Junior’s back to insisting everything he’s done is all part of a master plan.
And he did it for the children.
“Players aren’t going to be any good unless they have a lot of confidence, and that goes back to a lot of the things that I said that maybe some of you guys didn’t like very much,” Kiffin told the crowd. “But understand that when you go back to your players and you’ve put yourself out there like that, your players feel confidence in you.
“They know the staff has their back and they know they have to work to get our back, so it was really neat to see how confident our players were in that spring game.”
Another goal was, obviously, bringing in the nation’s top recruits. Done. Despite very little time to work, Tennessee landed a top-10 class and Bryce Brown, the nation’s No. 1 running back.
“Unfortunately, you have to do some things that may not be what everybody likes, but it gets you out there,” Kiffin said. “It gets Tennessee in the media. It gets Tennessee in Sports Illustrated and on SportsCenter and in the newspapers. It may sound weird to you guys, but understand, that’s what kids nowadays look at. They need to see Tennessee over and over and over again.”
So after all of that — accusing Meyer of breaking rules, boasting about stealing Lance Thompson from Nick Saban, blaming grandmothers for recruiting failures — you have to say his tactics worked. So far. The fans are intrigued. The recruits are interested. Sure, Kiffin is still awaiting his first college coaching win.
But, at this moment, I’ll admit the joke could be on everyone else, even if Kiffin occasionally sets himself up for ridicule.
“Well,” Kiffin said with a smile, “we did get the No. 1 player in the country. So that’s my excuse.”
Gosh, he makes you wonder why a lot more coaches don’t behave like horses’ asses.