It’s rare for Tennessee Volunteer’s Head Coach Lane Kiffin to find his self in this position.
Heading into his team’s SEC matchup with the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, the young fiery head coach finds his national “title” a little more appealing than what he has been labeled up to this point.
To his harshest critics, he may just be the lesser of two evils, but to most who are aware of the two coaches, Kiffin could be considered the “good guy” when facing Nick Saban this weekend.
Saban has never been accused of being a nice guy. No one seems to want to step out on a limb and label him a high character guy either.
Lying repeatedly on camera and belittling the media will have that effect. He has burned bridges all over the south, but to his credit maybe he has finally made a home in Alabama.
Fortunately for Saban, there is no win-loss column for courtesy. His controlling nature is part of what has brought Alabama back to prominence. His self centered personality and egocentric style of coaching has his players believing they are the only players in the nation.
It is working for his program. It is also rubbing off on his college’s administration, not that his athletic director, Mal Moore doesn’t probably have to run everything by him anyway.
Alabama’s athletic department was contacted by the Tennessee Volunteers on Kiffin’s behalf to introduce an idea of Tennessee wearing its orange jerseys against Alabama in their crimson as a tribute to the tradition in which both teams wore its home colors when they clashed on every “third Saturday in October.”
Very few people have black and white televisions anymore, and under a new NCAA rule for 2009, such an occasion can be made if the home team agrees and the home team’s conference agrees.
The SEC had no problem with the retro look, as it would remind some of the traditional clashes between the SEC’s two winningest teams.
Alabama said no.
According to The Tennessean, Kiffin talked with "some people in the offseason about the history here and both teams wearing the home jersey, I thought it would be something that would be really neat for our fans and for their fans," Kiffin said. "We were approved by the SEC, and Alabama denied us that."
They have every right to say no, they just didn’t have a reason.
For a team coached by Nick Saban, thinking about only itself makes plenty of sense.
Why should their fans enjoy seeing a taste of tradition? It seems as though, while taking a shot at Kiffin, Saban has continued to burn bridges in other towns besides his own.
It’s a harmless slight, and it wouldn’t have benefited either team in anyway to begin with, which makes it all the more puzzling.
When you can do the right thing, orange you supposed to?