Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron's pick for Nick Saban's successor as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide following his January 10 retirement, Ole Miss's Lane Kiffin, would make Auburn football fans hate the Tide even more than they already do.
“I think it has to become someone involved with the university, involved with (Saban’s) process and seen throughout the years the amount of work it took to get it to the point to where he left it now," McCarron prefaced on January 11 before saying, “For me it is Lane Kiffin. I think it needs to be an offensive guy. Lane has been in the SEC for a while. He knows the type of athletes that it takes to win in the SEC.
“Lane’s done that for years in the SEC. He’s recruiting well at Ole Miss, which is a hard place to recruit and, especially in the SEC West against LSU and Alabama each year. Lane is the only coach in college football that is a head coach of another university that is allowed to tweet about another university that is in the same conference, the same division as him over the years. Hell, he tweets ‘Roll Tide’ more than he does ‘Come to the Sip.’"
All those trolling tweets from Kiffin about rat poison and Saban being the G.O.A.T. could've been to set up this very moment. In fact, provoking the Auburn family in the fashion he has may have been part of the plot.
Lane Kiffin obsessed with Auburn football after staying at Ole Miss
Perhaps capitalizing on the attention Auburn Twitter gives to either Plains heroes or public enemies, Kiffin has not let the Kiffin-AU rumors die after staying in the 'Sip; despite Tigers players being under the impression a Lane hiring was expected the day before the 2022 Iron Bowl.
In particular, he's repeatedly taken aim at Starkville-based reporter Jon Sokoloff for falsely (or was it at the time?) reporting that Kiffin was Auburn football-bound following the 2022 Egg Bowl. He seems more bothered by that than he ever did anything Mississippi State related.
Tuscaloosa is where Kiffin saw his most success in his coaching career. Saban is the ghost he always chased but could never debase -- and is now in a position to replace.
Kiffin getting the job instead would somehow add more hate to the Iron Bowl rivalry.