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We are inching closer to the Egg Bowl, which means Lane Kiffin’s time at Ole Miss could be coming to an end. The ongoing saga has reached new heights. It’s now become “if,” not “when” in some eyes. Unfortunately, the conversation is not about the game itself, which both teams desperately need to win.
It’s easy to get caught up in the drama surrounding Lane Kiffin this week. How could you not be entertained by his Twitter war with a sports director in Mississippi. But even Kiffin would tell you – if injected with truth serum – that he most likely should’ve held back on some of the tweets.
I understand the thought process of trying to bury a report, but unfortunately he didn’t bury the lead. If anything, tweeting out that he wasn’t leaving or putting the Auburn talk to bed would’ve prevented further discussion. But here we are, the day before most of these players put on pads for the last time and we’re talking about the Auburn job.
One person close to the situation reiterated to me on Wednesday morning folks should always be on their toes with any news involving Lane Kiffin.
“Always expect the unexpected. He didn’t get this far playing it by the book.”
It’s not Kiffin’s fault that a report came out Monday night. But it surely caught him off-guard. Imagine Ole Miss players walking around the facility and seeing the report of Lane resigning, two days before they take the field. But this is also college football. These players understand this is a business, no matter how much they don’t agree with the decisions.
Ole Miss Players Trying To Block Out The Kiffin Noise
On Tuesday, Kiffin tried to put out the fire by addressing his team and letting them know he had not taken another job. The conversation had mixed reviews, according to sources inside the program. Ole Miss players don’t know what to believe at the moment, with family and friends blowing up their phones with the latest message board rumors and reports from trusted outlets.
But let’s be honest, this isn’t an easy task. The Rebels were embarrassed in Fayetteville, with the main focus following the game on whether or not Lane Kiffin would be leaving Oxford. Players didn’t have enough time to get on the team bus heading to the airport before the first article was posted about the distractions of the past week leading to their loss.
The same could be said for this week, on such a short turnaround. But one thing is for certain during all of this talk; the players are also looking out for their future. We are now just over ten days before the college football world goes absolutely crazy – the transfer portal window opens on December 5th. That’s another reason why schools with openings are trying to fill them as soon as possible.
“It’s going to be complete chaos. Other schools are already offering our players money to leave and come play for them. I had a player come into my office in the past week and tell me that one school was offering him three-times what he currently makes in NIL money to leave,” One SEC assistant coach told me.
The ever-changing landscape of college football is causing schools to make quicker decisions.
Timeline For A Lane Kiffin Decision
Let’s just talk in hypotheticals while laying out a timeline for what happens with Lane Kiffin over the next few days. After trying to keep reports about leaving for Auburn at bay, the dam finally broke on Monday night, earlier than what most expected. The perfect scenario is not always going to happen, no matter how hard they try.
After acknowledging a fourth contract was presented to him by Ole Miss officials, the ball would’ve been in Kiffin’s court to sign it. But this isn’t how things work in the contract phase. If Auburn has zeroed in on its guy, they will formally present Kiffin with the offer in the early hours of Friday morning.
When Lane Kiffin decides he is ready to sign the contract, “The Plan” will be executed. This will involve Kiffin informing Ole Miss AD Keith Carter, while also preparing a statement for a timely release on his part. The parameters of the contract would have already been handled by his agent, Jimmy Sexton, while Kiffin has already had discussions/interview with Auburn officials.
But there’s another way all of this talk about Lane Kiffin and Auburn goes, which would be catastrophic for the Tigers. Kiffin could spurn the Tigers and decide he doesn’t want to uproot his life after only three years in Oxford. While Kiffin ponders that question, I can assure you Ole Miss AD Keith Carter has already made a few phone calls about potential successors. It’s all part of the game.
But for the players sake, let’s hope they can block out the noise for five hours on Thanksgiving night and enjoy the moment. For some, this is it. For Kiffin, it’s only getting started.