“At an energetic breakfast with some of our donors and alumni I made a statement that was solely meant to excite the crowd,” Kiffin said. “If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention.”
With that Lane Kiffin attempted to subdue some of the venom now being aimed at Knoxville from all parts of the SEC. Looking down the barrel at a 60-70 point beat down in Gainesville, Kiffin apologized and will try to sneak away from calling Urban Meyer a cheater.
The infraction here is not that Kiffin was rude to Meyer. The infraction is that a former USC guy and NFL coach thought he could just saunter into the SEC and make guys like Meyer, Nick Saban, Les Miles and Steve Spurrier fear him. All of those guys have won National Championships. Not to mention Dan Mullen (two as offensive coordinator), Gene Chizik (DC for 2004 Auburn and 2005 Texas) and Mark Richt (two as OC at FSU). No one in the SEC thinks Kiffin is special for being in the NFL. More than half the league's coaches have championship rings, so Kiffin's rings from USC are nothing more than jewelry.
If Kiffin ends up being a failure at Tennessee (entirely possible), Kiffin's attempt to get under the skin of the best team in the league will be remembered with these gems;
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." - President Bill Clinton. It depends on your definition of sexual relations, apparently.
"The Americans are not there. They're not in Baghdad. There are no troops there. Never. They are not at all." - Iraqi Information Minister, April 7, 2003. It was three days after US troops captured the Baghdad Airport and five days before the fall of Baghdad.
"The fundamentals of our economy are strong." - Senator John McCain. He said this as Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and the market was falling apart. This also started Obama's rally after McCain took a lead in the polls.
Just like Laney Kiffin, each of those guys had to backpedal after their statements. And guess what else? They all lost too! Watch out Kiffin. The SEC you're facing this year will make you pray for the days of an easy Pac-10. Not to mention, Meyer and Saban will be a lot harder to deal with than Al Davis.