At least, that's the contention of Mark Bradley, sports writer/columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He awards Kiffin the top spot in a recent AJC.com blog entitled “Ranking SEC football coaches: Who's the most irritating?”
Starting at the bottom and working his way upward, Bradley lists Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson No. 12 and Kentucky's Rich Brooks No. 11. New Auburn coach Gene Chizik and new Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen check in at No. 10 and No. 9, respectively. Ole Miss' Houston Nutt and the man who replaced him at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, are No. 8 and 7, respectively.
Surprisingly, the once-caustic Steve Spurrier checks in at No. 6. The arrogance he displayed while winning regularly at Florida has evaporated now that he's winning occasionally at South Carolina. Here's what Bradley has to say about The Ol' Ball Coach:
6.Steve Spurrier, South Carolina. The Evil Genius seems benign and toothless in his new environs. It’s clear he’s not going to win anything of note with the Gamecocks, and the folks who used to cringe at his every utterance can now just ignore him. It’s sad, really. Kind of like seeing Willie Mays stumble in center field as a Met.
Georgia's Mark Richt shows up at No. 5 on Bradley's list, with Florida's Urban Meyer at No. 4. Here's what the writer has to say about Meyer:
4.Urban Meyer, Florida. Gets decency points for not getting into a spitting match when the new Tennessee coach called him a cheater. Loses decency points for those timeouts he burned against Georgia. Still, he has taken his second BCS title with a surprising amount of grace, especially for a hated Gator.
LSU's Les Miles holds down the third spot in Bradley's ratings, which brings us to the Big Two – Alabama's Nick Saban and, of course, Kiffin:
2.Nick Saban, Alabama. Because he makes all that money. Because he wins big. Because he never smiles. Because he never sleeps. Because he’s Coach Satan.
1.Lane Kiffin, Tennessee. He thinks the way to win is to talk trash and recruit hard. If your record as a head coach was 5-15, you’d think that, too. But he has already frosted so many people — including some who work in his athletics department — that he’d better win big immediately or he’ll be gone by 2011. Which would be unfortunate. We in the South need to hang on to Li’l Kiffy. He’s the greatest villain since Spurrier sank his fangs into Ray Goff.