In what might have been Lane Kiffin’s last game as head coach at Ole Miss, Will Rogers and Mississippi State made sure to make it a nightmare in the second half. On a rainy night in Oxford, after a chaotic few weeks for Rebel players, it was Mike Leach who won his first Egg Bowl, defeating Ole Miss 24-22.
As beer cans reigned down from the student section after an overturned call gave Mississippi State the ball, Will Rogers fumbled it just two plays later, giving the Rebels one last chance. Ole Miss drove 99 yards for the touchdown but failed to convert the 2-point conversion. A wild ending was expected if you are familiar with past Egg Bowl games.
Lane Kiffin Answers Question About Future And Auburn
Lane Kiffin was asked if he anticipated being the head coach at Ole Miss next season, even if Auburn offered him the job.
“Yes, I do. I feel like I was in court trial where you’re like ‘Yes I do’,” Kiffin said.
After being asked specifically about the Auburn opening, with his son sitting not far away, he again said he planned to stay in Oxford. When Kiffin said ‘I do’, when asked about staying even if Auburn offered, one would think it would end the conversation.
“I think when it was falsely reported by Jon (Sokoloff), who is now famous, congratulations. That you can just write whatever you want, and I would do it to I think, because you’re never held accountable and you get to become famous and maybe you’re right.
“Jon did it, so I had to have a team meeting to say his article was wrong,” Kiffin added. “I would love to know these unnamed sources from Jon. So yes, I had to have a team meeting because of that. When there’s other stuff, chat rooms and all that stuff, but when a reporter writes, it changes the game of that.”
The ongoing talk of Kiffin and the job opening at Auburn has led to countless questions for the team and how they’ve handled the distractions off the field.
On Thursday night, it was a chess match between Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin as the Bulldogs’ defense got the job done with a fantastic second half. But the game was not the talking point going into Thanksgiving night or even following it.
If Lane Kiffin was not going to take the Auburn job, which he reiterated tonight in a more emphatic way, the last two weeks of distractions sure didn’t help.
Discussions Between Lane Kiffin’s Reps, Ole Miss And Auburn
Multiple sources have confirmed to OutKick that Kiffin has met with AD Keith Carter about the new contract, with Jimmy Sexton also having conversations with Auburn.
Reports have been swirling about Lane Kiffin and Auburn’s job for weeks, but the past seven days have led many to believe Kiffin was seriously considering a move. There is also the contract extension that Ole Miss has presented to Kiffin, with it being the fourth different contract in the past three years for the Rebels’ head coach.
“I don’t know, I’ve signed three. I don’t know, I am more focused on the game than a contract,” Kiffin said following the loss to Mississippi State.
During his weekly press conference earlier this week, Kiffin questioned why the fourth contract presented to him had been such a point of contention.
“So, I can get up here and give you the pine-box speech. I am not gonna be the next head coach at Alabama, I can give you those things. So, I don’t know what those mean (joking), I don’t know what else to say. Been here three years and been fortunate enough to have three different contracts, so I don’t know why all of a sudden a fourth contract makes people feel better.”
What’s Next For Kiffin And Ole Miss?
Following his answer, anticipating a return to Ole Miss next season, the question now looms as to whether or not he will actually hear Auburn out. The Rebels’ head coach has been the center of attention around the SEC for the last month, but if he truly decides to stay in Oxford, this team has work to do.
Starting the season 7-0, but finishing the regular season 8-4 is not the ideal situation some imagined. Now, Kiffin will have to prepare his team for a bowl game, likely somewhere in Florida.
We also cannot forget the upcoming transfer portal window that opens December 5th — one that Ole Miss will be very active in.
If this is the end of the Lane Kiffin to Auburn discussion, then it will have happened on an ugly loss to Mississippi State, on a dreary Thanksgiving evening. Not many folks thought the Rebels would end the regular season like this, but the past month has felt like a train just waiting to fall off the tracks.
Let’s see if we go a few hours without talking of Lane Kiffin and Auburn.
A part of me thinks we’re not done just yet.