SEC expert Paul Finebaum has bold claim about Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin are connected in many ways. 

Saban, arguably the greatest head football coach of all time, gave Kiffin a shot in 2014 after the young head coach’s tenure at USC ended with him being “tarmacked” by the Trojans. Saban hired Kiffin to be his offensive coordinator at Alabama and things went so well that Kiffin was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which is given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

That stint at Alabama got Kiffin back into the head-coaching ranks – first at Florida Atlantic and then Ole Miss – but Kiffin has never been able to get rid of the shadow of Saban hanging over his shoulder. 

Case in point? A struggling Alabama team just kneecapped Kiffin’s Ole Miss squad, 24-10. It was a nice win for Alabama and impressive enough that noted SEC pontificator Paul Finebaum declared that the win brought Alabama “back” into the CFP spotlight.

Per Finebaum, it also highlighted the fact that Saban has Kiffin’s number – big time.

“Nick Saban was facing his favorite target in Lane Kiffin. That’s an automatic win,” Finebaum said on ESPN (h/t On3). “From now on we will say that, because Lane Kiffin will never beat Nick Saban if Saban coaches to be 100 years old.”

That’s a bold statement, but Finebaum does have history on his side in this argument.

Since Kiffin became head coach at Ole Miss in 2020, his squad is 0-4 against Alabama. Not only that but the Rebels have been outscored 159-103 in those games. If you go back and count Kiffin’s one-season stint with Tennessee, the 48-year-old head coach is 0-5 all-time against Saban.

Needless to say, Finebaum doesn’t see that changing and he may have a good point.

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