According to a report from ESPN, Alabama has hired Lane Kiffin to be the next offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide.
Kiffin spent time in Tuscaloosa evaluating the Tide offense before the Sugar Bowl, in which the Oklahoma Sooners defeated the Tide. With the departure of Doug Nussmeier to Michigan, it appears that was in effect a job interview.
According to ESPN’s sources, the two sides have ironed out a deal and the announcement could be made very soon.
This will make the Third Saturday in October a sure bet for College Gameday, as Kiffin coached at Tennessee for one year before leaving for USC. Alabama travels to Knoxville next season.
Kiffin was the offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans in 2005-2006 when the Trojans averaged 39.8 points per game and 485.8 yards per game going 23-3 over the span. The young Kiffin was then hired by Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders in 2007 but was fired in 2008 after a disastrous tenure.
He returned to college football becoming the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers and immediately helped to rebound the Vols from a 5-7 record in 2008 to a 7-6 season. The Vols seemed to be on an upswing with Kiffin’s excellent recruiting before he left to take over the USC head coaching position as he returned to the west coast.
Kiffin’s time at USC was about as inconsistent as possible, with him recruiting plenty of talent, especially given the reduced scholarships due to NCAA penalty stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal, but also featuring several instances of drama from Kiffin (walking out on reporters, reports of deflating footballs during games to make them easier to catch, changing player numbers without reporting them in-game, etc.) as well as inconsistent results on the field. Kiffin went 28-15 at USC with no bowl wins and was fired after an embarrassing loss to Arizona State after the team arrived home from the game, on the team bus.
Lane Kiffin is one of the most polarizing names in college football for a number of reasons. Tennessee was ruled in violation of a number of NCAA rules, mostly secondary violations, which included things like hiring Tennessee co-eds to actually drive to high school students schools to try and recruit them as well. The way Kiffin left Tennessee has brought him much hate as well, especially considering that USC reportedly attempted to poach many Tennessee recruits to USC afterward, and the way he trash talked a number of established SEC coaches including Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, and Nick Saban himself.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion on Kiffin, he unquestionably has a great offensive mind, but the question is will Nick Saban’s personality be able to coexist with Kiffin’s brash ways or will Saban be able to reel in a possibly humbled Kiffin following the USC debacle?
BamaHammer Staff Writer Josh Boutwell helped compose this report.