64513.62CORRECTION-Tennessee-Florida-Football.sffOkay, we get it. New University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin and Florida coach Urban Meyer (seen here exchanging a not-so-warm greeting) really don’t like each other.

Kiffin is the calculating loud mouth who decided to try to revive interest in his formerly great but now struggling program by poking a stick at the Florida Gators, the defending national champions.  In his introductory press conference he made a point of saying that he was looking forward to singing Tennessee’s fight song (Rocky Top … one the truly great fight songs in all of college sports) all night long after his Volunteers defeated Florida in  Gainesville this year.  Kiffin followed that up by accusing Meyer of committing a recruiting violation by contacting a potential recruit while he was on Tennessee’s campus (this turned out not to be a violation, but college football’s recruiting rules are so ridiculous that Kiffin can hardly be blamed for the slip-up.)

Anyway, last week we put Tennessee on ass-kicking alert after the Volunteers lost to an underwhelming UCLA team in advance of their trip to face Florida, the Number 1-ranked team in the country.  Florida All-Everything quarterback Tim Tebow even went so far as to say “I don’t like anyone talking about coach [Urban] Meyer,” and vowing to make Kiffin eat his words.

So what happened on Saturday?  Florida looked underwhelming in defeating an undermanned Tennessee team 23-13, greatly disappointing Las Vegas oddsmakers who had made the Gators a 30-point favorite expecting Meyer to unleash his vengeance upon Kiffin and his charges.  So Florida wins the game and Tennessee keeps it respectable.  End of story, right?

Nope.  Meyer, obviously disappointed that he was unable to embarrass Kiffin on the field, used his press conference on Monday to make excuses for the closer-than-expected win.  He accused Kiffin of not trying to win, but only trying not to get blown out, and then said that a flu bug going around his team’s locker room was the reason for the Gators lackluster victory.  Kiffin responded by saying that the next time he’s not excited about his team’s performance, he’ll “just say that everybody was sick.”

Now this is getting old, kids.  We like smack talkers here, and we support Lane Kiffin in this ongoing spat between adolescent schoolgirls.  Your team won, Urban.  No need to make excuses that make you look small and petty.  But now you’ve surrendered the moral high ground, and don’t think that Kiffin will not be reminding people of that at every opportunity until these two teams square off next season.  Play nice, fellas.

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