An Auburn football fan either debunked the Lane Kiffin-to-AU rumor or put his name on an unsubstantiated piece of hearsay, but either way, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal’s James Murphy published the information told to him by Auburn family member Jerry Weems — essentially stating that Hugh Freeze was Plan A all along — ahead of the Tigers’ ugly 28-21 loss to Ole Miss on October 21; a pitfall that the final score does no justice to.
“The powers that be knew that it wasn’t going to be Lane Kiffin,” Weems told Murphy. “Two or three of the main people had already settled on Hugh Freeze and that’s who they wanted and that’s why he’s here now.”
Could that be the truth? Mike Farrell of Mike Farrell Sports had called the rumors hilarious — so perhaps there is validity to that line of thinking.
“Personally, I think this rumor is hilarious,” Farrell wrote in a November 19, 2022 piece. “Lane Kiffin built Ole Miss into an SEC West contending team in just a few years, and leaving now would make no sense. Unlike Ole Miss, Auburn is second fiddle when it comes to football in the state of Alabama, making recruiting harder than at Ole Miss, which is first fiddle in Mississippi.”
Auburn football was either in on Lane Kiffin or lied to players
Those in the Auburn football locker room were expecting to have Kiffin hired to be the head coach of the Tigers in 2023 and beyond, with one walk-on telling me that it was imminently set to be a done deal the night of the 2022 Egg Bowl.
Freeze was not the original plan, hence the pushback and near-non-hiring upon rumors of his arrival on the Plains. It may be for the better in the long run how things worked out, but in the aftermath of Freeze failing to win against his hometown team and former employer in Week 8, there’s no need to cling to the revisionist history that he was the preferred candidate over the man whose team beat his.