Where might Kiffin land as head coach?
As speculation rages behind the scenes about which jobs will open up in the coming weeks, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin remains a divisive potential candidate.
There’s no doubt he has earned another opportunity based on his rehabilitation tour under Nick Saban, but some athletics directors will question whether he completely has his act together after the flameout at Southern California.
If Kiffin can assuage those concerns, he’ll get a job.
But what does Kiffin’s perfect landing spot look like?
With the help of several people in the coaching search industry, we took a stab at projecting where he might fit.
West Virginia: Shane Lyons, who took over as AD last year, came from Alabama, where he worked closely with the football program. Dana Holgorsen is perceived to be on the hot seat, and if he doesn’t work out you’d have to think Saban’s recommendation would carry a lot of weight.
Arizona: Rich Rodriguez was considered damaged goods when AD Greg Byrne hired him, so there’s a history of rolling the dice on big names. Rodriguez has been involved with several coaching searches over the last couple years, and industry perception has been that he’d like to get back to the East Coast.
North Carolina State: It still seems unlikely the Wolfpack will make a change, but Dave Doeren is 6-18 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and if things continue to go south, who knows?
Kentucky: Nobody is going to be a bigger rock star in Lexington than John Calipari, but Kiffin might give him a run for his money.
Houston: If Tom Herman left, the school undoubtedly would want to think big and bold given the recent success and financial resources that have been poured into the football program. Art Briles might be too toxic politically, but Kiffin would be splashy and continue the recruiting success Herman started.
San Diego State: Rocky Long is going stronger than ever, but he turns 67 in January and there have been retirement whispers. It’s unclear if the Aztecs would have the resources to lure Kiffin, as he already makes nearly twice Long’s current salary.
Fresno State: It’s a littleknown fact that Kiffin graduated from Fresno State in 1996 and started his coaching career there. Like the San Diego State job, it would allow him to move back to the West Coast where his children live.
Auburn: No way, right?
After going 35-21 as head coach of Tennessee and Southern California, Lane Kiffin has resurrected his career as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.