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Lane Kiffin is Already Making an Impact on the SEC (and Paul Finebaum)

Posted: Jan 28, 2009

A few weeks ago, I wrote how I thought Tennessee and Lane Kiffin were going to be a great fit for each other. There was quite a bit of criticism for a major power in the SEC choosing a coach with no college head coaching experience, but I believe you have to see the big picture and why this situation works. As Rivals points out (see the 2nd question down), Tennessee has gone out and assembled a staff that can recruit with anyone in the country, and that’s what it takes to be a big boy in the SEC.

Much has been made of the large sums to be paid to assistants Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron, but the reality is that the total dollars for the entire staff will only rank fourth in the league. In other words, the coaches on Rocky Top are getting the going rate for America’s biggest and baddest football conference. The money to compete against Championship teams is very high, and with the infusion of dollars from the new SEC TV deal, schools know they must spend accordingly to have the top coaches and recruiters on their campus.

Now that our friend, the always controversial Paul Finebaum of Alabama sports radioland, has weighed in, I'm pretty sure that Tennessee chose well when they picked Kiffin.

I knew Lane Kiffin and the new staff had ruffled a few feathers within the conference, but most of that was just ‘we’re going to be a player in this league’, competitive-type stuff. I had no idea how much the hirings at Tennessee had affected (some) Alabama fans until I was emailed Paul Finebaum's rant slamming the new Tennessee boss. I figured an Alabama journalist would be covering the upcoming Signing Day or the Alabama basketball saga, but instead, Finebaum decides that a bunch of name-calling and half-truth accusations aimed at Kiffin would be a better sell for his infamous “lowest common denominator” audience.

If he doesn’t think Kiffin will succeed in Knoxville, then write about that instead of harping about Tennessee spending a lot of money (Bama’s coaching staff costs more) or that Kiffin had a losing record in the NFL (Saban, Petrino, and Spurrier did as well). And for the conclusion of an article to be that Lane Kiffin is so horrific that it must mean Al Davis is sane, please Paul - get a grip on reality.

Finebaum clearly is trying to rev up his "base" down in Alabama.  It's a little surprising to think that Tide Fans would ever be that worked up over a Vols staff that hasn’t coached a game yet, but I guess that’s why we love SEC and its rivalries so much.

Who’s ready for October?


-Patrick Snow


More Swampland Sports coverage of SEC Football

UNC's Butch Davis Challenges the ACC to Rival the SEC (New!)

To Stewart Mandel, We Say, "SEC Coaching Dollars Make Sense"

Will Chizik, Kiffin (or Mullen) Meet The Urban Meyer/Nick Saban SEC Standard?

The History Behind SEC Dominance

The SEC Upgrades To College Football 2.0

The BCS: A Friend to the SEC (and the Rest of the Footprint)

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