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Lane Kiffin: ‘I have tremendous respect for what Urban Meyer does’

Kiffin Meyer AP

Based on where the “relationship” between Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer was when the two were coaching in the same conference in 2009, the quote in the headline is a borderline miracle, a veritable “dog marries cat” bromance on the verge of a full-blown bloom.

In his lone year at Tennessee in 2009 before bolting for his current job at USC, Kiffin was famous — or infamous, depending on your point of view — for nipping at the heels of the SEC coaching hierarchy, especially Florida’s Meyer.  The public sniping between the two reached a boiling point when Kiffin accused Meyer of cheating in the recruitment of a player who still signed with the Vols and continued to the point where conference commissioner Mike Slive had to step in.

That was more than two years ago and, my, how the times have changed.

First, during the whole Bret Bielema/Meyer recruiting flap earlier this month, the new Ohio State head coach acknowledged there’s been a 180-degree turn in his relationship with Kiffin, with both apologizing for what Meyer described as “very childish and egotistical” behavior.  Now, it’s Kiffin’s turn to acknowledge it’s nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows between the two.

“Yeah, I’m glad Urban and I are where we are in our relationship. When you’re young, you make some mistakes,” the now-36-year-old Kiffin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the then-33-year-old Kiffin. “We’ve moved forward from that. Who would’ve guessed we are back at battling each other for recruits even though we’re a long ways away? I have tremendous respect for what Urban Meyer does.”

Despite the new-found maturity in his advancing age, the “old” Kiffin just couldn’t help himself when it came to being asked about UT’s first loss to Kentucky in 26 games last year and how the blame game had moved on from him to his successor Derek Dooley.

“Are you sure I didn’t get blamed for the Kentucky game? I’m sure somebody somewhere blamed me for that,” Kiffin told the AJC with a laugh.

“After we left two years ago, and I don’t remember the timeline, there were some floods in Tennessee. So people around here were joking that was my fault — that there were floods there.”

There it is, Lane.  Don’t lose the smarmy entirely; a little is quite endearing, actually.

Then again, when you have an on-field situation like you do at USC — expected to enter the new year deep inside the Top Five of the preseason polls — you don’t really have to swim the same verbal sewers and the gutters Knoxville Lane did, regardless of how much “maturing” has taken place over the past couple of years.

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18 Responses to “Lane Kiffin: ‘I have tremendous respect for what Urban Meyer does’”
  1. woebegong says: Feb 21, 2012 3:55 PM

    Good grief, next thing you know, old “Lame”, will be saying he is my mentor.

  2. nashvilletrojan says: Feb 21, 2012 4:19 PM

    Cool thing is……The Kid can actually coach and is pretty good at it. SEC fans need to accept it and move on.

  3. mhalt99 says: Feb 21, 2012 4:41 PM

    one thing I have to give Kiffin…..he has never been accused of riding his father’s coattails. So many guys that have successful father’s in the league people look at sideways like why are you really here……and inside and outside of football people with successful parents are only there because of their last name.

    so i guess he’s got that going for him….which is nice.

  4. cubano76 says: Feb 21, 2012 5:21 PM

    I’ll take Kiffin over Randy Edsall ANY day!!!

  5. vols84 says: Feb 21, 2012 5:23 PM

    We’ll see what see what Kiffy can do with the number one team and top heisman candidate. That will determine if he can really coach and live up to USC expectations.

  6. barnesaintnoble says: Feb 21, 2012 5:51 PM

    The way Lane Kiffin left Tennessee wasn’t cool, but Todd Graham is just a scumbag. At least Lane left Tennessee better than he found it.

    I’m indifferent in regards to Lane Kiffin – not a fan, not a hater – but you got to admit the guy can coach and the guy can recruit.

  7. nashvilletrojan says: Feb 21, 2012 5:53 PM

    vols84…..his one year, he had a better record than Fulmers prior year and is better than Dooley’s 2 years. The Kid can coach. Pete left a mess at USC. Besides Kalil and Barkley, all the current stars are Kiffins boys. On and off the field he’s assembled staff and recruited players on par with Meyer, Saban and Miles.

    Fight On!

  8. fulanekiffin says: Feb 21, 2012 6:37 PM

    Fulanekiffin

  9. fulanekiffin says: Feb 21, 2012 6:41 PM

    And to those saying he can recruit. You don’t exactly have to be an all star recruiter. The name, setting, and reputation of USC speak for itself.

  10. Deb says: Feb 21, 2012 7:31 PM

    @nashvilletrojan …

    Can only speak for myself, but I don’t think it’s an issue of not thinking Kiffin can coach. The guy has a really good offensive mind, and had a tremendous year at USC. I think that’s the team the SEC should watch in terms of breaking our championship run.

    He’s disliked in Tennessee for the way he left the school and for some of the antics he pulled while he was there. He definitely had some ethics issues during his time in Knoxville and behaved kind of like a spoiled brat. Personally, I found him colorful, and hated to see him go. The SEC needs colorful coaches. And it’s more fun to hate a rival like Tennessee when they’re successful and have someone eccentric like Kiffin at the helm. Wouldn’t want him at Alabama. It’s okay with me if Nick goes off like a rabid dog on the sidelines, but I don’t want him sending Honey Wagons to high school football games. But I enjoyed having Lane and his Honey Wagons at Tennessee. :D

  11. wickerphil says: Feb 21, 2012 8:46 PM

    nashvilletrojan:

    SEC fans could care less about Lane Kiffin. He was never our problem. It is Tennessee fans who have the problem. Tennessee was in a hole when he got there, and Kiffin made it bigger by being a 1 and done. Kiffin ran off a ton of Fulmer players and recruits, and after he left a ton of his recruits left too. The last 2 years, Tennessee had the thinnest, youngest roster in the SEC, and the players that they did have were bickering with each other and the coaches because they were recruited by 3 different staffs with totally different philosophies.

    Whatever good things that he does for USC, he set the Vols back. It is classless for you not to admit that. Fans of other SEC programs don’t care that much, because the Kiffin hire never should have been made in the first place and the decision turned out like we said it would – a disaster. But are non-Tennessee fans angry about it? Nope. Because other SEC programs benefited. South Carolina having their best 2 year run in the history of that program – and geared up for another great season next year – is directly due to the decline at Tennessee, because were Tennessee still a top program, that is where guys like Marcus Lattimore, Alshon Jeffrey and Jaedevon Clowney would have gone. Auburn (national title) and Arkansas (two straight top 10 finishes) also have lots of players that would have gone to Tennessee too. So, Tennessee’s pain is our gain! But don’t pretend as if Kiffin didn’t leave Tennessee in a bunch of pain.

  12. nashvilletrojan says: Feb 21, 2012 9:07 PM

    lol….that’s pretty funny. A 30 something year old coach who was there for 10 months set a NCAA legacy program back. That is ludicrous. Dude, I live here, I saw what happened first hand. The University AD and SEC did this to UT….not Lane Kiffin. Take off the blinders……

  13. uscatjerseyshore says: Feb 21, 2012 10:06 PM

    And to those saying he can recruit. You don’t exactly have to be an all star recruiter. The name, setting, and reputation of USC speak for itself.

    …….

    Which is a good enough reason alone to leave UT for USC. That said, despite sanctions and a reduced number of available scholarships thanks to the NCAA Kiffin has stayed in the recruiting top ten even with increased recruiting “wins” from Oregon and Stanford.

  14. fulanekiffin says: Feb 23, 2012 9:24 PM

    Account was hacked. I have Florida fans as friends. Needless to say they aren’t my best friends.

  15. fulanekiffin says: Feb 23, 2012 9:27 PM

    How do you delete comments so I can erase the hacked one?

  16. John Taylor says: Feb 23, 2012 9:40 PM

    Which comments do you need deleted? And just remember: you can never, ever trust a Gator. :-)

  17. fulanekiffin says: Feb 23, 2012 10:12 PM

    The one about a mod being a dickhole. Thanks, John. And oh so true. Gaytors are never to be trusted.

  18. lakesidegator says: Feb 27, 2012 10:50 AM

    So you got hacked. Get over it. What are you, an eleven year old?

    Gator Nation

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