Lane Is Back In The SEC

The Lane Kiffin Era at Ole Miss is officially underway.

Jim Rome
December 10, 2019 - 12:34 pm
Lane Kiffin

USA Today

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The Lane Kiffin Era at Ole Miss is officially underway. And it is already better than expected. The moment that I heard that Kiffin was going back to the SEC, I was pumped. The SEC just got better and life just got better.

But the reality is even better than I imagined, starting with the footage of Lane landing at the airport in Oxford and being greeted by an estimated 1,000 fans. That was like a conquering hero had returned. He was shaking hands, saying hello, and holding babies as soon as he got off the plane. And being told to get a burner phone.

Hell yes! That is a guy that is settling in and comfortable in his new gig.

How comfortable? Check his answer to when he was asked about the welcome he received.

What an absolute legend! That is your GOAT coach right there. Take the pain of being fired on the tarmac at LAX and turn it into a killer line when you’re hired at Ole Miss.

And that is nearly as good as when he was reportedly asked if he planned to stay in Oxford for a while and he allegedly responded: "You didn't see how big my buyout was yet, did you?"

Or when he talked about his suit: "There's a lot of stories behind this outfit. I had some really good suits. Then I went to Alabama and I gained some weight, so those don't fit anymore. So this is isn't even my suit. This is actually Jimmy Sexton's suit. He's lost weight, so we're kind of even now."

Yes! My guy is back, baby!

And he’s back after winning two titles in three years at Florida Atlantic. And after coaching under Nick Saban at Alabama. And after having changed.

"I think I’ve matured a lot and understand it's not about me, but about getting the most out of the players, helping them grow and making it an experience we can all be proud of. We all want to win, and there are different ways to do that. I've been so fortunate to learn under two of the best in Nick Saban and Pete Carroll, both of whom have won championships but have much different styles. I've taken the parts of those styles that fit me and blended them together."

See that’s the thing, my biggest concern for Lane Kiffin in Oxford isn’t about fit, because he already looks and feels like he’s been coaching and hanging in The Grove for years.

And it’s not a question of whether or not he can coach. The guy knows offense and how to get the most out of it. He’s been on or led coaching staffs that have won five conference championships in six years with five different starting quarterbacks.

My biggest concern is that he’s matured a lot and that he’ll be too sedate and too mature. Because the Lane Kiffin that rolled into Knoxville ten years ago and had Coach O throwing overhead projectors against walls and dad Monte tearing off his shirt the night before facing Alabama, was awesome. I’m talking about the Lil Wayne Lane. The smoke weed talk bleep like Lane Kiffin Era.

And I don’t want to lose that guy. Its okay to grow and learn, but do not lose that edge, that fire, and that willingness to go toe to toe with the best.

And when I hear him dropping one-liners about the tarmac, I’ve got a good feeling. And when an estimated 4,000 fans are showing up to hear him speak yesterday, that feeling got better. Because part of the reason that Matt Luke was let go was due to fan apathy. And there was no sign of apathy yesterday.

Those 4,000 folks who gave Kiffin a 20-second standing ovation before he even spoke are not apathetic. And that made me feel even better about the hire.

And that feeling went through the roof when I heard this: "We didn't come here to be good. That’s not why we came here. We came here to be great.”

Bam! I love it. And I love the Lane Train is already picking up speed. Grant Tisdale, a true freshman quarterback, who was reportedly planning to transfer from Mississippi earlier in the season tweeted yesterday:

I’m back. #hottytoddy

I don’t take the show on the road very often, but October 3rd, 2020, Nick Saban and Alabama come to Oxford, Mississippi. Again, I don’t take the show on the road very often, but if there was ever a reason to go on the road, to go to the Grove, hang with the queen, and then go see Kiffin, it’s that.