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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Articles tagged: Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin calls for free transfers for players with postponed seasons

Coaches in rival college football conferences sense opportunity after the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to cancel the 2020 fall season.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin called for a penalty-free transfer for players in the two conferences and criticized the NCAA for not allowing it.

“Kids are having their schools or their conferences deciding to shut down, so they can’t play, and a lot of them have a lot of money on the line with the next level, or they just want to play their last year,” Kiffin said, via Alex Scarborough of ESPN. “So it’s really unfortunate that the NCAA is not allowing them to transfer and be eligible immediately. We’re being told that won’t even go into a waiver process, so I feel really bad for those kids. It’s not their fault. Why can’t they come play somewhere? That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

This is not likely to be something the NCAA wants to touch. Allowing this could significant hurt Big Ten and Pac-12 schools far beyond 2020. It could also shift the balance of power further toward the SEC and other conferences that play. That’s probably not something the NCAA wants to play a role in enabling.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 shutdown may already be having a similar impact even without transfer waivers. Some recruits have said schools are trying to use the conference cancellations to get them to flip their commitments for 2021 and beyond.

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Lane Kiffin is already trolling Mike Leach on Twitter

If you weren’t already excited for Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach coaching SEC rivals, maybe this will do it for you.

Kiffin and Leach, the coaches of Ole Miss and Mississippi State, created a bit of a viral moment Thursday when they appeared at the Mississippi state capitol to lobby for the state flag to be changed. Leach tugged at Kiffin’s facemask jokingly as they interacted with each other.

Kiffin got back at Leach on Twitter Saturday by succinctly pointing out that Leach’s mask wasn’t exactly covering everything it needed to.

These guys are great, and their rivalry is going to be a lot of fun. Leach has already been cracking jokes about the quality of SEC coaching, and these two probably aren’t done taking jabs at each other.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin shares how Ole Miss have fallen behind amid pandemic

College football activity hadn’t started when the coronavirus pandemic really began to impact the United States, but now that we’re in our fourth month of it, offseason activities have been significantly derailed. That is causing major issues for a lot of programs.

Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels are dealing with those issues and then some. As a first year coach, Kiffin has a lot of work to do getting to know his players and what makes them tick. The fact that players have not been permitted to be on campus or practice has left players and coaches unfamiliar with each other, and Kiffin cited that as a huge issue.

“This situation is not ideal for a first-year staff, probably creating more issues than I thought,” Kiffin said, via Jake Thompson of the Oxford Eagle. “Spring ball, you really get to know your players. You’re on the field with them. You’re interacting with them and putting faces with names. They get to know you and how you can help them on the field. We missed all of that.

“Unfortunately, when we were in our meetings last Monday talking about all of the stuff going on nationally and just listening to the kids, I just realized how little I know our kids, especially as a head coach. Position coaches have had some meetings and gotten to know them, and we’re behind obviously football-wise, but we’re really behind relationship-wise.”

Kiffin said he has used Zoom calls to try to compensate, but his interaction has been limited outside of voluntary workouts. He has finally started to build those vital relationships in recent weeks, particularly with Ole Miss players and coaches participating in a Unity walk last weekend. Kiffin discussed that experience and how he’s started to get on with his players at length, as well as how the recent protests throughout the country have impacted his players. His quotes in the entire article are worth a read.

Kiffin has already endeared himself to the fans. He’s getting a late start, but he should win over the players, too. It sounds like that process is finally starting, and it’s good look into just how major programs have had to operate in these uncertain times.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin shares why he took the Ole Miss job

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin is getting ready to begin his fourth head coaching stint in college football, one that takes him back to the SEC.

After getting his start as a head coach for the Oakland Raiders when he was 31, Kiffin went to college and coached at Tennessee. He left the Vols after a year for USC, but was fired in the middle of his fourth season. Kiffin rebuilt his reputation as an offensive coach under Nick Saban at Alabama before going to Florida Atlantic for three seasons. And now, at age 45, Kiffin is back in SEC country.

So why did Kiffin choose to go to Ole Miss? He told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

“To me, there’s college football, then there’s the SEC plus a few teams — Clemson and Ohio State,” Kiffin told Dodd. “It’s not like I took this job to go to the Power Five. It was because it was in the SEC, a place that had won. It’s not like going to one of these places that never won or hasn’t won for 25 years. Five years ago, they were in the Sugar Bowl.”

Kiffin knows quite well what Ole Miss is capable of becoming. The Rebels beat Alabama two years in a row when Kiffin was a coach for the Tide.

Rebuilding at Ole Miss won’t be so easy. They haven’t had a winning season since 2015 and went 4-8 last season. Oh, and did we mention they’re in the same division as LSU, Bama, Auburn and Texas A&M? Kiffin will more than have his work cut out for him.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin pokes fun at himself with Tennessee joke

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin continues to show he has a great sense of humor.

Kiffin poked fun at himself with a joke on Twitter about his Tennessee departure.

Kiffin replied to a tweet from Barstool Sports personality Big Cat, who is a host for the company’s “Pardon My Take” podcast. In the absence of live sports the past two months, Big Cat created a college football coach named “Coach Duggs” for a college football video game. Coaching as “Coach Duggs”, Big Cat plays the video game while streaming live via Twitch. Coach Duggs’ games have become so popular that when Big Cat plays them, the streams become the No. 1 live stream in all of Twitch.

Coach Duggs has become such a huge topic that actual college football programs, reporters, and bowl games participate in the joke.

After winning a bowl game as the head coach at Texas Tech on Tuesday night, Duggs announced he was taking a job at Tennessee. The actual Tennessee Vols Twitter account joined in:

So did Kiffin, who warned Big Cat not to leave after one year on the job.

Of course, Kiffin notoriously left Tennessee after just one season to take the USC job that was vacated by Pete Carroll, who left for the Seahawks. Vols fans were furious with Kiffin and tried to embarrass him. There probably is still some bad blood towards him for ditching them after one year.

Coach Duggs better not make the same mistake.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin thinks he was unfairly fired by USC

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin still does not believe his USC firing was deserved.

Kiffin was the head coach at USC for three full seasons and then got fired midway through his fourth season in 2013. Kiffin was 28-15 at the time of his firing and the team was in the middle of a 3-2 season. He told Colin Cowherd in a recent interview on FOX Sports Radio that the firing was unfair because he was graded as if the team did not have sanctions.

“The thing that bothered me the most … you weren’t graded on a fair scale. We weren’t 1-10. I felt it was unfair because we had 30 less scholarships and when it hits, all your juniors and seniors can leave. Then you have to sign a No. 1 recruiting class in the country with kids knowing they can’t play in a bowl game for two years. So that’s the part that bothered me the most. Everyone said this guy can’t coach, but everyone forgot about [the sanctions],” Kiffin said.

Kiffin is right that that part gets lost in the evaluation of him.

USC was punished because OJ Mayo and Reggie Bush accepted gifts. The punishments resulted in USC’s football program losing 30 scholarships over three years from 2010-2012, right in the middle of Kiffin’s tenure.

Here’s the thing: he still went 10-2 in 2011, so the school felt he was falling below the standard they wanted to achieve. Kiffin also knew about the sanctions when he took the job, and also should have known that the Trojans would have expected strong results regardless of the penalties. That was part of the risk of taking the job.

Kiffin has brought up the firing multiple times over the last several months, showing that he still is not over it. The 44-year-old coach is entering his first season at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin has great line about the fun of working with Nick Saban

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban had a somewhat turbulent relationship during their time together at Alabama. That always makes for good quotes when Kiffin is asked to reminisce about it.

The Ole Miss coach had another good line Wednesday when asked by FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd about the fun times working under Saban.

“Yeah, like 14 times a year, 14 days a year when we had way better players than everyone we lined up against. That was fun,” Kiffin said, via Adam Spencer of Saturday Down South. “That’s not a shot on Coach Saban. He’d say the same thing. I’ve seen someone ask him, ‘Fun? What’s that?’ Fun is holding up a trophy, handing it to the next person and saying, ‘Alright, let’s go win another one.'”

That sounds about right. Saban’s standards are exacting and he’s all about winning. It’s enough to remind you of another famous quote Kiffin offered up about working at Alabama.

Kiffin and Saban will have the chance to go head-to-head now that Kiffin is coaching at Ole Miss. That should be fun.

Ole Miss fans! It’s time to jump aboard the Lane Train! This Lane Train shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend – you can buy it here.

Lane Kiffin still not over his USC firing

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin is back as a head coach for a Power 5 program, but it’s taken a while.

Kiffin was the head coach at USC from 2010-2013 before being fired midseason following a loss at Arizona State in which the Trojans allowed 42 second-half points and fell 62-41. Kiffin was literally called off the team bus and was fired on the tarmac at the airport following USC’s arrival back in Los Angeles.

Kiffin agreed to speak with Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell for a piece about what it’s like when coaches are fired. During their interview, Kiffin rehashed the case he made to then-USC athletic director Pat Haden about why his firing was undeserved.

As he explained everything to Bushnell, Kiffin relived the situation and realized, “God, maybe I’m not over this.”

Kiffin’s position is understandable. He took over USC when they were under sanctions and had limited scholarships. They went 8-5 in his first year and 10-2 the following season, before slipping to 7-6 after that. Then he was fired after the ASU loss, which left USC 3-2 that season.

USC then named Ed Orgeron their interim head coach but replaced him with Steve Sarkisian, who was fired after dealing with alcohol issues. Orgeron has led LSU to the national championship game, while USC has Clay Helton as their head coach.

Would sticking with Kiffin have helped stabilize the program? Nobody knows, but we do know Kiffin still is bothered by the firing.

After three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Kiffin is getting ready for his first season at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss fans, the Lane Train is heading to Oxford! Jump aboard by buying the Lane Train shirt! It’s available in two colors:

Dan Mullen zings Lane Kiffin with funny ‘Joey Freshwater’ line

Dan Mullen

Dan Mullen zinged Lane Kiffin this week with a funny “Joey Freshwater” line.

Last week, SEC Network host Peter Burns tweeted his rankings for SEC football coaches he’d most want to visit Las Vegas with. Burns had Kiffin listed at No. 1 and Mullen at No. 5. Mullen responded via Twitter, saying he thought he “should be higher.”

Fast forward to this week, and Mullen spoke with the media ahead of his Florida Gators’ Orange Bowl game against Virginia. He once again mentioned Burns’ Vegas list. And that’s when he brought up the Kiffin zinger.

“There was the rating system they put out the other day, people they would go to Vegas with him over me, I think I’m a good-time guy though,” Mullen said Monday, via Saturday Down South. “I have a lot of fun, too. I’m obviously not — what is he? — I may not be Joey Freshwater fun.”

“Joey Freshwater” is the alias Kiffin allegedly used to hit on girls at a Tuscaloosa bar a handful of years ago. Kiffin denied that rumor, though he joked he used a different alias — “Jimmy Chestnut.”

Whatever the case, Mullen bringing up that reference when talking about the Las Vegas rankings is hilarious. These coaches may say they don’t pay attention to this stuff, but some of them obviously do. And we love them for it.

Now the question is, what name did Kiffin use on his fake Tinder profiles?

Ole Miss fans, the Lane Train is heading to Oxford! Jump aboard by buying the Lane Train shirt! It’s available in two colors:

Report: Lane Kiffin trying to hire coaches away from Nick Saban, get revenge

Lane Kiffin FAU

Anyone who follows Lane Kiffin on Twitter could tell you that the coach holds a grudge against Nick Saban because of the way Saban parted ways with him at Alabama, and that is one of the many reasons Kiffin being hired as the head coach at Ole Miss will make for some outstanding storylines. It was also apparently a driving force behind Kiffin wanting the job.

Aaron Suttles of The Athletic reports that multiple people with knowledge of Kiffin’s thinking told him Kiffin is looking to exact revenge on Saban, and one of the ways he is trying to do that is by poaching members of Saban’s staff. Kiffin is said to be looking to build out his Ole Miss staff with as many current, former and potential Alabama coaches as possible, and he has already extended some offers.

According to Suttles, Kiffin has tried to entice Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran to join him in Oxford by offering him an on-the-field coaching position. Cochran is a big part of recruiting at Alabama, and he has been on Saban’s staff for all six of his national championships, including when he worked under the head coach at LSU.

Kiffin has also reportedly expressed interest in Alabama defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi, secondary coach Karl Scott, and former defensive line coach Bo Davis, who stepped down from his position with the Tide more than three years ago amid allegations of recruiting violations.

Some have wondered why Kiffin would take a job in the SEC rather than joining a Power Five conference where he might have an easier time winning, but it’s really no surprise that he’s motivated to take down Saban. Kiffin has praised Saban publicly, but he also never passes up an opportunity to take a shot at him on social media. Saban basically fired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator days before the national title game three years ago, though it was framed like Kiffin was leaving to focus on his new job as the head coach at FAU.

Ironically, Saban spoke in an HBO special that aired this week about how much it bothers him when coaches who worked under him try to poach members of his staff. Don’t expect that to deter Kiffin at all.

Ole Miss fans, the Lane Train is heading to Oxford! Jump aboard by buying the Lane Train shirt! It’s available in two colors: