The mystery of Nick and Lane

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.




Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban Rules

36 responses to “The mystery of Nick and Lane

  1. I heard him say, “great offensive mind”, or something very close to that, when they announced the hiring.


  2. ScoutDawg

    Maybe a hot wife? Is Saban channeling his inner Petrino? Got to hope for something.


  3. AusDawg85

    Saban’s a sucker for Clapton music. Layla….


  4. Bulldog Joe

    Nick and his dad coached against Monte Kiffin in the NFL. Both Sabans had/have respect for Monte. The NFL guys tend to take care of their own.

    I believe this hire was made more out of respect for the bloodline than the individual.


  5. I Wanna Red Cup

    The question I have is, who would hire Laner to be a head coach again? Western Kentucky or Akron ?


  6. Normaltown Mike

    Maybe Nick is into twinks?


  7. South FL Dawg

    Good question. I’m going to be a geek and look for a trend. Saban’s first OC at Alabama was a young Major Applewhite. Then he hired an older Jim McElwain. Third in line was Doug Nussmeier who is the only one with any significant NFL experience; he previously coached with McElwain. Then came Kiffy. As best I can tell, Saban likes former QB’s. Jimbo Fisher also was a QB and OC for Saban at LSU. Then again, maybe all those former QB’s just happened to know the right people.


  8. Comin' Down The Track

    He’s kind of a spiteful little fella. Maybe, another way to stick it in Tennessee’s eye? Again?


  9. john

    I sense some Game of Thrones bullshit going on here. Kiffin has some dirt on “The Process” or it’s ability to recruit and is black mailing Saban for an OC job. That’s definitely what’s happening… For sure…Mhmm.


  10. David K

    I think Nick has a strong desire to go against the grain and thumb his nose at conventional wisdom. He likes to feel like the smartest guy in the room. He knows Kiffen is damaged goods and wouldn’t do anything to screw up the golden opportunity that is a job at Bama. Lane will keep his head low for a few years and parlay this into a solid head coaching job elsewhere, and Nicky will end up smelling like roses again.


  11. Dante

    Guys, the reasoning is obvious. Nick Saban has a bet with Rex Harrison to see if in one season Nick Saban can turn Kiffin into a proper gentleman.


  12. David K

    Or maybe he felt bad for Kiffen having to make ends meet introducing Youtube clips on that awful Tosh.0 show.


  13. Rick

    This isn’t complicated:

    Nick Saban isn’t hiring Lane Kiffin IN SPITE of the fact that he is already the best recruiter.

    Nick Saban is the best recruiter BECAUSE he does things like hire Lane Kiffin. That shit is not on autopilot. Saban gets the #1 recruiting class every year because all his thought is bent on it and he is constantly doing what it takes to max out Bama’s recruiting tools.

    I also think he believes that although he is an excellent coach, top 10 no matter how you slice it, he knows he is not getting all those NCs on the back of his coaching ability. His bread is buttered by those #1 classes. When Kiffin is gone, he’ll get whatever the next best thing is. He better just hope Kiffin’s ‘offensive mind’ isn’t enough to ruin all the talent he attracts.


  14. Bulldog Joe

    It’s been too easy the last five seasons. Nick is just looking for a challenge.


  15. WarD Eagle

    Tommy Tuberville is a great defensive coach and a reasonably talented HC who recruits poorly. Nick Saban is a great defensive coach and a reasonably talented HC who recruits terrifically.

    Neither can hire/keep an OC worth a damn. However, Saban at least hires OCs that can recruit.


  16. HiAltDawg

    Senator, in the sUGAr Bowl Bama lost because of horrible QB play. Why not hire a guy that worked with Carson Palmer, Matt Leinhart and Mark Sanchez? Kiffin is no Bobo but name someone available at the Coordinator level with better experience coaching top College QB’s.


  17. 1) I agree with Rick above. Recruiting is king.

    2) I think Saban was looking for a more aggressive play caller than Nuss. Part of that, IMO, is being able to maintain execution of a game plan when Saban is scalding you during a game. Many believe Kiffin has the personality to handle that. We will see, I guess.

    3) Nuss took some heat last year for under utilizing a couple of talented players (e.g. Henry and OJ Howard). I’m sure Saban expects better use of a talented roster.

    Glad you are back, Senator.


  18. Now I’m not one to repeat ya’ll better get this right the first time….. but i heard that when Satan hired Kiffin….. just after they closed the deal Satan whispered in “My Fair Laney’s” ear, ” I wish I knew how to quit you”. Now, I know given the demographics of this blog that some might think that is some sort of reference to a Led Zeppelin song….butt it ain’t. You didn’t hear it here.


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