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Nick Saban rips media for criticizing Lane Kiffin hire (Video)

Nick SabanThrough his first four games as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, it looks like Lane Kiffin was a great hire. The Tide are throwing the ball more than they did in past seasons and look more rounded on offense. They rank 12th in the nation with 335.8 passing yards per game after finishing the 2013 season ranked 45th with AJ McCarron under center. Nick Saban has decided that now is a good time to rub Kiffin’s success in the media’s face.

A reporter asked Saban on Tuesday if his communication with Kiffin has improved since the former USC coach first came on board. Saban went full “D–k Saban” on the guy and insisted it was never bad to begin with. He also took a few moments to beat his chest for making what looks like a great addition to his staff.

“If I did what you all thought when I hired the guy, he wouldn’t even be here,” Saban said, as transcribed by Jerry Hinnen of Eye on College Football. “Maybe that was the assumption — because nobody thought it was a good hire, that all of a sudden [our communication was] bad. I don’t know. I thought it was a good hire. Nobody else did. Now, I got beat up like a drum for doing it, and now all of a sudden it’s great.

“You guys don’t have any consequences for what you say or do. Our stuff ends up out there on the field on Saturday and if it ain’t done right there are consequences — in front of a whole bunch of people.”

[Related: Nick Saban is clueless about why Lane Kiffin is so disliked]

As for Kiffin finally opening things up on offense for Alabama, Saban wasn’t shy about pointing out that he has always wanted his teams to throw the ball more and stop taking such a run-heavy approach.

“I’ve been begging the offensive coordinators around here to open it up ever since I’ve been here … My philosophy hasn’t changed at all,” he said. “I’ve always asked for this. ‘Why don’t we throw the ball on this look instead of running this play where we can’t block everybody?'”

It should be noted that Alabama hasn’t exactly gotten to the meat of its schedule, but scoring 168 points in four games is pretty impressive. Kiffin has senior quarterback Blake Sims looking like a star. If the success continues, this probably won’t be the last time Saban rubs the media’s collective nose in it.

Video via 247Sports

Would Jim Harbaugh leave the 49ers for Michigan?

Jim-Harbaugh-Blue-Collar-49ers-ShirtsThe San Francisco 49ers are off to a rough start in 2014. So are the Michigan Wolverines. What does one team have to do with the other? Jim Harbaugh.

While the Niners’ brass has repeatedly denied that there is any friction between the team’s front office and its head coach, there has to be a reason Harbaugh has not yet signed an extension that will keep him in San Francisco beyond the 2015 season. Most coaches who were 36-11-1 in their first three seasons and reached the NFC Championship Game twice and Super Bowl once would have inked a new contract. But not Harbaugh, which is one of the reasons speculation is building that he could be interested in the Michigan job.

Michigan is 2-2 this season after losing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl last year and the Outback Bowl the year before. Brady Hoke is officially on the hot seat after being blown out by Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago and losing to Utah at home last weekend. As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio noted, Michigan — unlike NFL teams — could legally begin discussing business with Harbaugh as soon as they decide the Hoke era is over.

Though his record says otherwise, some insist Harbaugh is too strict and controlling to last in the NFL. There are already reports that Harbaugh is losing the Niners’ locker room because the players don’t feel they are treated with respect. While Harbaugh would likely have offers at the NFL level if he chose to leave San Francisco, there are few jobs in the country — both professional and collegiate — that are more appealing that the Michigan job.

Harbaugh’s personality and coaching style may be better suited for the college game. If the Niners end up missing the playoffs this season, he could realize that and act on it.

Jameis Winston accuser reportedly wanted $7 million to go away

Jameis WinstonJameis Winston’s lawyer wrote in a recent letter to Florida State University that the woman who claimed she was raped by Winston offered to settle out of court for $7 million.

According to TMZ, the alleged victim’s lawyer, Patricia Carroll, demanded $7 million to settle her client’s claims against Winston and FSU and vowed that “you will never hear from my client or me again — in the press or anywhere” if the money was paid out. Winston’s attorney David Cornwell says he rejected the proposal and Carroll went to the media four days later.

Cornwell also told FSU in his letter that Carroll said Winston had to have raped her client because she would never sleep with a “black boy.” The alleged victim was dating a black male at the time.

Cornwell said Winston is willing to fully cooperate with FSU’s private investigation into the case but that the quarterback will not put himself into a situation where he is at risk of being extorted.

“Mr. Winston will cooperate with the Investigation. He looks forward to clearing his name,” Cornwell wrote. “But Mr. Winston will not walk into a honey trap. The investigation must be a legitimate investigation.”

Winston was cleared of sexual assault last year after prosecutors found a number of holes in the alleged victim’s story and discovered another man’s DNA on her clothing.

Former USC CB Brian Baucham suing Lane Kiffin, school for making him play while ill

Brian-Baucham-USCFormer USC cornerback Brian Baucham has filed a lawsuit against the university and former head coach Lane Kiffin, alleging that he suffered a brain injury during a game after he was forced to play while ill.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Baucham claims he suffered cardiopulmonary damage and brain injury when the Trojans played Cal on Sept. 22, 2012. He had been diagnosed with a concussion two months prior to the game and says he became ill before kickoff, but Kiffin allegedly forced him to play. Baucham collapsed on the field during the second half and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Baucham spent several days on a ventilator under the supervision of doctors and did not play for USC again. The lawsuit also claims that USC tried to revoke his scholarship after he was injured.

Given some of the stories we have heard surrounding USC over the past year or so, a lawsuit against Kiffin seems pretty much par for the course.

H/T Sports Illustrated

Michigan pulls promotion that offered free tickets with purchase of two Cokes

Michigan-tickets-Coke

No, you cannot get two free tickets to Michigan’s game against Minnesota this weekend with your purchase of two Coca-Cola products. Believe it or not, you could at one point. Unfortunately for Michigan students, the promotion has been pulled after what the school has labeled a “miscommunication.”

The photo you see above, which was shared by Alejandro Zuniga of The Michigan Daily, was taken inside a convenience store on the Michigan campus earlier this week. Zuniga pointed out that face value on the tickets is $150, or $75 per ticket. The deal didn’t last very long.

“Coke is a great partner of ours and had purchased a limited block of tickets for the Minnesota game for a Coke retail activation aimed at Michigan students,” Michigan’s athletic department wrote in a statement to MLive on Monday night. “Due to a miscommunication in the approval process, this promotion should not have run as is. As a result, it is being pulled immediately.

“However, all purchases to date will be honored by Coke.”

While the Wolverines are still drawing a ton of fans in comparison with other programs, their slow start has led to faltering attendance numbers. The 102,284 fans who showed up to Michigan’s game against Miami (Ohio) two weeks ago was the lowest turnout the team has had since 1995. The Wolverines are off to a 2-2 start that includes a 31-0 blowout loss against Notre Dame and a 26-10 home loss to Utah last week.

Michigan has run some promotions to try to offer discount tickets for students, but this is still Michigan. Offering $150 worth of tickets with your purchase of some soda is something UConn would do.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Jimbo Fisher: Jameis Winston dressing for game result of ‘miscommunication’

One of the more humorous moments from Florida State’s overtime win over Clemson on Saturday night was when Jameis Winston came out fully dressed in pads and went through pregame warm-ups with his Seminoles.

Apparently Winston didn’t get the memo that he was suspended for the ENTIRE game and thought it would be a good idea to prepare like he was actually going to play. In an embarrassing moment, coach Jimbo Fisher pulled Winston aside and told the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to change out of his pads. And that’s what Winston did.

On Monday, Fisher explained the nature of the “miscommunication” that resulted in Winston dressing for the game.

Jimbo Fisher Jameis Winston

“That was a miscommunication between us and the locker room because, with the late-night (full-game) suspension, he was scheduled to dress [Saturday] and the stuff was put out in the locker room when he went in to dress,” Fisher said Monday. “He assumed he was going to dress and do warm-ups and went out, and I never saw it. It got miscommunicated.

“[The equipment staff] probably should have never had it in the locker, and that’s exactly what happened. When we saw it, corrected it. He was great about it, went in and came back out and did what he was asked to do.

“That was our fault internally. We were making adjustments, moving around, and that was one part that slipped through the cracks,” Fisher said via ESPN’s Jared Shanker.

Is that really what happened? I think this is a case of Fisher covering for Winston by pinning the blame on the equipment staff. In the end, it really doesn’t matter. It was pretty silly of a player suspended for a full game to prepare like he was going to play … I’m not sure how else that needs to be interpreted.

Florida WR Demarcus Robinson says on Twitter he wants new QB

Demarcus Robinson Twitter

Well this is awkward.

Florida sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson appears to have voiced his opinion that the Gators need a new starting quarterback much in the same way that a fan would.

No, he didn’t post on a fan message board or call into talk radio, but he did retweet a tweet by GatorZone that posed a call to action, instructing followers to “retweet” if they want to “see a new face at QB” (screenshot at the top).

Robinson later undid the retweet so it doesn’t show up on his timeline. Apparently in response, he sent out this tweet saying he supports all his team’s quarterbacks.

Sure you do, Robinson. We know you feel just like Emmitt Smith on this subject. Don’t worry, the coaches will too before long.

Robinson does have 23 catches for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season, but you know he cares more about having a good offense than good stats.

Helmet smack to Alligator Army