Saving your best for last.
That’s exactly what the SEC did here in Hoover Alabama for the SEC Annual Media Days.
New first year Tennessee Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin was the last speaker of the three day event, a role that Kiffin said wasn’t a coincidence.
“They were afraid if they put someone less controversial up here for the last speaker of the day everyone would leave,” Kiffin laughed as spoke to a large group of media. “Bringing attention to a 5-7 football program is part of a well laid plan, it has worked.”
The first year Volunteer coach has brought a lot of attention to Rocky Top, a lot of positive and some things negatively spinned by some media. Today’s first SEC Media Day was no exception.
Kiffin, a charismatic high energy personality, began the last session of the day with a little attempt at comedy.
“Steve Spurrier ruined my introduction,” Kiffin said. “I have my ballot and everything. (Showing his ballot to the moderator) See I voted for Tim Tebow, I brought you proof.”
Many media members the last two days were wondering if Kiffin was telling the truth or not when he announced in a press conference in Knoxville on Tuesday that he wasn’t the one that didn’t vote for the former Heisman trophy winner for preseason SEC 1st team quarterback honors.
Spurrier, a former Florida Gator both player and coach, admitted Friday morning after being pressed three times by one media member that he was the one that he was the one that ended up not voting for Tebow.
“Actually my director of football operations filled it out, I just didn’t check it as well as I should,” Spurrier explained. “I made a mistake, it’s definitely my fault.”
Kiffin took the podium today and represented the University of Tennessee with poise and confidence, something that please several UT fans.
“I’m very proud he is my head coach,” one InsideTennessee.com member said. “He handled the media better than I have ever seen him do. Some of the media was relentless with some questions; Coach Kiffin handled it with class and like a champion.”
Junior Heisman Trophy candidate and defensive safety Eric Berry summed it up best about his new head coach.
“We all know he has our back,” Berry told the media. “He has shown us he isn’t going to back down to anyone. We know he will go for war for us, and we plan on going to war for him. We love him; I love his swagger and his confidence.”
Kiffin was baited by several media about issues ranging from previous comments, recruiting Daniel Hood and the secondary violations that the Volunteers have accumulated over the spring.
“I can assure you that we didn’t go out and commit any violation on purpose,” Kiffin said. “The things that happen didn’t create or give us an advantage.”
Kiffin began the day with about eight radio interview, he then stopped to sign autographs for a lobby of Volunteer fans.
“I almost felt like it was the TMZ,” Kiffin laughed. “Especially with all the cameras following me everywhere I went.”
Now with his first SEC Media Day behind him, Kiffin is ready for something is very good and familiar with.
“I can’t wait for camp to begin, I’m ready to coach some ball,” Kiffin said. “We love to coach and there is no better time of the year for us than two a days. We are ready to get going, that’s what I enjoy the best.”
If Kiffin has success this fall like he did today, the Volunteer fans will have a lot to smile about come December. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, Kiffin showed today he is ready for anything.