Riding with Lane

“If you’re scared, then don’t get off this plane.” – Lane Kiffin

ESPN’s Chris Low gives us a cool behind-the-scenes glimpse into the whirlwind of time that brought Lane Kiffin from sunny Boca to snowy Oxford. It’s an entertaining read. LINK

Kiffin wants Saban

Kiffin’s back in the arena with Saban is one of my favorite new stories of this reality show we call SEC Football.

Though he didn’t mention Saban by name in this ESPN story, Kiffin said he has been plotting his return to the SEC ever since he left Alabama for FAU.

“I know this league very well,” said Kiffin, who at 44 is embarking on his fifth different head-coaching venture. “I have worked with many of the head coaches in this league and have a ton of respect for them and their programs, but I’ve been studying them for the past three seasons, studied them schematically, have spoken to a lot of coaches, have done clinics at their schools. I’ve been on a mission to know why these programs are successful and how to beat them.

“I’ve watched them play big-time SEC games, SEC championship games, playoff games and national championship games. It hurt me and it motivated me, and it drove me to improve. I’ve worked hard to get back, and I’ve got something to prove.”

Kiffin wants Saban.

Paul Finebaum thinks so, too, and Finebaum thinks Kiffin will be the first member of the Saban tree to be able to beat the master. Good segment here:

Lane Kiffin didn’t come to Ole Miss to be good…he came to be GREAT!

This smile is pretty much me right now. (Credit @OleMissPix)

The good times are back in Oxford, Mississippi.

Monday was probably the most exciting day in Ole Miss Football since the Rebels beat Alabama, and ironically, those two wins over Bama are the example that new coach Lane Kiffin is using repeatedly to let anyone who will listen know that Ole Miss can be great again.

Among the talking points that Kiffin raised on Monday that resonated with me:

  1. Ole Miss has been great before and it can be great again. Kiffin wants to get it back to that place and then sustain it.
  2. Kiffin intends to have a pro-style focus. That message was meant for recruits. Kiffin said if your goal is to play in the NFL, then Ole Miss is the place for you.
  3. Kiffin has matured. He understands that he is fortunate to have experiences under Pete Carroll and Nick Saban to draw from, and he wants to take what he learned from those coaching titans and use it to make his own mark on college football’s grandest stage — the SEC.
  4. Kiffin understands that the SEC is the best platform is football, and he is thrilled to be back in it.

“There’s college football everywhere and then there’s the SEC,” Kiffin said Sunday during his appearance on the ESPN CFB Playoff selection show. “There is nothing like it, the fan base, the energy, the game day environment. I loved our time here at FAU and what we were able to do, but the one thing that was missing was that feeling on game day that you’re going against the best players, the best coaches in the world every Saturday.”

Kiffin is convinced that Ole Miss has what it takes to be a national contender, which is all any of us have ever wanted from a football coach. He didn’t come to Ole Miss because he “loves Ole Miss.” Instead, Kiffin chose Ole Miss over Arkansas because he believes he can have success at Ole Miss. And make no mistake, success to Kiffin means championships.

Also, he didn’t say this, but you know it’s true: Kiffin wants Saban. He wants him bad.

If that’s doesn’t get you pumped…

I don’t know about you, but I’m still floating around on Cloud 9.

It’s a great day to be a Rebel!

The Lane Train

After four years of banishment to college football’s version of Siberia (irrelevance), the Ole Miss Rebels are back in the warm glow of hope, excitement, hype and expectations.

The NCAA’s shackles are off. The old has washed away. The new has come, and it arrived on a glorious long, black, steam-emitting, speeding locomotive we call the Lane Train.

All abooooard!!! Choo chooooooo!

If you doubted that Lane Kiffin was the obvious best choice to be the next head coach at Ole Miss, all it should take is a brief look at the internet on this Sunday morning to put those doubts to rest.

Love Ole Miss or hate it, the entire college football world is talking about the school and its new coach.

Kiffin is football’s version of an A-list movie star that went away to head coaching rehab for a few years while the world waited for his return with bated breath. We all knew it was only a matter of time, and when he finally did come back that it would be BIG.

In Kiffin’s case, rehab was Florida Atlantic University, and on Saturday he checked out with a Conference USA championship, further establishing that he is indeed ready to step back on to college football’s main stage – the SEC West.

All the credit goes to new athletic director Keith Carter for recognizing what Kiffin would instantly do for the Ole Miss Football program and not listening to the old self-important’s who tried to dissuade him.

Ole Miss Football obviously needed a shot in the arm. Fans were done. Tickets weren’t going to sell. It’s why Matt Luke was dismissed. In selecting Kiffin, Carter passed up the shot in the arm and opted instead for an injection of pure adrenaline.

The shot didn’t hurt a bit, and the buzz is still going….

Ole Miss football is fun again!

TV ratings and ticket sales will spike through the roof.

Five star recruits across the south will be answering calls from north Mississippi prefixes hoping Kiffin is the voice on the other side. You know it’s true.

And the drama. Oh the drama of the games and the seasons that await. The game of the week is going to be wherever Ole Miss is that Saturday.

Kiffin vs Saban? Yes please.

Kiffin vs Orgeron? Yum.

Kiffin vs Malzahn? I need it.

Kiffin vs …. what’s Mississippi State’s coach’s name….?

Oh it’s all too, too good.

Get on board y’all. This is going to be a ride we won’t ever forget.