Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer: Old-Fashioned Schoolyard Throwdown

Heidi HennenContributor ISeptember 21, 2009

Okay fellas...we get it. You two don't like each other.

Round One:  Tennessee Volunteers head football coach Lane Kiffin sent the first shot over the bow at his introductory news conference last December, proclaiming he was looking forward to "singing 'Rocky Top' all night long after we beat Florida next year. It will be a blast." 

Now, that offense would have largely been forgotten, swept aside as typical speech from a rival program and a new coach looking to drum up interest in his inaugural season.

Round Two:
  Kiffin alleged that Urban Meyer, his counterpart at the University of Florida, violated recruiting rules in pursuing wide receiver prospect Nu'Keese Richardson. At a signing day breakfast, Kiffin told rabid Vols fans "I'm gonna turn Florida in right here in front of you.

While Nu'Keese was on campus, his phone kept ringing. One of the coaches says, 'Who's that?' And he said, "Urban Meyer.'" He also told the crowd, "I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him."

Kiffin later publicly apologized.  That's the end of it, right?  Ha.

Round Three:
  Meyer let the Florida Athletic Department speak for him when they stated that Kiffin violated the SEC Code of Ethics by publicly criticizing a conference member team, school, staff, or player. In a press conference leading up to last weekend's showdown, Meyer told reporters there's no bad blood with Kiffin, calling it "water under the bridge."  

Nah, Meyer wasn't publicly retaliating...but he does have a wee history of holding grudges.

Round Four:
  The Vols and Gators finally met on the field at the Swamp after a boatload of week-long pre-game hype. Florida, a significant favorite to wipe the Vols all over the field, managed a 23-13 win in a game that was much closer than anticipated.

Ah...time to stoke the fires with a not-so-subtle slight on your opponent's game-calling abilities.

Round Five:
  In looking back at the game, Meyer said Sunday he probably should have opened up the defending national champs' offense. But he said there was no reason to because of the Vols' conservative approach to their own offense. "I didn't feel like they were going after the win," Meyer said. "They wanted to shorten the game. I think that was the plan." 

Meyer also stated several of his players had been hit by the flu.

Round Six:
  Kiffin said today that he didn't want to respond to Meyer's comment. But when asked whether he was worried about the flu hitting Tennessee, Kiffin had this to say: "I don't know. I guess we'll wait and after we're not excited about a performance, we'll tell you everybody was sick."

Does anyone else see this going the full 12 rounds, with these two coaches standing bruised and bloodied at the end, trading shots until they're dragging each other's carcass around the field?

I am utterly gleeful with anticipation...and I'm not even close to what you'd call a college football fan. These two suddenly have me paying attention. I wonder what side I should pick.