No, Alabama’s Dynasty Isn’t Crumbling, But Lane Kiffin Would Love To Add To The Noise On Saturday

I don’t imagine many folks around college football figured Alabama would be out of the playoff race one week into November. But, this is where we currently sit as Ole Miss prepares to host the Tide’ in one of Lane Kiffin’s biggest games in Oxford.

From all the back and forth between Kiffin and Nick Saban, one thing is obviously clear: Lane still respects the Alabama tradition. It’s not only how they win games. It also comes down to how Alabama has two losses already on the season. Earlier this week, Kiffin called the talk of Saban regressing in Tuscaloosa as ‘GOAT Fuel’, seeing as Saban loves to call positive press ‘Rat Poison’.

OLE MISS-ALABAMA CLASH IN OXFORD, GEORGIA-LSU LOOK TO CLINCH SEC

But don’t let the situation in Tuscaloosa fool you. Alabama is still a very good football team, with both losses coming down to the final possession. The respect between Kiffin and Saban is also still obviously strong. It might be hard to remember for some, but Nick Saban saved Lane’s career by hiring him at Alabama.

“I think it’s good. We see each other at the meetings and talk. Actually, the last one, we sat down and had breakfast with Kirby and Billy Napier,” Kiffin said about his relationship with Saban. “It’s kind of like an old staff meeting. It really was an awesome experience there to learn from him and one that kind of, as you get further away, you even have more appreciation for everything he did for me and everything I learned from him and for him taking a chance on me and really saving my career.”

Alabama Dynasty Nowhere Near Being Done, Kiffin Says

When No.11 Ole Miss steps onto the field Saturday afternoon, Lane Kiffin understands that this Alabama team will most likely be as motivated as they’ve been all season. You don’t usually get two wins in a row over Nick Saban during a season. So, Kiffin didn’t bother giving any bulletin board material for a his former boss.

“I mean, if they were getting 14, 21 points or something, that would be different. So it really is ridiculous. But I understand that’s just what you need to do in the media to have something to talk about. No one’s gonna really listen if you say, ‘Hey, the dynasty is still going. But it is ridiculous. Like I said, dynasties are over when you see people be out-coached, out-played, losing by 21 points.”

LANE KIFFIN ASKS MEDIA TO QUIT GIVING NICK SABAN ‘GOAT FUEL’.

Lane Kiffin Would Love For Paul Finebaun To Stop Providing Nick Saban With 'GOAT Fuel'
Head coach Lane Kiffin of the Mississippi Rebels (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Putting the noise aside, Kiffin makes a solid point. If this is what some folks think a ‘dynasty over’ type situation looks like in Alabama, then sign up most of college football for Alabama’s record.

This is the same team that won an SEC Championship last season. They played Georgia in a rematch three weeks later. Yes, they might’ve lost production at wide receiver and some other key spots but lets not act like Saban has lot control of his program.

What’s On The Line Saturday Afternoon In Oxford?

Nick Saban certainly doesn’t lose very often against former employees. He’s currently 27-2 against former assistant coaches. So, just because the Tide’ are coming off their second loss of the season, doesn’t mean Saturday will be a repeat of LSU, or Tennessee. Having Bryce Young lead the offense still gives Alabama the advantage, especially against the Rebels defensive line.

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

It’s easy to get caught up in past drama between Saban and Kiffin, but don’t let that detour you from the field. The Rebels have a rushing attack, led by Quinshon Judkins, who has 1,036 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Can Alabama find a way to stop QB Jaxson Dart and the running game at the same time? This is the question that won’t be answered until Saturday evening, but it will not be easy for Alabama defense.

Lane Kiffin has certainly paid attention to what Jayden Daniels and Hendon Hooker accomplished on the ground against Alabama. It also helps when Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart has rushed for 473 yards this season.

“They do a really good job with formation multiples, motions, trying to get the defense to adjust,” Nick Saban said about the Rebels offense. “They’ve got really good running plays, but they’re running those same plays out of all those different multiples, which is trying to put different players in different positions, so you make a mistake, you have a gap open and they hit a play on you.”

Jaxson Dart #2 of the Mississippi Rebels. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

If Ole Miss can defeat Nick Saban and the Tide’, their hopes of playing in Atlanta will be intact for at least two more weeks. They’ll need help, which includes Arkansas knocking off LSU. But the first thing they have to worry about it stopping Bryce Young and Jahmyr Gibbs.

Nick Saban Enjoyed Working With Kiffin At Alabama

On Thursday evening during his call-in show, Saban was asked for his thoughts on working with Lane Kiffin.

“I like working with Lane. Lane was a great play-caller, great imagination, really good on gameday’s in terms of, he could see what the other team’s doing and how they were playing plays. Immediately knew how to take advantage of it. Great play-caller, he did a really good job for us, and he’s done a really good job there (Ole Miss).

“They’ve won a lot of games and their teams play really really well,” Saban added “I think he always does a really good job at utilizing the personnel he has, putting them in the right place…very innovative when it comes to how to utilize players and not making it so difficult for the other player’s on the team when he makes changes.”

Just when you think they’re down, Nick Saban brings his team back from the dead. Only this time he gets to do it against Lane Kiffin, with his own former players (Greg McElroy) talking about the end of a dynasty.

“I know people have kind of written us off to some degree,” Nick Saban said. “But at the same time, I think we have a lot of pride as an organization.”

Could we see further madness in Tuscaloosa? Not if Nick Saban has anything to say about it.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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