In all of the drama surrounding Lane Kiffin's comments last month about Meyer cheating, no one ever was able to obtain any direct quotes or thoughts from the victim himself, Coach Meyer. He remained silent regarding the subject and refused to discuss it with different media outlets.
Until last week, there was no new news about "Kiffin-gate" whatsoever. That is, until Gabe of GatorTailgating.com broke the news that the UF coaching staff had printed and posted different quotes from Lane Kiffin around the Heavener complex to motivate the football team during workouts and spring practice. (As a side note, here is some of the response to the article on VolNation.com's forums.)
Now, we've found out that Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel caught up with Meyer to ask him about his feelings regarding Kiffin-gate. He didn't exactly open up to Carter, but we think it might sound eerily similar to Meyer's answers on a previous controversial topic about an SEC rival disrespecting his team.
Sentinel: Not sure if you’ve publicly commented about the Lane Kiffin controversy—does that maybe seem a little silly or humorous now in hindsight:
Meyer: “I didn’t find it humorous.”
Sentinel: Not then, I’m sure, but perhaps now?
Meyer: “It’s not humorous. I can think of a few other words that I’m not going to say, but certainly not humorous.”
Sentinel: Have you talked to Kiffin, or has he reached out and apologized:
(Meyer shakes head no).
Sentinel: For the fans, though, that certainly adds a little spice to the rivalry
Meyer: “I’m not going to comment on it any more than I just did. I guess you could say that.”
Does that not remind you of Meyer's attitude towards the media regarding Mark Richt's on-field celebration tactic in the epic 2007 UF-UGA game? I think it does.
Thanks, Lane. Any chance of Tennessee coming into the Swamp under the radar as a "rebuilding team with a new coach" and leaving with a surprising upset victory have now all but vanished.
Meyer will now be channeling his frustration and his team's anger into his offseason strength training and spring practices, and all of that will be pointed toward a circled date on the calendar of Sept. 19.
Last year when that happened it resulted in a 39-point beatdown of archrival and preseason national champion selection Georgia. Not only was that team stacked with talent, but they even had an experienced and proven SEC head coach.
Tennessee has neither of those two items and doesn't even get the advantage of a neutral field. They will play the defending national champions in the Swamp.
Fortunately for Kiffin, he has accomplished what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to get people in the Smoky Mountains excited about Volunteer football again. He wanted them to regain the swagger they had in the 90s. He wanted them to envision "singing Rocky-Top all night long after beating Florida next year."
Unfortunately for Kiffin, he has not yet accomplished what the supporters of Tennessee football really want—victories, Bowl Games, SEC Championships, and National Titles. They don't want to envision the singing of Rocky Top after beating Florida. They want to actually do it.
The first part has been easy for Kiffin. I doubt the second part will come easily, if at all. We already know how well one coach can focus his team to get revenge when he wants to. I doubt many coaches in the country can match his skill in mentally preparing his team for big games, much less a coach as green as Lane Kiffin.
Rusty Thompson is one of the founders of GatorTailgating.com. Visit to read more and talk in our message boards.