It appears Lane Kiffin has settled in quite well in his new role as offensive coordinator at Alabama.
First came reports of the former USC head coach singing “Sweet Home Alabama” at a recruits house. Now, his dad, legendary NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, tells us that his normally taciturn son is really excited to be in Tuscaloosa.
“He’s pretty fired up,” the elder Kiffin told AL.com.
How could he not be? After all, Kiffin landed one of the plum assistant coaching jobs in America just a few months after being run out of town on a rail at USC.
But that’s not all Monte had to say about his son. He also chimed in on his character.
“I know him pretty well,” said Monte. “A lot better than most people. I know down deep he’s a good person, contrary to what people might think. Coach Saban wouldn’t have hired him if he didn’t feel the same way.”
Thanks Dad! This may go down as one of the more tepid character endorsements between blood relatives on public record.
Whatever the case, Kiffin has a chance now to prove his critics wrong and turn over a new leaf. It could be that, now that the pressure of being a head coach is gone, his better qualities come to the forefront.
For Alabama’s sake, they better.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah