There are a lot of differences in being new school and old school, but one of the most glaring ones is probably how each coach approaches bowl preparation and how they handle things on and off the field.
Kiffin is known for being outspoken, Beamer probably a little softspoken.
When the two met over a week ago at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Coaches Luncheon, both were very complimentary of each other's program and success.
Kiffin has stated several times that he is approaching this college football matchup as a BCS-type challenge.
"Virginia Tech has won the last two Orange Bowls," Kiffin noted. "This is a BCS-type game for us. It's a big challenge for our program and a great opportunity for us see how far we have come this season."
For Kiffin and Tennessee this bowl game is an opportunity for the Volunteers to become David and slay Goliath.
The Hokies are currently ranked No. 11 in the BCS standings, while UT enters the game unranked. What better way to end a coach's inaugural season than with an upset win over a top 15 team? Would a victory over the Hokies Thursday night, move the Vols into the final Top 25? Would that have an effect on recruiting?
Kiffin was asked those questions Saturday in Atlanta and Kiffin downplayed what a top 25 finish would do for his squad.
"We are building a championship program here at Tennessee," Kiffin said earlier. "Of course finishing 8-5 would be a great way to end our first year. Will it affect recruiting, I don't think so. We just want to continue to improve our program and work for the future."
I have never been to a Virginia Tech practice but I would almost bet that another big difference is the practice atmosphere.
Kiffin has allowed loud rap music to be played at different times during practice including the team warmup period.
I can't imagine Beamer doing that.
Kiffin has said several times this season that the college game is about his players. He has proven on more than one occasion to listen to his guys.
"The music allows us to put everything out of our minds," said junior Eric Berry. "It's great to have a head coach that listens to his players, he is definitely a player's type coach."
Another occasion was the black jerseys for the Halloween game against South Carolina.
Berry and a couple of other teammates approached Kiffin with the idea. The head coach then took it to Mike Hamilton, the AD, and was an advocate for his players.
Beamer acknowledged last week that he has learned over the years from bowl preparations and has adjusted accordingly to better fit his team's and coaching staff needs.
Kiffin took a different approach to bowl preparations, treating it as normal in-season workouts.
He also made recruiting a priority while making his team's practice schedule.
"We have to improve our talent level here at Tennessee," Kiffin said. "The best way to do that is in recruiting and developing the players we have. Recruiting is the lifeblood of our program."
Kiffin likes to talk about Tennessee and get as much publicity for his program as possible. He has said on numerous occasions that to recruit on a national level, putting the University of Tennessee on everyone's mind is the best way to do it.
Kiffin has done things his way and his way appears to be a new way of doing things.
While some may disagree that he is the definition of new school, Kiffin definitely isn't old school.