It is a testament to Lane Kiffin's Jedi-like skills that not even halfway through the rivalry-week build-up between Tennesee and Florida, he has flipped the meme, enough that I lead today's SN column with it. Here is today's DS.com original post-game "extra" on the topic:
Previously, it was "Wow, just how badly is Florida going to crush Tennessee?"
Now, it's "Wow, just how badly is Florida going to crush Tennessee?"
Let me explain: The former is about everyone's sense of vengeance; the latter is about Kiffin's expert expectations-management.
By talking up the Gators -- "best defense ever"... "best QB ever"... yada yada yada... -- Kiffin implicitly says, "We're going to get drilled."
Ironically, it was the only way he could escape from this weekend in a strategically no-lose situation.
If Urban Meyer plays the harsh card -- using time-outs late to rub it in, piling on the points... say, some 70-0 rout -- he is a petty, vindictive guy. Not exactly the high-minded champion. Kiffin looks like a victim. Kiffin looks...sympathetic. Meyer looks like a bully.
If Tennessee keeps it even remotely close -- and, by that, I mean if they lose by anything less than 45-0 -- they will have beaten the (admittedly very very very low) expectations.
Of COURSE Kiffin isn't going to win on Saturday -- that doesn't mean he can't claim a moral victory, even in crushing defeat.
More you'll find in today's column:
*For one morning, MLB is relevant again.
*USC QB controversy foreshadowed?
*49ers to Crabtree: Checkmate.
*SO glad I have Tomlinson...ugh.
*The Colley Matrix: Pitt is No. 1!
Lots more included. Check it out here. More later.