Overall record: 66-39
- Tennessee Volunteers: 2009 (7-6)
- USC Trojans: 2010 to 2013 (28-15)
- Florida Atlantic Owls: 2017 to 2019 (26-13)
- Ole Miss Rebels: 2020 to present (5-5)
A thorn in every Tennessee football fan’s side, the most painful part about Lane Kiffin being somewhere else is the fact that he is a good coach. Kiffin never should have been fired by the USC Trojans. He inherited a mess of a program that was on probation and had its players raided. There just wasn’t enough depth to meet the expectations.
To be fair, Kiffin reaped what he sowed, as he left the Vols in serious trouble with the NCAA before going to USC and caused major attrition, which limited what Derek Dooley could do to rebuild the program. Anyway, Kiffin is older and smarter now, and his rejuvenation as the Alabama Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator under Nick Saban has clearly paid off.
Just like Josh Heupel, Kiffin was a champion at a Group of Five school in Florida. He won two Conference USA Championships in three years with the Florida Atlantic Owls. Then, last year, while Mike Leach generated all the hype, Kiffin generated all the offense and went 5-5.
Given the fact that Ole Miss played an SEC-only schedule, like all the schools in the league did, that record was incredibly impressive. His win over the No. 11 ranked Indiana Hoosiers in the Outback Bowl has Ole Miss as a borderline top 25 team this year. As a result, Kiffin has Ole Miss as a likely loss for UT despite him heading to Neyland. That’s impressive.