Who’s the bigger rat – Bobby Petrino or Lane Kiffin?

Watching Lane Kiffin’s wretched introduction at Southern Cal last night — delayed 45 minutes by traffic, it should have been canceled to spare everyone involved–  the thought occurred: “This guy is the biggest rat I’ve ever seen.”

Then, a bit later, another thought: “Wait a minute, son. Didn’t we in Atlanta happen across a rodent of our own not long ago?”

Well, yeah. His name: Bobby Petrino. He fled the Falcons in same harum-scarum manner that Kiffin left K-Town. And that terrible memory got me to thinking: “Kiffin or Petrino — who’s the bigger rat?” Here’s where I attempt to answer myself.

Category: Truthfulness. Petrino reaffirmed to Arthur Blank the day before he headed over the Ozarks, “You’ve got yourself a coach.” According to Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton, Kiffin at least informed him last weekend that he’d be interested in the USC job. Bigger lying rat: Petrino.

Category: Manliness. Petrino left without facing his players. He had a type-written note left in their lockers instead. Kiffin at least addressed his players. Mayhem nearly ensued, but at least he showed his creepy face. Bigger cowardly rat: Petrino.

Category: Timeliness. Petrino was gone by sundown the day after his team lost to New Orleans on Monday night. Kiffin didn’t flee the Smokies until the next day. Bigger lamming rat: Petrino.

Who's the bigger rat?

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Category: Shamelessness. Not 24 hours after leaving the Georgia Dome as coach of the Falcons, Petrino was captured on live TV calling the Hogs alongside Razorback cheerleaders. Kiffin somehow resisted the urge to ride into his Southern Cal press briefing atop Traveler, the equine mascot of Troy. Bigger shameless rat: Petrino.

Category: Spousal involvement. Becky Petrino joined her husband to lead cheers. Layla Kiffin did not lead any cheers, at least not on-camera. Bigger familial rat: Petrino.

Category: Obliviousness. According to those Falcons folks who knew Petrino well (and there weren’t many), he was stunned his abrupt departure elicited such venom. Kiffin maintained Tennessee fans were upset he was leaving because he’d done such a great job. Bigger tin-eared rat: Kiffin.

Category: Staying power. Petrino coached the Falcons for 11 months. Kiffin coached the Volunteers for 14 months. Bigger fickle rat: Petrino.

Overall: You’ll note that Petrino is the winner, if that’s the proper word, in six of the seven categories. Which would seem to make him the landslide choice as the rat of all rats, would it not? Uh, no. Forget categories, I say. Look instead at the big picture. (At least Petrino can coach.) Alongside Kiffy, all other rodents must bow. King Rat: Kiffin.


540 comments Add your comment

Andre

January 14th, 2010
9:25 am

JSS

January 14th, 2010
9:25 am

Hello fellow AJC Bloggers…

As many of you know, there has been a great tragedy in Haiti… Blogger “Ted Striker” and I are asking you to get involved in aiding the victims…

I set up a Facebook cause page for the Haitian Relief effort
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=426507305332&ref=search&sid=819343849.3665709771..1

Hey all of you Tech and UGA fans!!! Step up to the plate!!! Tell me what you think!
Thanks to “Ted Striker” and Jeff Schultz and to Mark Bradley for letting me post on his blog…

Andy J.

January 14th, 2010
9:29 am

First and It’s Petrino by a mile. Not even close.

Otto

January 14th, 2010
9:33 am

Petrino was certainly the smartest to leave the Falcons.

PMC

January 14th, 2010
9:33 am

I don’t care really I’m just glad they are both gone.

Miserably awful human beings.

I guarentee you this, the blind kid that was a huge USC fan that ESPN did such a great story about. That’s the last human interest story at USC.

Kiffin is a self absorbed megalomaniac and he’s been continually enabled.

NYC Dawg

January 14th, 2010
9:34 am

Lane Kiffin is a dirtier rat. He disgraces everything he touches…

cantondawg

January 14th, 2010
9:35 am

PETRINO IS THE BIGGER RAT HANDS DOWN. Any coach that cannot face his players and tell them that he’s leaving is pathetic. He asked those players to sacrifice for him and then he doesn’t even has the courtesy to face them and leaves a hand written note. That’s the ultimate height of unprofessionalism and cowardice

AHS

January 14th, 2010
9:36 am

I think your a bigger brat than both of them!

bro

January 14th, 2010
9:36 am

MY dad was career Army and often stated as I have read in many books that “there is a man to ride the river with” A trusted and dependable person, who would stand with you when needed. Petrino and Kiffin are not the type of men that represent the brave man in this country-men who will support you and have your back covered-”MEN YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO RIDE THE RIVER WITH’ Just remember this people when you send you children to be nutured by these low down back stabbing coyotes.

Richard

January 14th, 2010
9:36 am

Hey Bradley, you forgot that Kiffin finished the season and actually coached the bowl game unlike Brian Kelly.

I will never understand why coaches get vilified like this. Kiffin was offerd the same job for a lot more money. There isn’t a person alive who wouldn’t have done the same thing. As fans, we get upset when coaches don’t show loyalty to colors like white and whatever they call the orange color in Knoxville. We forget that Kiffin is an employee and is only loyal to green. If UT offered him 1 million dollars more than USC, he would still be there.

Bradley, if you started at the AJC today, and tomorrow another paper called you and said “come work for us for 25% more money”, would you even spend a full second considering it?

willie martinez

January 14th, 2010
9:38 am

i have to go with petrino. he slunk out during the night and at least kiffin left in the light of day.

cantondawg

January 14th, 2010
9:38 am

I don’t blame Kiffen for leaving since it was well known that USC is his dream job and he has roots in CA. If you look at the big picture you can’t blame him for wanting to go back home and i really think that he would’ve stay at UT forever if he hadn’t landed the USC job. However, Petrino left an NFL team for a middling SEC team and will probrably leave again soon. The disingenious drifter takes this one by a landslide. Hand the big rat “Petrino” a hunk of Provolone and Cheddar for the Grand prize

Brian

January 14th, 2010
9:39 am

As a long time Falcon Fan, I’m happy Petino bolted….. We have Smitty now!

Gen Neyland

January 14th, 2010
9:40 am

Maak, i have neva seen college football in such a state of flux.

The faces of the UT recruits and players

January 14th, 2010
9:40 am

I am tickled to see the faces on some of the metro Atlanta kids that either play now for UT or were committed to play for them. Priceless it is. They BOUGHT IN to a very unstable program and with the police blotter and the NCAA scandal going on, UT is goning to be in deep T for a good long while.
They had it coming.

UGA? Well, all we need is a mid tier up and coming D coach and his subordinate staff and we are off and running again. Cycles cause these things to happen and UGA at 8-5 just underwent a down cycle but we are on the ups again withthe returning talent. We will be fine and come October, early November the record will reveal it.

If UGA only goes to the Citrus or maybe the Cotton every 3rd or fourth year and maybe play for all the SEC marbles every 3rd or 4th or 5th year ………….fine with the grads. If we were to win the SEC, then all else will fall into place. SEC title would be nice by 2011 or 2012.

GO Dogs.

PS:
UT………..you will be fine in 2013 for sure. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Gen Neyland

January 14th, 2010
9:41 am

howeva, duty calls me to go with this kiffin fella as the masta of all rodents.

"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan

January 14th, 2010
9:42 am

No doubt in my mind it’s Lame Kitten. Petrino left a bunch of millionaires. Kiffin left a bunch of teenagers and kids in their early 20’s AND lied to them about their future.

Lame Kitten is the slime of the earth.

Matt

January 14th, 2010
9:42 am

Can I nominate Paul Hewitt for being such a crappy coach?

UglyOldDog

January 14th, 2010
9:43 am

You gotta give the Turd Award to……Petrino…he wins for his photocopied note to his players, at least Lame went in and told his players

Gen Neyland

January 14th, 2010
9:44 am

ah believe i would catagorize mista petronio as moah of the porcine ilk

Gordon

January 14th, 2010
9:44 am

Another excuse Kiffin has is youth. There is a brashness that comes with youth. He reminds me a bit of Jim Mora, Jr., whose father was also a coach and who thinks he knows more than he does. But it is understandable why, and time will humble and mature both of them. Also, Kiffin coached through the end of the season and faced his players, which means a lot. A school can fire a coach, a coach can leave a school. The big mystery to me is why USC hired him.

and what...

January 14th, 2010
9:45 am

You are the biggest rat…..among other thing.

sogadog

January 14th, 2010
9:45 am

What if, Dallas wins this weekend, Mushamp is hired by Tenn. this week, and Muschamp hires Rodney Garner as his DC. That leaves UGA without a DC or recruiting coordinator two weeks before signing day. Will UGA’s recruiting class hold together? Interesting times.

Kevin

January 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Petrino!!!……now give $10 to the Red Cross by texting “Haiti” to 90999. The charge will be made to your phone bill. Thanks.

willie martinez

January 14th, 2010
9:45 am

Mark, with all these changes, vacancies, etc. SURLEY there will be an opportunity for me to land on my feet. willie

UA Alum92

January 14th, 2010
9:46 am

Kiffin, but it’s kind of like arguing who has the worst smelling fart.

Rex

January 14th, 2010
9:47 am

remember MB…..Blank fired Reeves after 13th game of the season. Same number of games Petrino coached before leaving that year. Blank promised Petrino he would not meddle, but lied about that and continued his meddling ways. Blank promised Petrino that his foster son Vick was innocent and would be acquitted and available to play for Petrino and he was NOT. Petrino saw a sinking ship with a scallywag at the helm and decided Arkansas was a better job. ( it is ) IF Petrino coaches rest of the season then he misses out on the SEC job. I dont see why Blank is not a RAT for not letting Reeves finish the season? Blank wanted a new coach after 13 games….Petrino wanted a new job after 13 games and they both did whatever it took to get what they wanted, and everyone is better off now that Petrino left. Petrino and Falcons were a bad fit and Petrino figured that out before Blank did. And I still say Lame Kiffin is a bigger rat than both Petrino & Blank. ( but not Vick )

Gen Neyland

January 14th, 2010
9:47 am

Maak, i do believe the atlanta jounal constitution has the slowest servahs since rod lavah

Dawgs97

January 14th, 2010
9:48 am

Who’s the bigger rat – Mark Bradley or Jeff Schultz? See the dilemma? Between Kiffin and Petrino, it’s a draw. Just like you and Schultz.

jim

January 14th, 2010
9:48 am

Lane Kiffin is a kinder, gentler rat – He takes his daddy with him wherever he goes. Does that make Monte Kiffin, Daddy Rat? Me thinks it does.

GoVols

January 14th, 2010
9:49 am

Great column, Mark. I have to go with Petrino overall in a head-to-head with Kiffin, though. I can’t blame him for taking his dream job even though I hate the timing and its impact on my beloved Vols. Dead-on in giving Kiffin the “award” for Obliviousness. I would actually rate Orgeron as the dirtiest rat.

Gen Neyland

January 14th, 2010
9:51 am

theah must be some breakin story Maak. you have left the blog to self implode.
i wood nevah leave my men in such a diah situation.

Denver Dog

January 14th, 2010
9:51 am

I have to say that the rate the rat game is a tough one! This episode tells me two thing. One, that Tennessee went after someone that was not a real coach yet, and that definitley was upwardly mobile. Somewhere in there, they missed that part. Two, the USC program went down about 12 notches in 3 hours. It also sounds like Ed Ogreman comitted some more violations, and all of Kool and the Gang have no respect for the NCAA rules. Lane is the Scarecrow from the Wizard of OZ

Petrino, I think he knew he was over his head with the Pro Game, but had no courage to try and succeeed. Petrinon is the Cowardly Lion.

Cousin Vicker

January 14th, 2010
9:52 am

It has become quite popular among the AJC columnists to bash and take jabs at Mark Richt. So when something like this happens, I wonder if people realize how good UGA has it. Besides the fact that CMR is a proven winner who has taken the UGA program to it’s greatest sustained period of success, he is a gracious, humble, classy, and stable guy. My guess is he will be at UGA as long as UGA wants him. You can’t say the same thing about many other legitimate big-time coaches in college football.

Rex

January 14th, 2010
9:52 am

come on Dawgs97 ! Schultz is a much bigger “Kiffin hole” than MB. Schultz is ultra-lib anti fishing and hunting and IF MB is a libtard, he is wise enuff to keep it OUT of the sports section and focus on the sports related issues at hand…..Sure MB can be kinda smug, but at least MB HAS some humility…Schultz is a pompous, failed humorist with a political agenda and the attitude that “I am always the smartest person in the room”. Finally MB is more well rounded in his sports knowledge.

Saint Simons is my caddy

January 14th, 2010
9:52 am

Here is another factor to consider. Petrino really got a bum deal coming in to the Falcons organization. He was coming in to coach the team led by the electrifying Michael Vick. When the whole Dog fighting thing happened the organization collapsed on itself. Schaub was gone as a backup and bad attitudes were everywhere. Not to say Petrino wasn’t a Jackass, but under those circumstances not many men wouldn’t tuck the tail and run under those circumstances. Kiffen was handed the TN Vols who if you ask me in any average season is a top SEC program that could whip the sox of of anything those west coast boys can throw at us. USC is a top program for where they play. But they are unproven against the top teams in the SEC. I think they prefer to keep it that way.

Yea Pertino has no backbone and told his players in a note. But the NFL is business and the players a paid grown men. At the college levels the game is about heart and emotion. they are kids at this point. You HAVE to tell them. I hate Petrino. I hated Kiffen before he did this and now even more. I am not a TN fan for the record. But this guy just busted a deuce all over the SEC.

Otto

January 14th, 2010
9:54 am

Richard, Is it really better to stick around and coach the bowl game?

Leaving after the bowl recruits are left hanging. Some even enrolled early and now must wait a year to transfer if they do not like the new coach.

Bright Idea

January 14th, 2010
9:55 am

One NFL, one college, big difference. Why haven’t we heard Paul Johnson’s name for Tennessee coach?

GoVols

January 14th, 2010
9:56 am

Funny stuff, Gen Neyland!

George Holman

January 14th, 2010
9:56 am

Petrino, but it’s close.

Lacey Pearl

January 14th, 2010
9:57 am

Yalls need to quit knocking Lane. He is real cute and I like him a whole bunch. Yalls jist jealous.

gatorman

January 14th, 2010
9:57 am

Patrino because he left the Falcons before the season and when he was at Louisville he tried to leave before the season to go to Auburn.

DAWG07

January 14th, 2010
9:57 am

No lateral movements for lord SABAN? Although he espouses no lateral movement, seems like he has been head coach for a number of teams during his career. I guess its DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO?

UGA Rules

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

By far, Petrino is the biggest loser. He quit on the Falcons during the season with 1 or 2 games left to play. At least Kiffin wasn’t looking for another job. I think he would be there now IF the USC did not open up. You can’t blame for taking a better job. I can’t believe I am saying this because I hate Tennessee and Kiffin. Regardless, people will talk about loyalty but think about it. Many of you may have put countless hours into your job. When job cuts happen, do you think your company will look out for you? Probably not. There’s no loyalty in business.

GO DAWGS!!!

matt_t

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

This is simple, Petrino left a pro team in the middle of the season that wasn’t going anywhere and the players were paid.

Kiffin left after a decent first season, screwing over all the kids who committed to play for him, who will likely never earn a salary from football. And having Orgeron call the UT recruits to get them to switch to USC while telling his current team he was leaving, well that’s just awful

MJM

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

Actually the worst ever is Brian Van Goober who has hop scotched all over the place.

juvenal

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

MB, hewwitt just turned another corner-because he’s in a maze!

VolGuy

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

There are so many awful things (Iraq,Afghanistan,Haiti) going on in the world today it’s hard to beilieve that anybody is interested in Petrino or Kiffin. It’s obvious that neither of them has any character, but is it their fault anymore than the system itself? College football has morphed into something very ugly. They start recruiting kids when they are in junior high school. They are showered with accolades and equipment from companies that would do anything to have their company logo on display. Kids who are good athletes grow up thinking that they are somehow “special” and that the rules that apply to other kids don’t apply to them. They don’t bother to take advantage of educations that they could never afford otherwise. They just want to put in their three years and grab the big NFL or NBA money. But if they happen to sustain a career-ending injury in college, they are cast aside like so much garbage.
Coaches like Petrino and Kiffin are football whores who peddle themselves to any pro or college team that is willing to meet their absurd salary requirement, and when a better offer comes along they walk away better off than they were before, regardless of whether they have a contract and regardless if they have been successful in their previous job or, as in Lane Kiffin’s case, if they have really done anything at all. All in the name of winning a Super Bowl or BCS Championship.

GT Falcon

January 14th, 2010
9:58 am

The question is a tough one…..

Otto

January 14th, 2010
9:59 am

Is Blank the gullible man in sports?

Oh no Mr. Blank I’m not fighting dogs.

Yes Mr Blank I’ll be in the office first thing in the morning (to pick up my stuff).

Who goes out and tells their boss they are looking for a new job? Is that not career suicide. Both coaches in question took a better job. Timing may stick but is there really a good time? Yes both coaches could have handled it better.

Word on the street now is Hamilton knew about Lane leaving days before the press conference and Fulmer may soon be AD.