Lane Kiffin’s Twitter bravado knows no bounds.
Kiffin appeared to troll the Alabama football program yet again when he responded to a tweet. During Friday night’s Virginia-UMBC game, sports personality Clay Travis asked if there was a top team that was as boring to watch as Virginia.
I rescind my criticism of Auburn-Charleston. UVa-UMBC is brutal. Can y’all remember the top team in a sport that was this boring to watch?
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 17, 2018
Kiffin responded to the tweet on Saturday, saying “Hmmmm” along with a crying laughing face.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) March 17, 2018
Kiffin spent three seasons at Alabama as an offensive coach. He complained about his time there on multiple occasions, saying it was a “miserable” atmosphere. He also would have loved to open things up more offensively while with the Tide, so it’s pretty obvious he was talking about Alabama.
Kiffin sure has shown time and time and time again that he just loves to troll Bama.
Nick Saban’s decision to bench Jalen Hurts in favor of freshman Tua Tagovailoa at halftime of Monday night’s national championship game may have done more than just spark a comeback win for Alabama. According to Lane Kiffin, it also prevented Saban from losing Tagovailoa to another program.
Kiffin, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama from 2014-2016, told “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday that Tagovailoa would have transferred from Alabama this offseason if he did not play against Georgia.
“If this second half doesn’t flip like this, and Alabama is moving the ball and doesn’t change [quarterbacks], people that really know what’s going on would tell you that Tua was leaving,” Kiffin said, as transcribed by Nick Cole of SEC Country. “Because Tua thought that he should be the starting quarterback and had outperformed (Hurts) in practice and (Saban) never gave him an opportunity.”
Kiffin, who recruited many of the players still on Alabama’s roster, said “no doubt” when Patrick asked him to clarify that he meant Tagovailoa would have transferred. He also made a bold prediction about the freshman.
“How this second half played out changes college football, because Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football,” Kiffin added.
Kiffin went on to describe Tagovailoa’s talent as “off the charts,” and he revealed that Alabama wasn’t upset when Jake Fromm chose Georgia over them because they liked Tagovailoa so much.
Tagovailoa rallied the Tide back from down 13-0 to win 26-23 in overtime. The way he looked off the defense on his perfect 41-yard touchdown pass in OT had to have made NFL scouts drool. When you hear Saban’s explanation for making the quarterback change, you have to wonder if it will be Hurts who decides to leave Tuscaloosa this offseason.
Despite his beef with Nick Saban, former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is still rooting on the Crimson Tide in the National Championship.
Kiffin is, however, not particularly happy with Alabama’s defensive gameplan, logging on to Twitter at halftime to suggest that the Tide throw the ball downfield.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) January 9, 2018
Kiffin also retweeted a Florida Atlantic fan account praising Kiffin’s offensive mind — and pointing out how badly Alabama was struggling without him.
Once again #Alabama is struggling in the #NationalChampionshipGame. Common denominator? No @Lane_Kiffin. How glad are we as #FAU #OwlNation to have perhaps the greatest offensive mind in the #NCAA right now? #GoOwls! pic.twitter.com/ZzhtHYkx7x
— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) January 9, 2018
Alabama’s halftime response was to bench their quarterback. We’ll see if that helps — or perhaps they’ll still embrace Kiffin’s suggested tweak.
There remains no love lost between Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban.
After Saban said in an interview that he doesn’t believe he yells at his assistants very often, Kiffin, his former offensive coordinator, made clear that he felt Saban was not telling the truth while linking to the story.
coach Nick Saban: “I don’t yell at my assistants very much at all…” Are these real quotes? I don't get upset at my coaches much?? We tell our players to control their emotions during the game bc when emotions go up decision making goes down but…. RTR https://t.co/EurFYX2hzw
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) January 7, 2018
The Pinocchio face says it all. Kiffin, now the coach at Florida Atlantic, has made clear what he thought of his time at Alabama, and it definitely paints a very different picture than the one Saban offers up. He even goes so far as to more or less accuse Saban of holding himself to a double standard with regard to keeping his emotions in check. It’s transparently obvious that Kiffin doesn’t think much of some of Saban’s methods — and his perceived denial of them.
Lane Kiffin has made it abundantly clear that coaching at Alabama was not something he enjoyed, and he gets more and more candid about his time in Tuscaloosa by the day.
In an appearance on “The Dan Le Batard Show” this week, Kiffin said his departure from Alabama has reminded him that football is supposed to be fun.
“It doesn’t have to be miserable,” Kiffin said, as transcribed by Sam Hellman of 247 Sports. “I used to laugh when I’d walk down the Alabama hallway and see all the national championship pictures. Look at the faces on the coaches. It looks like they’re at a funeral.”
Kiffin said the only thing he looked forward to at Alabama was gameday, but even then he grew tired of getting chewed out by Nick Saban when the Tide were blowing opponents out.
“I like gameday, but it’s only three hours and 15 minutes,” he said. “You have the best players, so you know you’re going to win. And you’re out there and you’re scoring a million points and a million yards. But the last 15 minutes of the game when you’re up by 30 and you hand the ball off left instead of right, so you get your a– ripped.”
Saban demands perfection, and you could argue that the great ones always do. Bill Belichick never seems satisfied after a win no matter how dominant the New England Patriots look. But Belichick is never seen berating his assistants on the sideline.
“He’s just mad to get mad,” Kiffin said. “He’s feeling like everyone’s too comfortable. I don’t know where he gets it from. It’s just like, ‘I need to rip somebody.’ I never understood it. I don’t do it. Someone used to joke that he’d get a memo in the fourth quarter that they showed me on TV more than him, so he was going to make sure that he ripped me to humble me. So I don’t really know why he does it.”
Kiffin has trolled Saban every chance he gets since he left Alabama, so his comments are not exactly a surprise. He seems to genuinely hate his former boss, though he admitted Saban is a better coach than him. Still, Kiffin may never get tired of trying to prove how horrible Saban is to work for.
Lane Kiffin showed no mercy during FAU’s 50-3 thumping of Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday night.
Not only did Kiffin’s squad win by 47 points, but the Owls head coach was doing things like going for two while up 35-3 in the third quarter, and throwing passes up 50-3 in the fourth quarter.
So why did Kiffin do all that? He says it was prompted by an Akron official talking trash.
Lane Kiffin said the 2-point conversion was prompted by an Akron athletics official talking trash yesterday. "His bad," Lane said.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) December 20, 2017
Love him or hate him, this is the exact kind of behavior that makes Kiffin so polarizing. Well, that and his constant Nick Saban trolling.
Lane Kiffin will probably hear his name come up in many high-profile coaching searches over the next few years, but his current employer is intent on keeping him.
Florida Atlantic president John Kelly confirmed to ESPN’s Chris Low on Tuesday that the university has signed Kiffin to a new 10-year contract.
“This is further proof of FAU’s unbridled ambition,” Kelly said.
Kiffin’s Owls are 10-3 in his first season with the program and have won nine consecutive games. They are set to take on Akron in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl Tuesday night after they won the Conference USA championship in convincing fashion earlier in the month.
“We are grateful that the president and university are this excited about what we are doing here at FAU and into the future, although our focus remains completely on the team and this historic season finale tonight on ESPN,” Kiffin said Tuesday.
Kiffin said recently that he has enjoyed coaching “hungry” players who don’t have a sense of entitlement, and he insists he has not had any thoughts about leaving to coach a bigger program. It probably helps that his current boss gives him the freedom to mercilessly troll his former boss as much as he pleases.
FAU has been an FBS school for 13 years, and their 10 wins this season are the most in the program’s history since making the jump up. Kiffin inherited a team that had gone 3-9 in each of its previous three seasons.