God knows I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’d been ignoring Junior of late, but it’s been relatively quiet in Knoxville. (Besides, everybody in the media is hoping that the Laner’s been saving his best material for SEC Media Days.)
Anyway, here are three items, none of them earth shattering in nature, but all entertaining. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty apt description of Kiffin himself.
First, is it reasonable for us to expect that somebody’s ass is going to be canned over this little mistake (h/t The Wiz of Odds)?
The Phillip Fulmer Era isn’t over, at least according to one page of Tennessee’s 2009 football media guide that was released Tuesday.
In the year-by-year, all-time scores section, Fulmer’s era on page 172 lists him as coach: 1992-Present.
Next, Mike Hamilton continues to show the savvy management skills, the ability to know the mind of his football coach, that’s made him one of the best paid ADs in the business.
Said Lane Kiffin on the December afternoon he was introduced as Tennessee’s new football coach eight months ago: “Everything’s in place. We don’t need another building. We don’t need another weight room. We’ve got enough here to win.”
Said UT athletic director Mike Hamilton on Tuesday: “Over the past four months (Lane) has started telling us what we need, especially in the weight room. It’s nothing we haven’t talked about in the past — we’ve known there was a need there — but he is starting to ask for things.”
Good luck keeping up with that, pal. Hamilton goes on to praise his prize hire for, among other things, being a “throwback”.
“As I’ve gotten to know Lane,” Hamilton said, “he’s really kind of a throwback. He likes to recruit, break down film, scheme the opponent. He’s a lot more like the football coaches of the past than you might think.”
Hmm… makes you wonder what all those newfangled coaches are doing out there to earn a paycheck. Especially the guys like Saban and Meyer that are lined up to whip Junior’s ass this season.
Besides, he’s not as hard bitten as you might think. When it comes to his quarterbacks, he’s quite tender and caring.
… Kiffin said his quarterbacks, particularly senior Jonathan Crompton, have suffered through “bad relationships” with UT fans.
The Volunteers ranked near the bottom nationally in most major offensive statistical rankings last season, and much of the fans’ frustration was directed at the quarterbacks.
“I can see in Jonathan with what has happened before, and around here — I don’t know if this is a good comparison — it’s like a bad relationship,” Kiffin said. “He’s hurt, and so you can tell when things go bad a little bit with him that he kind of freezes up a little bit, because he’s been beat up for so long here. That’s very obvious for me to see, so I’ve worked very hard at getting him out of that by conversations and to understand we’re not worried about what happened before…”
You see, Vol fans, it’s not Crompton, it’s you. Maybe Junior needs to get everybody booked on Oprah to work things out. Catharsis can be helpful, you know.