For [Josh] McNeil, this confirmed his worst suspicions. "Coach Kiffin cared about Tennessee traditions less than the worst Vol hater in the state of Alabama," he said. "That man's a snake."
Alabama’s Terrence Cody blocked a Tennessee field goal as time expired and in the wild celebration that followed the big guy took off his helmet. Gary Danielson, who covered the game for CBS, wondered if it should have been an unsportsmanlike violation because it happened while the ball was still live. Kiffin was convinced that it was and said publicly that the refs had missed it.
Well, the refs didn’t miss it. The way the rule is written, even if a penalty had been called (which it shouldn’t be in that situation), it would have been marked off on the next play and not the previous play. The ball belonged to Alabama after the blocked kick.
"That’s a case where the rule is pretty clear," said [SEC supervisor of football officials Rogers] Redding. "Even if there had been time left on the clock, the ball would have belonged to Alabama. And if a penalty had been called, it would still be Alabama’s ball after the penalty was enforced."
Even Kiffin’s sister has some funny stories about her brother. Whenever Lane contacts Heidi by phone, the caller ID reads, "L.P."
"Lane the Pain," she said, giggling.
(Note: it's a free link. --hooper.)
Class ends at 11, and Berry discusses his recruitment three years ago out of Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., while waiting for a magazine shoot at Neyland Stadium.
"I guess I just felt like Georgia thought they had me in the bag, and they didn't even know about me and I was in their backyard," Berry explains. "I remember when I went on my recruiting visit, coach (Mark) Richt had my name and stats written on his hand. I guess he thought I didn't see it or something, but I did.
"They were talking to me about playing wide receiver; they didn't even know my position was safety and quarterback. That really made me upset. Coach Kiffin (who then was at Southern Cal), he came with Pete Carroll and the running backs coach and they knew all about me. And I was in Georgia's backyard.
"But all the talk was about Caleb King (now a redshirt sophomore at Georgia battling for a starting job). I guess that's why I always favored Tennessee. They always recruited me hard and let me know what I meant to them. That hurt my feelings, I'm not even going to lie. But I love Mark Richt, love his staff. Him and coach (Rodney) Garner, because they're the ones that recruited me. They're both good men. I was just like, 'Dang.' I just felt like you need to be in your backyard. I just felt like (they) needed to know a little something about me. A few more phone calls or something."
My theory is simply that Phillip Fulmer and Dave Clawson tried way too hard last season. ... They tried and in the process ended up nearly destroying a very good college QB.
This is a comforting conceit, but does anybody realistically believe that that’s how things went down? That Junior sat in Mike Hamilton’s office and told the man that he was offering Kiffin too much money? Don’t be ridiculous.
Kiffin and Chizik – don’t forget, we’ve heard the same talk about this "new model" from the Auburn faithful, too – didn’t take less money as a result of some conscious, deliberate course of action on their part. They were offered the money they were offered because that’s what was justified by their respective resumes. In both cases, those resumes were considerably thinner than those of the men they were replacing.
"We have been to over 10 camps the last two years and we have never been as impressed as we are with this one," said one father of a prospect. "This coaching staff is one of the best we have seen. They are great teachers, they take the time to teach, but everything is full speed. They are very easy to talk to."
On Florida coach Urban Meyer:
"I asked for adjoining rooms with Urban (at hotel)," Kiffin said after being asked repeated questions about his earlier comments in which the first-year UT coach accused him of cheating.
On strength coach Mark Smith:
"We have not parted ways," Kiffin said. "There has been nothing done. He is still on our staff. I evaluate him like I would anyone else on our staff."
"Your quarterback is the face of your franchise," said Kiffin. "This is a big deal to get this one right, to get these one or two guys right. We're doing everything we can. Our coaches have been all around the country. Last week was the first time we could go out. We sent them out. We've seen a bunch of workouts. They've mailed tapes back to me already where I've started to watch quarterbacks work out. That's what I really miss right. As fun as this is, I wish I was out recruiting and I wish I was out evaluating. The evaluation process is so critical.
[Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Terdell] Sands had an even harsher tone for James Cregg, who joined Kiffin’s staff in December, leaving the Raiders midway through their season.
"That man is a clown," Sands said. "He gets no respect because he quit on us in the middle of the season. He jumped ship. Maybe some of his guys liked him when he helped with the offensive line, but I’ve got no use for anybody that quits like that."