Somebody calling himself “Brew” had a funny comment Thursday in the thread underneath my blog about Lane Kiffin and Tennessee “striking again” by landing the commitment of Gainesville linebacker A.J. Johnson.
Wrote my man “Brew”: You have cracked the double secret code to success in your field. In a world, where circulation numbers are dwindling and internet hits are gold, you realize that using the word “Kiffin” in your headlines means mega-hits for the AJC. This story alone will garner fifty thousand hits . . .
I had two immediate thoughts about this: One, is Brew my boss? And, two, I wish it had been 50,000!
So as an experiment this morning we offered the all-Lane-Kiffin headline. I’ll let you know when we get to 50,000 hits.
But seriously, writing anything about Kiffin does generate all kinds of reaction. You know it, I know it and he knows it.
Perfect example: Kiffin was on the SEC coaches teleconference call on Wednesday and he went out his way to let everybody listening know that he was out on the road recruiting at a high school in South Carolina and that’s why there was noise in the background. He also managed to work that he would be in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia before the Vols’ open week is concluded.
In fact, Kiffin is going to be in our fair city tonight. I’m told he’ll be at James R. Hallford Stadium in Clarkston for the nationally-televised game between Martin Luther King High School and Stephenson High School. My sources say he plans to make a big entrance, too, flying in on a helicopter and landing at Clarkston High School across the street from the stadium. I’m also told he had a public relations flak send word to ESPN letting them know he was going to be there and offering an interview opportunity off-site beforehand (it’s against NCAA rules to do so at a high school game).
Now there’s nothing new about such tactics. I’m sure everybody watching the Byrnes-St. Thomas Aquinas game two weeks saw Florida coach Urban Meyer there on the sidelines talking on his cell phone and hobnobbing with several NFL-playing former Gators that just happened to be there, too. And there’s a very good chance you might see coaches from several other major programs patrolling the sidelines at Hallford Stadium tonight as well.
What you won’t see is anybody from the University of Georgia representing. And there’s a reason for that.
The Bulldogs, as you probably know, have a game against Vanderbilt on Saturday at 12:21 p.m. in Nashville, Tenn. Georgia’s coaches will be there going through its pregame rituals and meetings Friday night and preparations for the all-important game will begin very early Saturday morning. Now next week, when the Bulldogs have a bye before heading down to Jacksonville for the Florida game, you’ll see coach Mark Richt and his coaches all over the place.
That’s the breaks sometimes in recruiting. You can bet if the Vols had a conference road game they wouldn’t be at the M.L. King-Stephenson game either. But they didn’t, so Kiffin will be here and you’re likely to see a lot of him.
Like it or not.
A couple of notes: