Lane Kiffin

Report: Lane Kiffin to interview for Bama OC job


For the love of all that’s good and holy, college football gods, pleeease allow this hire to happen.

In the brief time since the surprising news surfaced that Doug Nussmeier was leaving Alabama for Michigan, several candidates have been mentioned as potential replacements as the Tide’s offensive coordinator.  Only one of those, though, rhymes with “Lane Kiffin.”

Shortly after the news broke, Bruce Feldman of tweeted that Nussmeier’s departure “does open very real possibility of Lane Kiffin joining #Bama staff,” adding that “[h]e & Nick Saban are buddies.”  One of Feldman’s cohorts, though, has taken the speculation to another level.

Thursday morning, Jeremy Fowler reported for the same website that “Kiffin is interviewing for the Alabama offensive coordinator job as early as today.”  The interview will take place in Tuscaloosa, Fowler noted.

The report continues a rather bizarre connection between the two coaches that continued last month.  In mid-December, it was reported that Kiffin, one of the most polarizing coaches in the college game, would be visiting Alabama to evaluate the Crimson Tide’s offense ahead of the Sugar Bowl.

As expected, the arrangement created quite the buzz both pro and con — mostly the latter — a development that Saban didn’t quite understand.

“Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit, get some professional ideas with our guys, is a real positive thing, so I don’t know why there’s any reaction to it to be honest with you. I’m really quite surprised,” Saban said at the time.

Kiffin’s last three jobs have been as head coach: USC (2010-13), Tennessee (2009) and Oakland Raiders (2007-08).  He called plays during his time with the Trojans, while his last official stint as offensive coordinator came with the same program in 2005-06.  Those also serve as his only tears as a coordinator at any level.

The fact that both Saban and Kiffin lean toward the pro-style side of the offensive coin lends credence to the rumored interest, even as it would likely be blasted and/or ridiculed if it were to come to fruition.

The thing is, what you or I or anyone else would think of the move wouldn’t make a spit bit of difference to Saban.  If he feels Kiffin is the best man for the job and gives the Tide the best opportunity to win, he’ll pull the trigger on a hire, the rest of the world be damned.

Still, the thought of Saban and Kiffin in the same college football program for an entire season — and with the latter back in the SEC no less — makes me giddy.  Unabashedly, positively school-girl giddy.

In Baker Mayfield, Texas set to face yet another QB who wanted to be a Longhorn

Baker Mayfield
Associated Press

Jameis WinstonJohnny ManzielAndrew LuckRobert Griffin IIIJ.T. Barrett. Oh, don’t mind me. Just recounting the number of quarterbacks with ties to the Texas football program that never received a sniff from Bevo’s famous snout.

Add another to the list, perhaps the most inexplicable of all: Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, a powerhouse program in a state that specializes in them. Lightly recruited out of high school (he reportedly held only an offer from Florida Atlantic), Mayfield and his family reached out to the nearby program to see if they’d take him as a walk-on.

They said no.

“They told us he had five scholarship quarterbacks, so there wasn’t any need of ‘Bake’ coming out there,” James Mayfield, Baker’s father, told George Schroeder of USA Today. “I popped off that they had five scholarship quarterbacks that couldn’t even play for Lake Travis. That’s where our relationship stalled out.”

On one hand, it utterly boggles the mind why Texas would decline a successful high school quarterback willing to pay his own way on to the team, especially considering the state of the position at the time. On the other, one would see why Mack Brown‘s staff would pass on a kid with only an offer from FAU who says UT’s quarterbacks couldn’t start for his high school team.

Instead, Texas signed Tyrone Swoopes and Mayfield enrolled at Texas Tech. He won the starting job as a true freshman, transferred to Oklahoma, walked on and then won the starting job there.

And now he’s set to face the hometown team he at one time wished he could play for.

Mayfield has completed 88-of-135 throws for 1,382 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions – good for a 178.52 passer rating, which ranks fifth nationally – while adding 138 yards and four scores on the ground. His counterpart, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, has connected on 42-of-76 passes for 661 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (131.74 passer rating) to go with a team-leading 67 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

“As perverse as all this has been, he’s where he wanted to be,” James Mayfield said. “He’s living his dream. If he had to do it all over again, he’d do it, with the same outcome.”

Appalachian State announces five-year extension for head coach Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield
Associated Press

One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.

“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”

Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.

Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.

“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”