the 2009 overhyped Tim Tribow Gators could they be considered any where near greatness. And While Utah was amazing this past season (in my opinion deserved to play in the BCS over my Sooners – I am a fan, but not blind) the Longhorns didn’t know they would be that good when they scheduled them (as scheduling is often down years in advance). So the fact that they had (at the time) a decent program from a non BCS conference scheduled and the fact that they had an average SEC program on the books still doesn’t impress me or give the Horns a pass. In fact, the fact that this was your best example in a defense for them just proves my point.
    Don’t get me wrong….I’m not saying they suck, and I’m not saying they aren’t a top 10 team or program…I believe they deserve to be in that convo……but what I am saying is I believe 100% they coward away (as many other big programs do) from taking on more risk they absolutely have to. They would rather be “nominated” national champions by the BCS crap system, then go out and play the best comp and actually EARN the title.
    Miami U opened the season with 4 straight ranked teams…. Non BCS schools like Fresno say we’ll play anybody anytime anywhere….why is Texas (one of the “top” programs in the nation) playing SO many pussy teams year in and year out, usually from their own grass?? Just once give me a season with a game at Miami, home against USC, away at Boise State, or home against Virginia Tech for non-conf games in the same year.
    Yeah Utah backed out (due to monetary/scheduling issues, not courage) and its a good thing……they would have beat the Austin pants off the horns last year.
    BOOMER!!!

  14. gator_prof says: Oct 21, 2009 10:10 PM

    Whatever…. The Gators will play Bama for the National (er, I mean SEC) title game and this will be decided on the field.
    For everyone flapping their jaws…2 titles, 3 years, in the hunt for a 3rd.
    Talk is cheap, show me the hardware.

  15. tampalawyer says: Oct 22, 2009 11:05 AM

    tslagle — the “who beat who by how much” thing is imprecise. Florida beat UK at UK 41 – 7, with Tebow leaving in the 3rd quarter with the concussion. Meyer undoubtedly would have tagged on a few more points had Tebow stayed in the game [whether that’s right or wrong]. The very next week, Alabama beat UK at UK 33 – 20. So UK held Alabama to fewer points and scored more against Alabama. Alabama didn’t even have the chance to run up the score. So who is the better team? UF or Bama? On the other hand, the roles are reversed when you look at UF and Bama against Arkansas. I didn’t see all of the Alabama/Arkansas game — were there any questionable calls in Bama’s favor? If so, they wouldn’t have gotten any play because it was a blowout. I’ll say it again — although the personal foul call against Arkansas was — I’ll say it, too — “horrendous”; it did NOT change the game. It was not on a 3rd or 4th down; there were more than 7 minutes left in the game; Florida still had to score a TD after the bad call to tie the score at 20 – 20; Arkansas could have stopped Florida on that drive and won the game; Arkansas had more than 7 minutes to win the game after the bad call; and they didn’t. Despite the Gator haters’ passionate opionions to the contrary, the defensive pass interference call and the offensive pass interference non-call were at best close calls, but correct calls, especially the defensive PI call. The DB didn’t turn to the ball before initiating contact with the WR — look at the tape. As to the OPI, both the WR and the DB have a right to the ball, and refs will always shade that to the WR absent a blatant push off or some kind of pick. Cooper does attempt to go through the DB to the ball and the DB had pretty good position, but that’s always a no call.

  16. maingearinarkansas says: Oct 22, 2009 12:13 PM

    gator_prof
    Couldn’t have said it better m’self!
    I get enormous joy watching Kiffen eat crow. If he would learn to eat humble pie, he might be tolerable.
    Just saying…..

  17. rhett says: Oct 23, 2009 10:57 AM

    almost twenty years ago another brash young coach entered the sec. i’m not saying lane kiffin is going to be another steve spurrier, but it is scary to think he could reach the football intellect steve spurrier possesses. kiffin put together one of best recruiting classes and coaching staffs in the country. as a georgia alumni and huge gator fan, tennessee is probably my least favorite team next to notre dame. let me get to the point, my hat is off to what lane kiffin has done so far.

  18. gator_prof says: Oct 23, 2009 3:24 PM

    There is a huge difference between Spurrier and Kiffin. Upon entering the SEC, SS had already demonstrated coaching prowess at Duke. He was also a great player and innovative coach.
    Kiffin, what has he done as a coach to merit consideration to be mentioned in the same breath as the ol’ ball coach? Well, his Dad is a great defensive coach. What exactly has Kiffin done? O.K., he took over a Juggernaut USC offense (BCS champs) created by Norm Chow (again, another guy with a track record of success as an OC) that had Leinart (returning HT winner) and Bush (5th in the 04 HT voting). Did the Trojans win a title in 05 despite being overwhelming favorites to repeat given the personnel?
    Yes, he is a very good recruiter. Recruiting doesn’t translate to wins….see Zook, Ronald. Furthermore, burning bridges while recruiting is never a good idea if you want long term success.

  19. Sailsman says: Oct 24, 2009 12:43 AM

    gator_prof….Spurrier a great coach but player!!!LOL

  20. gator_prof says: Oct 24, 2009 10:11 AM

    Sailsman,
    He was a two time, first-team all American and a Heisman Trophy winner in 1966. He was a first round NFL draft pick. IMO, those items add up to great college player. What is your definition of great?
    That being said, his pro career was average at best as he was a career backup, but he stuck around for 10 years.

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