Sports analyst commentary, game tapes, interview footage, hard statistics—all have their places in evaluating the past performance of new University of Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and predicting the team's success under his tutelage. But aside from being somewhat un-fun, are they ever 100 percent accurate? What's to stop us from pulling in a completely different set of evaluation criteria to pre-judge and predict whether Kiffen will slaughter the SEC? Nothing, that's what, so here's the low-down from some non-traditional sources, along with a few fun quotes and a quiz. And the first prediction is that come January, everyone's going to look back and say, "Wow, numerology knew more than John Adams." Or something like that; our analysis methods might be oddball, but we can still trash-talk with the most traditional.
Kiffin will lead powerfully and inventively.
Evaluation Tool: The "What does your name mean?" numerology tool on PaulSadowski.com
"You entered: Lane Monte Kiffin
What your first name means: English, male, from the long meadow ‘Path; roadway.'
There are 15 letters in your name.
Those 15 letters total to 73
(the digits in 73 total 10, the digits in 10 total 1)
Your number is: 1
"The characteristics of #1 are: Initiating action, pioneering, leading, independent, attaining, individual.
"A number 1 Expression denotes the skilled executive with keen administrative capabilities... Someone may have to follow behind you to handle the details, but you know how to get things going and make things happen.... You have little need for much supervision, preferring to act on your own with little restraint... The 1 has a natural instinct to dominate and to be the boss."
Of course, trying to be the leader in Oakland gets you fired. Here, it helps you assemble a Top 10 recruiting class when you're hired in December of the previous season. Oh, yeah, and woo a dream-team coaching staff away from a bunch of whiners. Look for more soon-to-be-superstars "following the leader" to the 2010 Vol starting line-up, too.
The team will succeed with the surprise element.
Source: More of the name numerology
"You have the tools to become an original person with a creative approach to problem solving, and a penchant for initiating action. You fear routine and being in a rut..."
The other team can study tapes and patterns all they want; the Vols will throw something entirely unexpected in to the mix at every turn, and Kiffin will be behind the idea, if not the inventor of the specific action. We saw how he needled the Sports Animal's Chip Kane a couple weeks back for asking him an on-air question about a pass-back play they're working on with the new receivers (even though Kane saw it at the now-open-to-the-press practices), so we're not going to rile Kiffin by suggesting stuff that might really happen. But here is the type of thing we're talking about, just wait and see:
1. A 77-yard field goal attempt—just maybe not with the current kicker. Eat your heart out, Oakland!
2. The B-Gun package: Heisman hopeful and defensive back Eric Berry takes the field as quarterback. Not him, but an equally unpredictable choice.
3. Offensive tackle William Brimfield (6' 5", 346) picks up the Fumble-rooski (the ball parked at the scrimmage line while the rest of the team feigns their patterns as if they're running a standard play) and runs all the way for a touchdown. It's extra cool because he's from Norway, S.C., so South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier adds No. 237 to his reasons why he despises Lane Kiffin. Not really Brimfield, but some variation on the theme...
Kiffin will work well with QB Jonathan Crompton.
Evaluation Tool: Coworker Compatibility, astrology.com
Select quotes from the pairing of Kiffin, a Taurus, and Crompton, a Leo, whose birthday is July 25, 1987:
"When Taurus and Leo work together, they often become a sort of mutual admiration society. They understand each other well.... They are both strongly loyal and are often possessive of the work they do together. Both partners are able to provide what the other needs because their ambitions are so similar."
They both want sugar in their bowl, for example.
"Both partners like comfort and luxury, often doing things on a grand scale.... Leo tends to be flamboyant, which Taurus will like."
Touchdowns and passing yardage, what could be more flamboyant?
"Both signs want to be the boss, and they may have a number of arguments.... As long as they reassure each other that their work is important to both of them, their conflicts can usually be resolved."
Tension keeps the sportswriters employed and the testosterone levels up.
All Kiffin-related products will sell for many pennies.
At least in this heyday of newness, Kiffen kitsch is fairly valuable. On eBay, for example, the "Buy It Now" option for a $5 Sports Illustrated SEC Preview 2009, signed by Lane Kiffin is $74.99. And here's the kicker: A Knoxville Magazine, June/July, with Lane and Layla on the cover, is running $5.99. No signature, folks, though it is in "very good" condition.
The Florida game has three reasons to be an upset.
Source: A quick glance through Kiffin's personal history
Three Is Kiffin's Number; It's All Over His Past. Where To Start?
He was 33 when hired by Tennessee, only the third head coach at UT in the past 33 years.
There are three Kiffin family members on the coaching staff—Kiffin, his dad (and defensive coordinator) Monte Kiffin, and brother-in-law and quarterbacks coach David Reaves.
He played football in high school at Bloomington (Minn.) Jefferson, named after Thomas Jefferson, our third president.
He played three sports—football, basketball, and baseball—in high school and again at Fresno State.
His spot as third-string quarterback at Fresno State inspired him to quit playing during his senior year and become a graduate assistant for the team.
As offensive coordinator at the University of Southern California from 2005-2007, he went 23-3.
He met Layla Reaves when she was events coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and his dad was assistant coach) and just three months later they were engaged (and married in July 2000).
The couple, as of January, has three children.
Kiffin himself is one of three children.
Since arriving at Tennessee, he insists his players sit in the first three rows in class.
The Vols have three tough road games in 2009: Florida, Alabama, and Ole Miss.
The Vols face Florida in week three of the season.
So, three's the charm, no need to wait for the third time—by a three-point field goal with three minutes to go would be nice
At his son's urging, Monte Kiffin will invent the Knox3 defense.
Source: See previous
Pretty sure that whole new defensive system has some association with Monte's famed Tampa2, but with a couple of tweaks, it's time for a new name.
The Gators will start believing what Lane Kiffin says about them.
Source: the writing on the wall
This is the Lane Kiffin quote currently on display in Florida's locker room: "I'm really looking forward to embracing some of the great traditions at the University of Tennessee, for instance the Vol Walk, running through the T, singing Rocky Top all night long after we beat Florida next year, it will be a blast."