On October 25, when the Alabama Crimson Tide visit Neyland Stadium, there will be one thing on the mind of Vol fans — Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin will be returning to Knoxville, as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, for the first time since he left Tennessee as the head coach to go to USC for the same position.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban typically doesn’t allow assistants coaches to speak to the media, but a group of assistants took the podium this past weekend for Alabama’s media day.
Kiffin was of course asked about his upcoming return to Tennessee.
The former Vol head coach joked that he was surprised it took that long into the press conference to get the first “Knoxville question” (8 minutes in), but he was ready for it.
Here’s what Kiffin had to say:
It took a long time for the Knoxville question……as far as going back to Tennessee, we had a great year there. The people were phenomenal there. [I] really loved being there. It was just a unique situation that came about. You can’t look back. I just don’t live that way of looking back, should I or Shouldn’t I have left. I don’t live that way…..obviously we’re going there and that will be an extremely competitive game.
I think it’s obvious that Kiffin regrets the way things went down. I think it’s also obvious that Tennessee is, and will be, better for it.
The Vols are building something special right now under Butch Jones and they’re doing it the right way. That’s not how it would’ve happened had Kiffin stayed.
Kiffin returning to Knoxville will obviously be a huge story when that week approaches.
But I hope fans will let the moment be just that — a single moment.
Alabama-Tennessee is about a lot more than Lane Kiffin and Tennessee.
At the end of the day, if you’re a Vol fan, beating Alabama should be the only thing that matters.