Where might Kif­fin land as head coach?

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - SCREEN CHECK - Dan Wolken @DanWolken USA TO­DAY Sports

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.

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