College football at its worst can be a dirty game.
But never quite as dirty as politics.
As Alabama travels to Tennessee this weekend, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will make his first return to the Knoxville, Tenn., campus since unceremoniously bolting the Volunteers' head coaching job after just one season for the same role at Southern Cal.
Not surprisingly, fans haven't forgotten. Nor have voters.
Kiffin's return happens to coincide with election season. And incumbent state representative Gloria Johnson was slathered in the worst kind of mud there is in Tennessee, when a political flier compared her to Kiffin. The ad was the subject of a knoxnews.com report, which notes that the flier was paid for by the Tennessee Federation for Children PAC and was not authorized by her Republican opponent, Eddie Smith.
The front of the ad is a photo of Kiffin wearing an Alabama shirt and says, "Lane Kiffin and Gloria Johnson made a lot of promises to the people of Tennessee." On the back (see below), it reads, "And like Lane Kiffin, Gloria Johnson is all talk."
The ad goes on to trash Johnson's record for state health care reform and job creation. Transparently cheap, but perhaps effective, the flier leaves no doubt that even roughly five years after Kiffin's ugly exit from Knoxville, he is still reviled there. The flier adds, "It's time to show big talkers like Lane Kiffin and Gloria Johnson we mean business."
If Tennessee's defense doesn't mean business any more than Texas A&M's did last week against Kiffin's offense, Johnson might win in a landslide.