There are few more joyous sights in college football than that of former Bama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin getting in an argument (or should we say an ass-chewing) with his old boss, Nick Saban. It looks like this ...
... and the dichotomy of their relationship was one of the most interesting subplots to Alabama’s season. Now Kiffin’s at FAU, and Saban will find someone less interesting to yell at next season.
Standout former Bama player and NFL draft prospect Jonathan Allen admitted back in December that in practice, Tide players encouraged the blowups by disrupting the offense as much as they could with good defense.
"Coach Kiffin, he gets real competitive so he tries to scheme us a little bit, but feel like we do a good job," Allen said. "As a defense, you try to get Coach Saban mad at him and try to get him yelled at in practice."
Allen expounded on this in April, saying that in a way there was some motivation created.
“It was just during (drills),” Allen responded. “We would just try to blow it up and just destroy it and kill the offense and then you would know Kiffin’s just…gonna get it, after you just blow it up in the backfield. That’s probably the most fun we had at Alabama during practice this year, just watching Coach Saban lay into Kiffin.”
But the thing about the Saban-Kiffin tiffs is the fact that Kiffin pretty routinely gave it back to Bama’s head man. And Allen said as much too:
“Kiffin was the only guy I’ve ever seen respond to Coach Saban, but I mean at the end of the day, Coach Saban, it’s his world, so he’s gonna get the last word,” Allen concluded.
It’s funny to know that Bama players enjoyed the ass-chewings as much as we did. But Kiffin doesn’t seem to subscribe to Saban’s management style. He said this on the radio today:
"No, that's not really how I do it. Greg (McElroy) knows about those," Kiffin said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. "Those things come up, and everybody has different ways of dealing with them. It's just not really how I do it. I'm not really big on humiliating assistant coaches in front of everybody. I write down notes. In the staff meeting, I explain what we want to get done."
Call it shade. Call it a difference of opinion. But the Owls defense won’t be able to cause coaching staff fireworks like what was seen in Tuscaloosa.