When we learned that Lane Kiffin wasn’t leaving Ole Miss for Auburn, I had a thought that many probably shared.
Good for Ole Miss.
Good for Ole Miss that the guy who led the program to its best regular-season win total (10 in 2021) ever isn’t moving on for a bigger job after 3 seasons. There’s potential for Kiffin to be the best coach that Ole Miss has ever had, depending on how things come to an end. Considering the way things ended for Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss, it’s hard to give him that title, though the 2014-15 run led to arguably the program’s apex in the post-Archie Manning era.
So yes, good for Ole Miss that Kiffin is now a member of the $9 million club. Kiffin’s new contract even wiggled past the whole “contracts in Mississippi can only be a maximum of 4 years” thing by getting Ole Miss’ private foundation involved.
That’s all good for Ole Miss.
Not so good? Kiffin is entering Year 12 as an FBS head coach — 1 with Tennessee, 4 with USC, 3 with FAU, now 4 with Ole Miss — and his wins have aged worse than an avocado. The only time in which Kiffin beat a Power 5 team that went on to win 9 regular-season games was when he led USC to an upset of No. 4 Oregon in 2011.
And to be clear, it’s not like Kiffin has only had 5 or 6 opportunities. Here are each of his matchups against a Power 5 team that went on to win at least 9 games:
- 2009 at Florida: L 23-13
- 2009 vs. Alabama: L 12-10
- 2009 vs. Virginia Tech (Chick-fil-A Bowl): L 37-14
- 2010 at Stanford: L 37-35
- 2010 vs. Oregon: L 53-32
- 2011 vs. Stanford: L 56-48 (3OT)
- 2011 at Oregon: W 38-35
- 2012 at Stanford: L 21-14
- 2012 vs. Oregon: L 62-51
- 2012 at UCLA: L 38-28
- 2012 vs. Notre Dame: L 22-13
- 2013 at Arizona State: L 62-41
- 2017 at Wisconsin: L 31-14
- 2018 at Oklahoma: L 63-14
- 2019 at Ohio State: L 45-21
- 2020 vs. Alabama: L 63-48
- 2021 at Alabama: L 42-21
- 2021 vs. Baylor (Sugar Bowl): L 21-7
- 2022 at LSU: L 45-20
- 2022 vs. Alabama: L 30-24
That’s a 1-19 mark against Power 5 teams that went on to win at least 9 regular-season games (it’s still 1-15 even if you want to take away the 4 Alabama games for some weird reason).
For comparison’s sake, Billy Napier (vs. Utah) and Jimbo Fisher (vs. LSU) got 1 such victory amidst losing seasons this past year. Even Shane Beamer (Tennessee and Clemson) and Josh Heupel (LSU, Alabama, Clemson) both got multiple wins against Power 5 teams that won …….