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Lane Kiffin responds to ESPN's 'over the top' personal attack

Ole Miss' head coach was asked Wednesday about comments made by ESPN's Michael Wilbon on the 'Pardon the Interruption' program.

Lane Kiffin had no problem talking Nick Saban, Alabama's greatness, California quarterbacks – Kiffin, notably, is big fan – and Derrick Henry, among other topics Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference coaches' teleconference.

Likewise, Kiffin did not veil his message when asked about the personal attack he had received on national television Monday from ESPN's Michael Wilbon on the network's “Pardon the Interruption” afternoon program.

Kiffin made clear he did not know Wilbon, the veteran co-host of the long-running show, and indicated he also had never met Wilbon.

“Well, I think everybody has a right to whatever. You can't control what people do,” Kiffin said. “I worry more when the person's actually met you and knows you and says those things versus someone who's never met you and doesn't know you at all.

“To say those things is pretty over the top compared to what most professional media say. But he got attention. So I think that's the name of the game.”

Wilbon hammered Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Vols, Southern Cal Trojans and Florida Atlantic head coach who has surged his Ole Miss team to a No. 12 national ranking, when asked by co-host Tony Kornheiser about this weekend's Ole Miss game at top-ranked Alabama.

“There's nothing to be proud of if you're college football or any other sport for Lane Kiffin,” Wilbon emphasized. “Lane Kiffin's a clown. Lane Kiffin's been an embarrassment at multiple stops. Nobody's going to run out there and say I want Lane Kiffin right here on the logo representing me. The answer's Alabama, Tony.

“Once again, Lane Kiffin equals embarrassment at some point wherever he is. Al-a-bama.”

Kiffin responded to the Tweet that showed a clip of Wilbon's comments last night with his own Tweet in which Kiffin said he would pray for Wilbon and that life was too short to be so angry.

“I think everyone's entitled to say what they want, like I said,” Kiffin explained. “Usually professional media don't go that far, especially when you've never met them and they don't know you at all. It is what it is.

“It's not like the guy had earth-shattering news that Alabama's, you know, going to beat us. He should go to Vegas with that earth-shattering prediction.”

Alabama, led by Kiffin's former boss Nick Saban, has been installed as a 14.5-point favorite.