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Zeek's Case for Lane Kiffin


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3 minutes ago, Zeek said:

The more I think about this hire and the potential candidates mentioned, it becomes clear to me that the best choice for Auburn and our immediate future is Lane Kiffin. Does he have his flaws and baggage? For sure and most coaches do; it's a matter of how well they perform on the field and if those issues impede their success. Kiffin has a lot of support and is believed to be the number one option by many of the BOT and Cohen as well. It's a simple matter of cost and doing our due diligence to evaluate other candidates thoroughly.

Let's take a look at Lane Kiffin's football career:

  • 1994-96 Quarterback at Fresno State
  • 1997-98 Assistant at Fresno State
  • 1999 GA at Colorado State
  • 2000 DQC at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 2001 TE Coach at USC
  • 2002-03 WR Coach at USC
  • 2004 Passing Game Coordinator & WR Coach at USC
  • 2005-06 OC/WR Coach at USC
  • 2007-08 HC of the Oakland Raiders
  • 2009 HC at Tennessee (7-6)
  • 2010-13 HC at USC (28-15)
  • 2014-16 OC/QB Coach at Alabama
  • 2017-2019 HC at Florida Atlantic (27-13)
  • 2020-present HC at Ole Miss (23-9)

We see a journey of a coaching career for sure but Auburn has never had a coach leave for a better job. It just doesn't happen and I don't believe Lane would leave Auburn for any other position. The money will be too good and the resources are just as good as anywhere else when we're winning. What Lane has managed at bout FAU and OM is impressive for two schools that were really struggling before he took them over.

Regarding recruiting, which might be the most important factor, Kiffin has been around the game long enough to know the process and he has seen it done at the highest levels first hand in the early 2000s at USC and later at Alabama. His work in the portal has made Ole Miss a bubble playoff team and a threat to win the division all while having a mediocre quarterback in Jaxon Dart. What's better? He has proven this year he can have a run-first offense even with two starting freshmen at both tackle spots. Speaking of running, Quinshon Judkins is someone that Harsin believed we didn't have room for... as a true freshman Judkins currently has 1k+ yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. He is a player I suspect might follow Kiffin were Auburn to land him; it would also be my hope that those young Offensive Tackles would follow as well.

Those that have read my thread about the current state of the roster know just how important this recruiting class and portal cycle will be for the future of the program. We undersigned last year and with the new portal rules we could legitimately add almost 40 new players to the roster before next season. Auburn could look like a totally new program in just one offseason.

It is my firm belief that the next hire has to be a name that every recruit in the southeast knows without having to look them up on Google. We can't hire another Idaho somebody that looks promising but no one actually knows. Instead lets pony up the cash and take the man who has historic cellar dweller Ole Miss (8-1) in the SEC West, drives Saban absolutely nuts, and has proven he can run an effective offense literally everywhere he has been. Pair him with a DC like Muschamp (if at all possible) or T-Will (who has been crushing it at UCF) and let's fly.

Lane Kiffin could be for Auburn what Lincoln Riley is for USC.

Super solid post. Lane plus an aligned administration (for a change) plus an effective NIL and a new $100 million FOF could make AU dangerous very quickly. 

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Hire Kiffin, and we're looking for a new HC in 3 years.

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"The Rebels' recruiting class of 2023 is among the smallest in the Power Five, with just five commits — two four-stars and three three-stars. It ranks No. 61 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 13 out of 14 SEC teams and eighth-worst among all Power Five programs. Only Arizona State and Auburn have fewer players committed."

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/college/ole-miss/2022/07/10/ole-miss-football-recruiting-rankings-summer-commits-trend-lane-kiffin/7810299001/
 

“I don’t think Lane cares enough about recruiting to want to have to fight the battle for the kid,” said a coach from South Mississippi. “He’d rather show up, be Ole Miss, and win it.”

“I just don’t think that’s (recruiting) Lane’s shtick,” said the same coach. “Some people think he’s a great recruiter, and I really don’t. I don’t think he gives a s*** about it, to be 100 percent honest. That’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if he left this year.”

https://atozsports.com/nashville/why-lane-kiffin-is-probably-leaving-ole-miss-after-this-season/

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I think Lane brings similar excitement and attention to Auburn football as Deion but with more experience and proven ability. I think Auburn and Kiffen would have to come to terms with one another and that may be tough. Lane would have to be more involved with recruiting than he has been and I think he can be, but we'd have to make this job very attractive for him and I'm not sure how far we'd go towards that. But I think bringing excitement back to Auburn is going to be a key part of making a hire and very few names instantly do that. Lane is the best of those I know of available. 

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Kiffin clearly has a good track record of building programs now. He can recruit really well too. And I like how he’s not afraid to throw a little shade. My only concern with him is some of his game time decisions, but that on-side kick against us shows me that he really pays attention, is engaged during the game and is very much in it to win it. I’m not sure he’s beaten Saban yet, but maybe he could at Auburn. 

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Deion is the only candidate that 99% of fans would be behind.  Kiffin 50/50...he's a flake and a weirdo...I'm sure the fraternity crew would love it.  After two bad coaches, they need to just give Deion the go...would be excited, and in no way can be worse than the last 2.  Minimal risk other than $$$

Imagine Deion, Bo, and Chuck all laughing it up around Auburn together. 

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3 minutes ago, Potatooooooes!! said:

He can recruit really well too.

I struggle to understand this view of Kiffin.  He is good at the portal, but not at recruiting.  The numbers don't back that up.  However, I will say that maybe the NIL stuff is changing how recruiting works and I'm open to the idea that maybe what defines recruiting is changing before our very eyes.  If so, maybe Lane is the better guy in the new model.

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18 minutes ago, kennypowers said:

Hire Kiffin, and we're looking for a new HC in 3 years.

Nah

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Imo you have to be honest with yourself as to what was being said as far as what stopped recruits from wanting to come here to really be able to intelligently speak on what can fix it. 

Also someone needs to question why didn't it work at USC. Everything was set up for your success and you couldn't do it.

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24 minutes ago, kennypowers said:

Hire Kiffin, and we're looking for a new HC in 3 years.

You say this because you think we fire him or he leaves to follow Saban at bama?

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I didn’t realize OM was that low in the recruiting rankings … @Zeekyou follow this stuff closer than most - what’s your take on that?

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1 minute ago, RunInRed said:

And yes, Judkins would have crawled to Auburn. 

Agreed. But what would we have done with him? He certainly wouldn't have beaten Tank out for the starting position. Could he have passed Hunter on the depth chart? Not too likely. Alston? They'd probably have been sharing the RB3 slot. Judkins got to a place that had a vacancy at RB and he's made the most of his opportunity. Auburn did not have a vacancy. At Auburn, I doubt that Judkins would have a total of 100 yards rushing at this point.

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Couple of points on Kiffen:

1. As USC OC, he got them into the NC game, lost to Mac Brown's/Vince Young's Texas team on a last play TD. He has a history of good to great O, no disputing that. 

2. He reminds me a LOT of Jackie Sherrill at MSU. For those of you not old enough to remember, Sherrill succeeded by scarfing up JUCO players and other program's retreads back when transferring was just something you didn't do unless something really bad happened - 0.0 GPAs, assaults, etc. Sherrill was also noted for his snark toward other coaches. 

Back then, JUCO/transfer wasn't sustainable and the ruins of the MSU program proved it, but for now it appears to be a workable solution. FOR NOW. What happens in a year or two when the NCAA decides the chaos is too much and then places restrictions on the portal? Will Kiffen be able to recruit? Will the talent management team Harsin put in place compensate for Kiffen's lack of passion for recruiting? Lot of unanswered with him, but there is with all the others too. 

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24 minutes ago, kennypowers said:

Hire Kiffin, and we're looking for a new HC in 3 years.

Perhaps, but I have to think that even if that is the case, we would be in a much better position than we are now. In fact, I could see an argument that we'd be better at the 3 year mark with Kiffin than we'd be with some other candidates, ALTHOUGH those other candidates may have higher ceilings. I think we'd have a rapid improvement out of the portal but could see a ceiling - either leveling off because of the sustainability of just portal with no recruiting HS or because he bails to go to Bama or A&M.

Note: I would be fine with Kiffin, but am not necessarily advocating for that (or, anyone really) as a hire.

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I have spoken to several different Alabama fans and they believe Kiffin is coach in waiting for Saban to retire in a couple of years.

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2 minutes ago, kennypowers said:

Deion is the only candidate that 99% of fans would be behind.  Kiffin 50/50...he's a flake and a weirdo...I'm sure the fraternity crew would love it.  After two bad coaches, they need to just give Deion the go...would be excited, and in no way can be worse than the last 2.  Minimal risk other than $$$

Imagine Deion, Bo, and Chuck all laughing it up around Auburn together. 

I like Deion but to say “no way he’s worse” is crazy. Dude had no P5 experience and is jumping from HBCU to the highest level of college football. It is not a large logical leap to see how he could fail horribly.

Again I don’t think he would but let’s not pretend he makes more sense than Lane.

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13 minutes ago, RunInRed said:

I didn’t realize OM was that low in the recruiting rankings … @Zeekyou follow this stuff closer than most - what’s your take on that?

Portal has been the priority there. Plus their NIL has been really weak and facilities kind of mediocre.

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41 minutes ago, kennypowers said:

Deion is the only candidate that 99% of fans would be behind.  Kiffin 50/50...he's a flake and a weirdo...I'm sure the fraternity crew would love it.  After two bad coaches, they need to just give Deion the go...would be excited, and in no way can be worse than the last 2.  Minimal risk other than $$$

Imagine Deion, Bo, and Chuck all laughing it up around Auburn together. 

Why does everyone think Deion is a “can’t miss” coach? 
He’s been a college coach FOR TWO WHOLE YEARS. He’s finishing up a third year. Oh yeah, the program is extremely small, a budget of about 2 million. 

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18 minutes ago, Zeek said:

Portal has been the priority there. Plus their NIL has been really weak and facilities kind of mediocre.

You bring up interesting points there.  He recruited well for USC and uat, I would assume both have nice facilities (NIL wasn't around...well, the legal kind).  I would love to see what he could do with top-notch facilities and NIL backing. 

I agree with others when it comes to concern with recruiting as his classes (especially at Ole Miss) have not been spectacular.  However, given the above (2) things being addressed it could turn things around where he pulls in Top 5 classes with the other SEC bigwigs.

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