So, I found myself watching a good bit of ESPN coverage of SEC Media Days – Jeebus, are we in for a long year on that front – and listened to a debate between Kanell and Palmer about Lane Kiffin’s future at Alabama. (Hint: both think Junior won’t have his bags unpacked in Tuscaloosa all that long.)
All of which made me wonder what Nick Saban was thinking when he hired Kiffin in the first place. I understand why the Laner jumped at the opportunity to burnish his credentials, plus perhaps add “finally, team player” to his resume. But what does the practical Saban get out of the arrangement? Alabama’s got all the promotional attention it needs. As Spurrier reminded us this week, Saban recruits like a sumbitch and hardly needs any help on that front. Is Kiffin really the offensive genius he wants us all to believe he is? Nothing in his history at USC suggests that’s really the case; much of his reputation was the result of having phenomenal talent at his disposal as a coordinator. Certainly his last two years as head coach presiding over a shrinking talent base don’t indicate that.
So if the man is gone in a year or two, following his ambitions, what will Saban have gained? No snark intended here. Saban is as sharp as they come, so there must be something he sees. I just don’t get what that might be.