Friday, February 6, 2009

I'd love Lane Kiffin if I were a Tennessee Volunteer fan

Yep, I'd love Lane Kiffin if I were a Tennessee fan.

He talks a bigger game than any Volunteer in any Internet chat room. He's already fired shots across the bow of no less than Urban Meyer and Nick Saban. How sweet is that? And when he says something's gonna happen and it doesn't, then he's got a pretty good explanation.

Like when he said he was building a fence around the state of Tennessee and then his main target, wide receiver Marlon Brown of Memphis, signed with Georgia. So he wished Marlon the best. And then he said that Marlon wanted to go to Tennessee but he couldn't say no to his grandmother, who liked Georgia better.

Don't hate Marlon, hate his grandmother.

And then he told an intimate gathering of Vol fans that Meyer was cheating. Actually, it was a thousand people, and the TV stations were there. Except that Meyer wasn't cheating, and the SEC commissioner released a statement saying, "We expect our coaches to have an understanding and knowledge of conference and NCAA rules."

Forced to apologize, Kiffin said he was just trying to increase the "enthusiasm" of all those Volunteer fans.

If he'll say anything to people already wearing orange to get them to be enthusiastic then imagine what he'll say to high school kids who are considering going to another university.

Which is why I'd love Lane Kiffin if I were a Tennessee Volunteer fan. He's going to get you some great, great players. Look at all the great, great players at Ole Miss right now because of the efforts of his recruiting coordinator, Ed Orgeron, a man so dedicated that he went to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to encourage Tulane's best players to move inland to Oxford.

Speaking of Orgeron, I love his approach to recruiting, at least I would if I were a Tennessee Volunteer fan. "I was an offensive lineman," he explained in a press conference Wednesday. "I wasn't a quarterback. I'm used to hearing 'no.'" In other words, recruiting is a lot like scoring with cheerleaders. You keep asking until they say yes. Or until they send you a fax with their signature on it.

So rejoice, Volunteer fans, you're going to get some great, great players. Not sure what kind of people they'll be, but they'll be great, great players.

And then you'll win way more than five games a season, unless Kiffin turns out to be a worse game coach than Orgeron, which I really don't think is possible.

So get ready to be winners again, and I look forward to hearing some more trash talk from you on those college football chat boards.

Over at Vanderbilt, we'll keep signing kids who play piano and speak Japanese and try not to drink and drive or shoot people, and maybe we'll beat you in another 20 years.

And I'm OK with that. Because I'm not a Tennessee Volunteer fan.

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