Did the new Auburn being Auburn factor in the old Kiffin being Kiffin?
Lane Kiffin has never lost an Iron Bowl. Seems like a good time to mention that fun fact since, barring an upset bigger than an Auburn victory come Saturday - or the most epic Troll Tide ever - he is expected to be the next head coach of the Tigers. And soon.
The only variable as of this writing appears to be the timing of a formal acceptance and official announcement. There is strong sentiment among some Auburn supporters to tell the world Friday, if possible, the day between the Egg Bowl and the Iron Bowl. And why not?
If the marriage becomes official that day, that secret won't keep. Even a Twitter savant like Kiffin can issue only so many creative non-denial denials, and besides, "Lane Train to the Plains" would dominate the college football conversation for the bulk of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Talk about an extended recruiting commercial for a program in dire need of an immediate talent infusion. To borrow from new AD John Cohen, the Tigers as the talk of college football as they ride into Tuscaloosa with a 5-6 record is the new Auburn being Auburn.
Although, if what I'm hearing from several SEC insiders is on target, Kiffin's potential successor in Oxford would create some buzz of his own - because Hugh Freeze could be on his way back to the Grove. Sounded crazy to me, too, when the first, second and third persons mentioned it, but one breadcrumb added some veracity to the whispers: Apparently a Liberty rep has quietly reached out to at least one potential head coaching prospect to gauge his interest should Freeze depart.
To ratchet up all this drama, there was a Twitter bonfire Wednesday evening suggesting that Kiffin is going to leave Auburn at the altar and that Freeze will slide into that spot as smoothly as he slides into inappropriate DMs. If this story takes that twisted turn, it will be news to some well-connected folks in the Auburn family - and it will be a disturbing commentary on the state of Auburn football.
Worlds are colliding, which is the SEC way, and an Iron Bowl without a true championship contender or two is getting lost in the shuffle. Auburn can change that narrative by sending Carnell Williams as interim head coach out on a high note, but a historic upset seems rather unlikely for a team about to walk into Bryant-Denny Stadium without a passing game. ...
Read more of Kevin's pre-Egg Bowl thoughts on Cadillac, Kiffin and an overshadowed Iron Bowl. Only in The Lede.