Lane Kiffin Can Mess With Nick Saban Because He’s Like ‘Family’, But It ‘Pisses’ Him Off When Others Do

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Lane Kiffin has some strong opinions on who can talk trash about Nick Saban. Obviously the pair have an interesting relationship, with the Ole Miss head coach usually on the giving end of a few subtle jabs at the Alabama goat.

But don’t get it twisted, it’s all love from Kiffin when he brings up ‘rat poison’ or pokes fun at Saban’s coaching habits. The ‘usual’ relationship between Kiffin and Saban started when Lane was hired as an analyst at Alabama. After spending some time learning the ropes and getting his feet back under him in the coaching game, Kiffin was named offensive coordinator.

Now, things might not have looked pleasant on the sideline at times, but it was all about learning from who Lane Kiffin now calls a ‘family member’. Sure, Kiffin likes to poke the bear on social media, while having fun with the Alabama fan base, but the respect is certainly noted.

Lane Kiffin.
Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Ole Miss Rebels during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

While speaking with Sirius XM radio, Lane was quick to point out what Saban did for him in the past, while bringing him back into college coaching.

“I have respect for what he did for me,” Kiffin noted about Saban. “First of all, I respect the guy. He’s the greatest college coach to ever coach college football because he is doing it in an era different than Bear Bryant and some of those names because of scholarship limitations compared to back then.”

Lane Kiffin Has Deep Admiration For His ‘Family Member’

Kiffin made a great point about what Saban has done at Alabama, compared to what it was like in the Bear Bryant days. It’s hard for some Alabama fans to make the decision on who’s the greatest football coach to grace the sideline in Tuscaloosa, but not for Lane.

“Imagine if Nick Saban had unlimited scholarships or if he could take 150 players,” Kiffin noted. “Good luck, everybody else. It would be Alabama and Georgia, I guess.”

There was a time where Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin didn’t weren’t on the best of terms. It’s not hard to forget when Kiffin took the FAU job, but was still the offensive coordinator at Alabama. Because of what Saban would describe as Lane not being able to focus primarily on getting the Tide ready for a national championship, Saban turned to Steve Sarkisian to call the game.

Sure, this was a tough way to leave Alabama for Kiffin, but it seems like their relationship blossomed after Lane got his shot at being a head coach again.

The respect shared for each other has brought out a different side of Kiffin. It’s gotten to a point where if someone else decides to go after Saban, it pisses the Ole Miss head coach off.

“He’s like a family member where I can joke about him or something,” Kiffin explained about his relationship. “But, if someone else does, it really pisses me off.”

We’ve come a long way from the days in Tuscaloosa where the occasional butt chewing would transpire on the sideline. If anything, Kiffin has learned how to be a successful head coach again, after his stint at Alabama.

Not only is Kiffin having success at Ole Miss, he’s challenging Saban on and off the field.

That’s not ‘Rat Poison’ either.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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