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 CBSSports.com 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.