Local sports anchor Jon Sokoloff of WCBI-TV reported Monday night that Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin would be leaving for the same role at Auburn, ending his three-year run in Oxford. However, Kiffin, who is among the most active coaches on social media, emphatically refuted his claim, questioning Sokoloff’s sources while insisting the story was “news to [him].”
Kiffin could have ended the feud there, content to move on with his week preparing for Thursday night’s game against in-state rival Mississippi State (an annual matchup known colloquially as the “Egg Bowl”). But Kiffin, who has never been one to take the high road, couldn’t resist his inner troll, returning the favor by tweeting some “news” of his own.
All in all, it was a solid deflection tactic by Kiffin, expertly weaponizing a juicy rumor we don’t definitively know to be untrue. Even before college football devolved into the Wild West, ushering in a chaotic era of mass transfers, NIL deals and conference realignment (the latter phenomenon largely attributed to an influx of television rights money), Kiffin had a reputation for being a shameless opportunist, leveraging his positions at USC, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida Atlantic into better, more lucrative gigs elsewhere.
Of the current jobs available, Auburn is seen as the most appealing with Kiffin and Deion Sanders both emerging as rumored candidates to succeed Bryan Harsin, who was fired eight games into the season. Other openings of note include Wisconsin, Nebraska, Georgia Tech and Arizona State. Since peaking at seventh in the rankings, the Rebels have had a rough go of things, losing three of their last four, albeit to a trio of SEC heavyweights in LSU, Alabama and Arkansas.