Paul Finebaum Does Complete 180 On Lane Kiffin Following Rebs Massive Win Over LSU

After a red-hot start to the season, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin was knocked back down to earth when his Rebs lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Considering all the circumstances, many thought this was Kiffin’s best chance to finally beat Saban and the Tide … But at the end of the day, a familiar tune was played and Kiffin was left to hear about it. 

One of his harshest critics was ESPN’s Paul Finebaum who basically said that Kiffin would never, ever beat Saban – and that’s just the way it’s always going to be.

Fast forward to now, on the heels of Ole Miss’ euphoric 55-49 upset win over Brian Kelly and the Playoff-hopeful LSU Tigers, Finebaum is back to give Kiffin his due credit. 

Appearing on “The Matt Barrie Show,” Finebaum expressed his happiness for Kiffin’s redemption. (Whether he was sarcastic or not is up for debate.)

“I’m happy for him. It’s easy to criticize him … Maybe he feels like he has to do something more than just go on the football field. But, against LSU, he was quiet all week. I think he was motivated by the criticism, and he delivered. He showed why he has the reputation he does.”

Finebaum was very complimentary of Kiffin’s well-documented coaching abilities, especially on offense. 

“When the stars are aligned, he shows out as one of the best coaches in the country. I’m really happy for him. I think the guy means well in spite of all the theatrics and the antics. He just tries to find an edge, and he finally found it last night.”

With the dramatic victory over LSU, Kiffin not only silenced his critics but also showcased his strength and resiliency as a coach.

Looking ahead, the SEC West seems to be as open as it’s been in a long time. Who’s to say the Rebels can’t get back in the race, despite having lost to Alabama already … Obviously this isn’t your typical Tide team this year, and they have a very tough game this week at Texas A&M.

Speaking of Ole Miss, Barrie said they “find themselves very much alive in a wide-open SEC West.”

Finebaum agreed as the drastic improvement on offense for Lane Kiffin’s group stunned him: “It was certainly one of the great reversal of fortunes we’ve ever seen,” he said.

“A week ago, that team could not have looked any more ineffective. Lane Kiffin dialed up everything correctly.”

Finebaum took his love-fest for Kiffin a step further, saying: “I have to say, this was his signature win at Ole Miss. One of the most significant wins he has had, really, in his career … And it just so happened, Matt, for it to come 10 years to the day that he was fired at USC. I mean, there’s some bizarre irony there.”

What are your thoughts on Kiffin?

Do you look at him as someone who will always win consistently – only to end up losing the big one?

Or do you think it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out and finally takes that “next level” as a coach?

 

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