Lane Kiffin might have a new role: media editor.
Ole Miss' colorful coach, during his Wednesday appearance on the Southeastern Conference's weekly coaches' teleconference, implored reporters to “stop upsetting” Alabama coach Nick Saban.
While Kiffin's Rebels don't have a game this week, with an extremely early-season bye, they do visit Alabama Oct. 2.
Kiffin, like Mark Twain, bemoaned what he views as the media's premature rush to chronicle Alabama's demise after the top-ranked Tide barely outlasted Florida, 31-29, last Saturday in The Swamp.
“I wish media would stop upsetting Coach Saban by saying that this is a weak team and has weaknesses,” Kiffin said. “They went on the road against a top-10 team into 'The Swamp' with a (redshirt) freshman quarterback and won.
“Now all of a sudden people are saying they're not a good team and they've got weaknesses and can't stop people. That don't really help us a lot, being around there knowing how that place works. This is a great team.”
In fact, Kiffin said, he believes that Saban's continued top-flight recruiting and the proliferation of the transfer portal make the Tide an even stronger juggernaut.
Twice Kiffin referenced Alabama's ability to get Ohio State transfer-wideout Jameson Williams and former Tennessee Freshman All-SEC linebacker Henry To'oto'o.
“Now they get to cherrypick for any holes they might have,” Kiffin said. “Like the Ohio State wide receiver and the Tennessee linebacker.
“Not only do they get the top Draft picks (via recruiting), but now they get to go into free agency and get players. They get to set up one of the most talented teams ever, which is what we're getting ready to play.”
Kiffin said he's seen media repeatedly give Saban ammunition for Saban's fastidious approach to relentless improvement.
“I feel like the media has done that a hundred times: Alabama's over. The dynasty's over,” Kiffin said. “They lost too many players. They lost too many coaches. I think he does a phenomenal job in losses, which I've only been there for three and one was at the end of the year. So really I've only been there for two losses where we played again the next week and both were Ole Miss. He handles them really well. He doesn't start changing things because of one loss like media acts like. He kind of rallies the troops. I've seen it really help them .”
Kiffin's Rebels, with burgeoning Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Corral, have won their first three games by a combined 106 points and climbed to 13th in both national polls.