This is an attempt at the impossible, but by the time you're done reading this I'm going to have many of you rooting for Lane Kiffin.
Sure, yes, you hate him. Certainly, he's kind of a dweeb. Lane Kiffin can be Lane Smitten. When Kiffin was hired he practically guaranteed a victory over Florida. Real smart, Lane-o. He accused Urban Meyer of cheating. He's sometimes a blowhard.
|Wanting to see somebody top Urban Meyer is reason enough to root for Lane Kiffin. (Getty Images)|
Florida fans understandably adore Meyer, and why not? He's Bill Walsh. Still, having Meyer dominate the conference so thoroughly is actually bad for it. Meyer needs a foil that possesses the same public smart-ass-ness and brashness he does.
That man just might be Kiffin.
Despite how Kiffin makes some want to punch him in the face, the conference must have someone who can match Meyer.
Many SEC coaches took their best punch at Meyer and failed, some miserably. Phil Fulmer, in the end, was a tubby goober whom Meyer abused. Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban and a host of other SEC coaches have all had their chances and Meyer has responded by beating them all with a paddle. Meyer is a carnivore and they've all been Bambi.
Meyer is 12-1 against his biggest rivals and that includes Georgia and Tennessee.
Few in the SEC have been capable of slowing down the Urban Meyer Express. Most have ricocheted like bullets off Superman's chest.
Meyer has utilized the SEC as a springboard to win two national titles in four years -- and probably a third this year -- and grow a player in Tim Tebow who might win a second Heisman Trophy.
Meyer has just about embarrassed every coach in the SEC.
So why not give Kiffin a shot?
Kiffin could be one of the few SEC coaches capable of matching Meyer cojón for cojón and win for win.
I want Kiffin on that wall, I need Kiffin on that wall.
Is Kiffin the perfect Manchurian Candidate? No way. Is he insufferable at times? Yes, way. Yet he's no more obnoxious than some others like the arrogant Charlie Weis, the sniveling Rick Neuheisel or the bullying Saban.
And Meyer isn't exactly the most smirk-less guy in the room.
The fact Kiffin has a big mouth makes him just like a bunch of other college coaches.
Kiffin's insufferable nature at least has a purpose. Kiffin is the Sarah Palin of college football. He'll say anything to fire up his base. He does this with a wink, knowing it'll draw attention to the Volunteers.
It might not seem like it now, but Kiffin can coach. If Kiffin gets time to rebuild the Tennessee program, he'll provide a nice challenge to Meyer.
At least until Meyer leaves to coach the Dallas Cowboys.
Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that after Meyer's Gators beat the Volunteers 75-0 on Saturday that means Kiffin isn't capable of one day providing suitable resistance to Meyer. Kiffin just got to Tennessee.
Give Kiffin a year or two, please, before you start crowing about how wrong I am and calling him Lane Kitten.
All of this isn't as much about Meyer as it is about whether any coach in the SEC can consistently challenge him, on and off the field.
Kiffin is that guy.
Someone has to be or Meyer will keep beating SEC coaches ... and beating them ... and beating them.
Then beating them some more.
So aren't you (non-Gator fans) rooting for Kiffin now?
Just a little?