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

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?
[poll id=”27″]


Add Yours
  1. 2
    Ghost of Neyland

    You didn’t catch the context in the “doing things the right way” comment, either, but I figured as much. That comment was meant as Kiffin is doing things the right way by publicizing the program, getting rid of the guys who don’t want to work hard, upping tempo, shedding the excess pounds of the players who need it, hiring top notch assistants and S&C coach and getting a ton of excellent skill players in this first recruiting class.

    We absolutely need to build the lines. You’re right there. I cannot argue. UT doesn’t have the recruiting momentum as Alabama — not close right now, as a matter of fact — but our first two commits are defensive linemen, one a top 100 player. And we have a good year in-state on O-linemen (Stone, Brown, Clemmons, Duke, McAdoo…) I’m leaving out some.

    This is going to take time, man. We’re all willing to listen to this kind of crap from our rivals while it does.

  2. 3

    I think Kiffin can be good for UT in changing the mood of the Fulmer era, but some of the stuff being said in his defense reminds me of Alabama fans defense of Mike Dubose or Mike Shula…or Mike Price…or well, you get the idea. 😉

    I’m not sure if Kiffin or Chizik will wind up being the strongest new coach. I like Kiffin’s dedication to working the recruiting trail, but I’m not sold on him as a gameday coach or his ability to manage a program.

    Chizik has some similar things. He is working harder than Tommy Tuberville on the recruiting trail, but I’m not sold he knows how to run a program. I do like his discipline stuff; it will build team chemistry and esprit de corps.

    Kiffin has one thing that Chizik doesn’t—Vol fans are remarkably supportive and patient. Kiffin has a longer horizon to get things going than Chizik has on the Plains.

  3. 4

    Ohh, and I think UT is a better recruiting job than some pundits like to say. Tennessee does produce a reasonable amount of talent and is placed in a good location to plunder talent from other parts of the region. When you look at a map, Auburn is in a more difficult recruiting position.

    UT is a national program. It has been for generations. In fact, that is why I am baffled by the assertion that Kiffin has helped UT by his actions. Fulmer and Majors were national names leading a national program in big time national games.

    In all honesty, does UT need that Kiffin nonsense? I don’t think so. I think the program sells itself.

  4. 5

    Ghost, I can only echo Cappy here. Football aside, people who find themselves in unimaginable situations will naturally start looking for the silver lining and “positives” so they can desperately hang their hopes on them for a brighter future.

    But right now UT personifies the old tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. You just keep telling each other you have clothes on up there, but it’s clear to the rest of the football world that the Vols are as naked as a jaybird.

    Lane Kiffin is an immature, inexperienced, snot-nosed, loud mouth idiot born into football privilege, and therefore has been given the keys to a once proud program. The similarities between Kiffin and Mike Shula are astounding, only Shula conducted himself in a manner that anyone would be proud of. Though he was in over his head, he lost with grace, maturity and humility. But the results will be the same; UT football will sink to lows you haven’t seen in your lifetime, all while Kiffin kicks and screams like a 3-year-old pitching a fit in the grocery store, saying one stupid thing after another. Eventually you will get tired of it, and eventually he will break one too many rules and the NCAA will come calling. He’ll be long gone by then though, and then your program will be even deeper in poo.

    Like an alcoholic who sees his peers for the first time through sober eyes, we know what you’re going through in Knoxville. Just please, admit that you have a problem. Afterall, it is the first step to recovery.

  5. 7

    As each week passes by, the Tennessee fans are adding more and more expectations to what they expect Kiffin to accomplish in his first year. Man, the sky is the limit when your record is 0-0. Tennessee fans are already window shopping for SEC titles and Heisman trophy running backs. I wonder how quick that feeling will implode on them after that first embarrassing loss they will get early in the season. I would bet that Chizik has a better inaugural season than Little Kiffy does. He hasn’t proven himself in big boy football yet, but Tennessee fans are already thinking he will be the greatest coach in the SEC.

    But hey, Ghost, no one is scared of Tennessee, but everyone in the SEC is looking forward to watching the Tennessee beatdowns this year. If you think that is good publicity, then more power to you guys. Are you so sure you guys really have no concerns with the way Kiffin is handling your program? I expect the smack talk from you guys to stop around the middle of September, so you guys really need to get all you can in before then. ROLL TIDE!

  6. 8
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Brando………ITK said it best. That was Bama for the last 10 plus years, You are looking in a mirror image of what we barners saw at Bama. Things ARE different NOW in Tuscaloosa. But , thats exactly what we were saying about Dubuose and Shula. No one would beleive it.

  7. 9
    Ghost of Neyland

    What’s funny is all you Bammers think that Vols fans think we’ve turned the corner and we’re going to be great right away.

    It’s simply not true.

    If you read volquest, govolsxtra and insidetennessee every day, you would realize that we know there is a talent gap, and it’s a two- or three-year process in turning that around.

    I believe that the offensive line this year will not be a problem. It was last year because of all the line switching. But we lose six seniors (four senior starters) off that line next year, and we are real, real shallow there. That makes me think that regardless of the talent at the skill positions (and we’ll have some with Brown, Oku, Richardson, Teague, Green, Jones and the younger Rogers) we’ll be struggling because of the OL depth or lack thereof.

    The Vols coaches are proving they can recruit skill position players and defensive linemen and secondary and linebackers so far. Where we’ve not seen a lot of movement is the two places where we need a lot of bodies or serviceable bodies, and that’s the offensive line and quarterback.

    The damage Fulmer left us is likely irreparable for a couple years. Rarely do you find Junior College or prep school kids who can bridge that gap, and that’s what we’re forced with. Not getting guys like James Hurst and Chad Lindsay (congrats, by the way) hurt.

    We just need a quarterback (Heaps, Scroggins) and 4-5 offensive lineman, and then you’ll REALLY never be able to shut us up.

    As for the guys commenting on here about Kiffin “kicking and screaming” and being terrible and “being born into football privilege,” look, I’m not going to sit here and name-call. I’ll let his record speak for itself.

    We just don’t know.

  8. 10

    look, I’m not going to sit here and name-call. I’ll let his record speak for itself.

    And that is why you and most Tennessee fans have more class than your coach.

  9. 11

    Ballplay, all the more reason that the Tennessee fans should see what is going on. Sure a lot of Bama fans were sold on Shula. A lot of Auburn fans are already sure that Chizik is the answer too. It is the nature of the beast. But I know that I wouldn’t want Bama’s coach to take the tactics of Lane Kiffin. I promise you I would not defend that type of crackpot attention whoring. I am sure you wouldn’t want Chizik to be like that either. So it is not exactly a mirror image. Maybe a little blind loyalty and wishful thinking is common between the situations, but the smack talk and acting like he is in the WWF is pretty bizarre from a coach who hasn’t exactly been tearing it up on the field yet. It will be fun to watch TN get schooled in the SEC this year though!

  10. 13

    when he builds it?

    Out of the coaches in the SEC East, I’d take Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt before Kiffin.

    A better statement would be IF. If he builds it.

  11. 14

    I love this site most of the time. It has a lot of factual information concerning Bama’s athletic program. I come here daily to read the updates. But why do you keep writing about Kiffin? Are you so infatuated with him that you had rather write about him then Bama’s football program? Keep writing about him if you want but you really sound as though you secretly adnire him. Is that the case?

  12. 15

    Secretly admire Kiffin?

    No. I find him entertaining. Just like I found Tommy Tuberville entertaining last year.

  13. 16
    E.G White

    Well if you’re interested in info about Bama’s program all you have to do is read Shane’s topic and the 2 topics on A-Day that are still on here. Between them there are about 120 posts that shoud keep you entertained for awhile. So I don’t think a little Kiffin bashing is going to hurt anything. After all he did intentionally try to hurt the Alabama program by coming after our coaching staff and recruiting base. If I could find Layla out at a night club I’d do my best to get even with him. Know what I mean? RTR!

  14. 17

    Urban Myer will wipe up the field with Kiffin’s version of Tennessee this year.
    And then he will leave with Kiffin’s manhood and probably Kiffin’s old lady too. Folks if you havent seen a good beating in a while pop some popcorn. This is going to be an absolute whipping of Biblical proportions. I am sure that ol’ Urban will shut that pie hole for the Kiff in a most humiliationg manner.

  15. 18

    Ghost, what if he gets embarrassed so badly or does something really stupid and get TN in trouble? He may not even make it 2 years at the rate of stupidity he is going. Has Kiffin ever built a program before? Has his dear ol’ dad? You all are so proud of that reject coaching staff you have, yet there is not one among them that has the reputation as someone who is a great program builder. Maybe Tennessee makes the same mistake Bama did by letting an unproven head coach take the reigns of a storied program. Ya’ll will hang on every word he says for 2-3 years, and by that 4th year you will be tired of finishing 3-4 in the East and getting beat by Vandy every other year. That is a realistic scenario for TN. More real than Kiffin building a SEC champion team in 2-3 years.

  16. 19
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    ymc, we dont agree much, but Ill agree with you there. Urban is a bitter man. he seems to hold grudges.

  17. 20

    Yep. Urban Meyer holds a grudge. He kinda looks like the guy that plays in the new Batman movies. So it will be like Batman vs. the Joker in September. Or more like a guy that is trying to be a professional Joker because he read about it on the internet.

  18. 21

    Alabama fans are the most blinded in the country. Alabama disappeared off the College Football map for nearly a decade. Welcome back.

    Kiffin can talk trash, go ahead.. tell Meyer your wife is hotter than his and your going to beat his ass come september. W’s will determine Kiffins fate not the blogs you lifeless morons from Alabama post in April.

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