(Semifinal voting will close Wednesday at 11:55 PM EDT. The finals will run Thursday & Friday.)
Geno's power as a villain and both the influence and importance of the women's game in Knoxville were on display last week, as Auriemma took down John Calipari, the top UT villain in the men's game who certainly has his own charming qualities. Now Auriemma faces our most recent villain, and while Lane Kiffin can't claim any of the thirteen victories Geno owns against the Vols, he has his own special brand of disdain among Tennessee fans.
Time may heal all wounds, but it cannot be rushed. So when I say that there is coming a day when Tennessee fans view Lane Kiffin as a footnote instead of a chapter in the narrative of Volunteer Football, for some that day may not be coming anytime soon. It remains my personal hope that Tennessee works out an agreement to play Southern Cal sometime sooner than the 2021 date that remains unsigned somewhere in Los Angeles. It remains the belief of everyone outside Trogan circles that Lane Kiffin will not be on their sideline in ten years.
Kiffin was an embarrassment to our most popular institution. Auriemma is the only thorn in the side of our proudest institution. It bears repeating in each of his matchups that four of his thirteen victories against Tennessee came in the National Championship game. And even if we titled this poll "Who would you most like to punch in the face?", Geno would give the boy wonder a run for his money.
They are two very different villains, and only one still will be into the future. Auriemma was strong enough to take down our greatest men's basketball villain. Auriemma is a lifer. Kiffin is a one-hit wonder, but football gets more airplay. How much is beating the Lady Vols at a championship level worth against the guy who left us in the middle of the night?