Nick Saban laughed! And it was sincere! And it was a joke from Lane Kiffin that did it!
Asked this week about the Saban-Kiffin matchup, the Ole Miss coach said, “we’re not playing, but if we did, he couldn’t cover me. I’m worried about him because he’s elderly.”
It’s debatable how well Lane Kiffin, 45, could get off the line of scrimmage now that he’s had plenty of that down home cookin’ in Mississippi. Let’s be honest here, Kiffin’s not exactly in fighting shape while Elderly Nick, even with the hip replacement, comes across as the type of guy in the neighborhood who racks up 30,000 steps a day and always craves more.
Elderly Nick, who turns 69 on Halloween, stayed humble with his answer. “I guess what I would ask is when he’s my age, what’s he going to be like then,” the greatest college coach in the history of the game said while laughing and throwing up his hands.
“I still pride myself in my ability to cover. I just don’t think I could cover him,” Saban added.
And that was that.
I wrote this week that Kiffin made a conscious decision to be Mature Lane in his first Ole Miss-Bama week back in the SEC. It’s a business decision. Nick is 20-0 vs. former assistants, and Lane knows it’s just a matter of time before he’s No. 21. This is a long play from Kiffin. He plans to be around a long time in the SEC, and there’s no need to dig deeper than dropping an “elderly” joke on his former boss who resurrected his coaching career.
Business Decision Lane might not be the Lane you’ve come to love, but it’s the type of Lane that will get to stick around long enough to make Ole Miss-Bama interesting again.
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) October 7, 2020
Nick Saban could cover this version of Lane even with a bad hip:
I hope Ole Miss calls at least one sure-thing TD this weekend so we can see Fat Lane Kiffin sprint down the sideline signaling touchdown before QB Matt Corral releases the ball. pic.twitter.com/UnEN6inuoQ
— Sports Locksmith (@CFBlocksmith) September 23, 2020
Lane Roethlisberger would be suckin’ air on a walk with Coach Saban:
Fat Lane Kiffin is my new favorite version. pic.twitter.com/Fta2nQBrub
— Dustin James (@dustinjames) September 24, 2020