When the announcement of Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss became official over the weekend, all the jokesters made their jokes. "Failing upwards!" "Fake it 'til you make it!" they cried, a clear shot a Kiffin's ability to get big job after big job despite not producing any results. As one of the many conductors of the Lane Train, which is currently operating at breakneck speeds, I'm here to tell you that all of that is flat-out not true.
If we pretend his 20-game stint with the Oakland Raiders never happened (it might as well not have), Kiffin is 61-34 as a head football coach. His lone year at Tennessee was one of the most electric 7-6 seasons ever, and his time at USC, while it ended poorly, wasn't nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. He then put in his time at Alabama under Nick Saban and took over a Florida Atlantic program that had won a combined 28 games between 2009 and 2016. From 2017 to 2019, Kiffin went 26-13, including a pair of double-digit win seasons and two Conference USA titles. Pretty good!
Now, Kiffin is back where he belongs, the SEC, at a program that desperately needed a jolt of life in Ole Miss. Kiffin is that jolt of life, as evidenced by the welcome party that greeted him when he landed in Oxford on Sunday night. Kiffin was literally shaking hands and kissing babies, and cameras were on hand to capture all the action. One moment in particular stood out, and it's perhaps the most SEC moment in SEC history. Watch as this dad, who is our college football star of the week, hands Kiffin his baby, tells him "we're glad you're here," and then adds, "getchu a burner phone":
Folks, this what what they mean when they say it "just means more." Fans of other conferences whine over that SEC slogan, but in what other conference would you see a fan of a team hold his child's birthday party at the airport where the new coach his landing? Yes, that's what this dad did, at least according to SportsTalk Mississippi's Brian Scott Rippee:
Incredible. This dude is everything that's right (and wrong) with college football. Ole Miss is his religion, and Lane Kiffin just became his pope. The "burner phone" advice is of course in reference to former head coach Hugh Freeze, who was dismissed from the university for a number of reasons, none funnier than his "misdial" of an escort service from his cell phone. Whoops!
Knowing Lane, anything is possible. He could be at Ole Miss for life and he could also wear out his welcome by year three. Whatever happens it's going to be must-see television, particularly the yearly meeting with Saban. Hotty freakin' Toddy baby.
Don't ask questions. Just enjoy:
With each passing week, I tried to be a little different with "college football star of the week." The very first award was given to Joe Burrow for his performance against Texas, and while I attempted to play the "villain" card, it was really because of his play on the field. After Burrow, I went more with the fun route, giving the award to a fan in the stands, or an announcer who made a '69' joke. I even gave it to a plant for god sake. It became an award reserved more for unique, funny social media moments than individual performances.
But sometimes you have to just tip your cap. Burrow is incredible, and his SEC championship performance on Saturday may have been his finest hour. This play in particular was jaw-dropping:
Georgia was dead well before this play, but this one obviously put the Dawgs out of their misery. Georgia's offense and defense had its chances on Saturday, but as Burrow and the Tigers proved, you have to be perfect to beat them right now. You can't drop passes, you can't miss field goals and when you get a chance to sack Burrow, you better sack him. He's special, so special that two more impressive games in the College Football Playoff might get him in first-overall pick territory. First up is the Heisman Trophy, which he's basically guaranteed to win this Saturday.
After finishing off a 12-1 season with an AAC Conference Championship victory over Cincinnati, the now-former Memphis head coach was named Florida State's new head coach. As we've come to find out in the social media age, anytime an unknown player or coach becomes a national story, people start digging into their past. Don't worry 'Noles fans, Norvell doesn't have a checkered past. Well, that depends on how you feel about white dudes who sport corn rows:
Yep, that's Norvell during his playing days at Central Arkansas, where he set the school's all-time reception record with 213 all while looking like James Franco in "Spring Breakers":
On repeat forever:
Gus was in rare form Saturday night, as is often the case when he actually gets an exciting game to call. He REALLY loves J.K. Dobbins, by the way:
He even gave him his signed game notes afterward:
This is a Jim Nantz-ian move. Nantz gives his favorite players his tie, Gus gives a bunch of scribbled notes. Incredible.