Kiffin Watch: Delusion infests Knoxville

How do you know when fans have lost touch with reality? When they say things like this—ghostofneyland says: “I love this. Everything Kiffin does is news. He is going about building the program the right way. I just hope we can pull off 7-8 wins.” (comment from discussion at 3sib.com)

Doing it the right way? That used to be restricted to people who actually accomplished things while doing it in adherence to a high moral code; you could say General Neyland did things the right way. You could say Vince Dooley did things the right way. You could say Johnny Majors did things the right way. You could say Shug Jordan did things the right way. You could say Wallace Wade did things the right way.

Lane Kiffin?

He hasn’t done anything—other than run his mouth about Urban Meyer. Tennessee’s superb recruiting class did nothing to handle the Volunteers serious deficiencies along the offensive lines. Your supposedly strong class won’t do anything without someone to open the holes and protect the passer. Kiffin knew those were serious problems, and did nothing to address it in his first recruiting class. Instead of insulting Urban Meyer, Kiffin should have been fixing his offensive line.

If we were going to confine our examination of “doing things the right way” to the new coaches, then Gene Chizik could claim that crown from the boy blunder in Knoxville. Chizik has quietly worked to rebuild the confidence of his fans, and he has done it without saying anything stupid.

Kiffin’s belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity is demonstrably false. How did Lindsay Lohan’s last film do at the box office? Acting like an intoxicated Hollywood starlet isn’t good for a leader of men. Or does being the punch line for jokes improve the chances that players will take you seriously during the blistering heat of fall camp? Kiffin likes to pretend all his comments were planned; however, that assertion is laughable. Kiffin lied about firing athletic department employees; Kiffin accused someone of cheating who didn’t cheat and then proceeded to cheat himself. Multiple times. If that was the plan, then a moron came up with it. Come to think of it, maybe it was Kiffin’s plan.

Chizik’s path of building discipline will pay far more dividends than running your mouth on ESPN. Between Chizik and Kiffin, the Auburn coach is doing it the right way.

Between these new coaches, who gets fired first? The one building discipline or the one acting like the SEC’s version of Lindsay Lohan?
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