Alabama has hired Lane Kiffin as their new offensive co-ordinator – just days after previous incumbent Doug Nussmeier went to the job at Michigan.
The last time SEC fans saw Kiffin was when he walked out of Tennessee in 2010 to take the USC job, and he left a mess behind him. He was then fired mid-season by the Trojans in 2013 after they were schellacked by Arizona State. Before that they had lost to Washington State.
Kiffin had been invited by Bama Coach Nick Saban to evaluate the team’s offense in mid-December, a move that some saw as a sign that Nussmeier was not going to be coming back for the 2014 season.
The job for Kiffin should be a fairly simple one: Give the ball to running back stars Derrick Henry and TJ Yeldon, who will form one the SEC’s best thunder-and-lightning partnerships (it’s between them and Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall (if UGA can keep both fit/out of trouble). Alabama will be starting a new quarterback now AJ McCarron has completed a great four years in Tuscaloosa, where he won two National Championships.
We also anticipate more of a hurry-up offense to compete with Gus Malzahn at Auburn, which at times, seemed to fluster Alabama’s defensive line. We also anticipate the recruiting of great speed from Tuscaloosa, so Baylor and Oregon should be watching their backs from last-minute steals from the Crimson Tide.
Saban said: “We are excited to have Lane join our staff. He is an outstanding and creative offensive coach who has great experience both at the college and NFL level. He has a very good understanding of the game and I have always been impressed with what I saw in the games he called. He coaches with a great deal of passion and enthusiasm, and also does an excellent job as a teacher. Lane will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and we look forward to him and his family joining us at the University of Alabama.”
BOTTOM LINE: If Nick Saban was impressed with the games that Lane Kiffin called, he obviously wasn’t referring to the 2013 season, when USC flat-out stank. But let’s be honest, the Kiffin hire is going to be a massive risk for Alabama, bearing in mind Kiffin’s past, which this blog hasn’t mentioned before. The other bottom line is that the only person getting super-wealthy out of this deal (we think that Kiffin probably came pretty cheap for Alabama, and that Kiffin’s on a pretty short contract), is Jimmy Sexton, the college football superagent who shares Saban and Kiffin as clients.
BOTTOM, BOTTOM LINE: Since he was fired at USC, Kiffin appeared on College Gameday where he came off as humble, and we couldn’t help but be impressed. Kiffin’s job – if he just does the OC job and doesn’t do a lot of recruiting (which has got him trouble in the past) – will have some pressure taken off because at Alabama, there only seems to be one man who deals with the press: Nick Saban
Tagged with: AJ McCarron • Alabama • Auburn • Crimson Tide • Derrick Henry • Georgia • Kiffin • Michigan • Nick Saban • Nussmeier • OC • offense • Offensive Co-ordinator • TJ Yeldon • Todd Gurley • Tuscaloosa
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