Note: I wrote this post before Lane Kiffin once again found himself stricken with verbal diarrhea. While I hate to make this blog "all General Peachfuzz, all the time", Laney-poo's just given us more material than you can shake a stick at. And it's basketball season. So, realistically, what else is there to write about?
I agree with Kyle. It's one thing to poke a bear. It's another altogether to poke a bear, two tigers, a wildebeest, and Sam the friendly koala, who just got over being repeatedly punched on Super Bowl Sunday. Lane Kiffin, you're a frickin' koala puncher if ever I saw one. Learn.To. Shut. Up.
The only thing better than basking in the "OMG, Can't Miss!!!" status of your school's new recruits is basking in the luxuriant spa brimming with liquid failure dished out to your rivals.This year provides Georgia fans with at least a couple of opportunities of that kind.
Perhaps the most glaring comes courtesy of General Peach Fuzz Kiffin, Jr. in Knoxville. Peachy swore upon taking all that moonshine money that he would "build a fence around the state of Tennessee" and left his press conference to fly to Memphis and woo Harding Academy receiver Marlin Brown.
That's right. The same Marlon Brown who signed with Georgia. He's the top rated player in Tennessee according to Rivals, and he'll join their #2 ranked player, Austin Long, in Athens. There's an undeniable deliciousness to the top two players in Tennessee coming to Georgia for year one of the "reign of Kiffykins" (TM). I find this funny given that Kiffin said last month that Georgia had gone to sleep on recruiting its own state. In case you were wondering, the only Georgia player Tennessee signed this year was safety Darren Myles, who Georgia backed away from recruiting in late November.
See, it's like the reign of Sauron, only with Eric Berry playing the part of a really, really fast Orc. And eating your toddler.
What's really funny is the notion that "building a fence around the state of Tennessee" is somehow necessary or sufficient to building a winner in the SEC. Take a look at the 2009 final Rivals rankings for Tennessee. Now check out Georgia. And Alabama. And even little ole Louisiana. It's amazing everyone in the state doesn't fall off cliffs in the middle of the night on Rocky Top, because there are so few stars there.
While the recruiting services do miss often, the fact remains that they're more reliable now than they were ten years ago. And if you can sign 15 guys rated 4 stars or better every year, you will likely find a lot of good football players. The problem with Tennessee is that you won't find those players there. Except maybe in Memphis, which seceeded from the rest of the state long ago. You'll also find a lot of good football players in Pahokee. Florida. Unless you're Lane Kiffin who, after signing Pahokee standout and
apostrophe speed merchant Nu'Keese Richardson, accused the town's coaches of underhanded tactics of a shadowy, facsimile-related nature. You guessed it. They were less than pleased.
Phil Fumer may not have realized that tattlers never win. He may not have fully grasped the dangers of a high fat, cholesterol-rich diet. But he knew enough to secure the biggest recruiting budget in the SEC and use it to get to Atlanta, Charlotte and New Orleans every chance he got. General Peach Fuzz would be wise to do the same thing as soon as the NCAA allows.
Another Phil Fulmer novelty? Not bashing his own recruiting classes. General Peachfuzz announced on signing day that "this class is far below the standards we have here and what will be here in the future." While Kiffin said it wasn't intended as a slight to the Vols' incoming class, it also wasn't the thing to say to a group of players and families who put their trust in you, even though they didn't even know you or your staff two months earlier.
Certainly things will get better in Knoxville in the longterm. How much worse can it get than losing to Wyoming at home? But again, I'm going to delight in the antics of General Peachfuzz until he gives me a reason to do otherwise. I more and more doubt that will ever happen.