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      Smack Zone — Nick Saban

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      The Life and Times of Lane Kiffin

      Well, here we go again! Lane Kiffin just can’t stay out of the news. He had a pretty solid and drama-free year last season at Alabama. He probably thought to himself “I need to fix this.” But ... Along came the Internet on Thursday. Rumors swirled yesterday that Kiffin was fooling around with Nick Saban’s daughter, or the wife of a prominent Bama booster, and was about to be fired or resign. These are all rumors that haven’t been proven. And they came in the wake of a silly loss against Ole Miss. And Kiffin just seems to attract controversy wherever he goes. It's like some kind of freaky law of football nature. Got Lane? Got trouble. This just brought to mind some of Kiffin’s worst moments as a football coach. Namely, the end of the chapters at Oakland, Tennessee and Southern Cal:

      1. His time as the Oakland Raiders head coach lasted just one season-plus. Oakland went 4-12 his first year, and Al Davis wanted to fire Kiffin on the spot. Things got ugly after that. He was fired four weeks into his second season and had a final record of 5-15. There was a war of words in the media between Davis and Kiffin. Davis referred to Kiffin as a “flat-out liar” who “brought disgrace to the organization.” *mic drop*
      1. The University of Tennessee head coach ... who can forget his one year in Knoxville? He had a couple of shining moments during his year. He called out Urban Meyer for a potential recruiting violation, but while Meyer did nothing wrong, Kiffin actually made a mistake by naming the recruit by name, which is illegal. He also said that if Alshon Jeffrey went to South Carolina, he would “end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.” Whoops! I guess Jeffrey, the NFL, the Chicago Bears and millions of fantasy players disagree with that. Oh, and he bolted to USC after one year, which caused Vols students to riot and set small fires on campus. Stay classy, Lane!
      1. Head coach at USC --  We guess Lane learned a couple lessons, because his time at USC was fairly quiet even for him, and the longest tenured job he had. USC was entangled in the whole Reggie Bush scandal when Kiffin took over, so the team wasn’t bowl eligible in any of his years there. In 2011, his second season, the Trojans went 10-2, but it was all downhill after that. In 2012, Kiffin became the first coach to take the preseason No. 1 team to unranked at the end of the season. We're no experts, but that’s not very good. The next year, after a blowout loss to Arizona State, Kiffin was fired at the airport after the game. USC couldn’t wait to fire this guy!
      The life and times of Lane Kiffin. Never a dull moment. He even got the harshest Tosh.0 treatment we can remember for an SEC offensive coordinator. This video is bleeped, for the most part, but it is NOT SAFE FOR WORK because there are other, un-bleeped words that generally are uttered by Lane Kiffin's employers after a month or two. But first, Daniel Tosh's official statement on the ongoing controversy, courtesy of the miracle of Twitter: Without further ado, the Tosh.0 Lane Kiffin epic (again NSFW, people!): [youtube]

      5 Things: Bye-bye Bama? Sooner ... or later? Oh, no, Romo

      [caption id="attachment_1030" align="aligncenter" width="474"]Sooners Football After a big victory against Tulsa, Oklahoma is 3-0 and rolling, and just might be poised to bounce back from last year's fourth-place finish in the Big 12. Illustration: Steve Hill.[/caption] It's just one loss. These days in college football, one loss does not a season end. Yet, dropping one at home against Ole Miss Saturday was troubling if you're an Alabama fan. Not since 1988 had the Rebels defeated the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa -- and this was only their second victory there ever. Also, this: Never before had 'Bama lost to Ole Miss in consecutive seasons. So, where does this leave Nick Saban's men in their quest for a national title? For now, it leaves Alabama ranked 12th in the Associated Press poll, which means virtually nothing but is the best gauge we have for the time being. Three games in, Alabama finds itself looking up at Ohio State, Michigan State, TCU, Notre Dame, LSU, Baylor, Georgia, UCLA, Clemson and FSU. And of course, Ole Miss. Now, there are future losses to be found among those 11 teams. Bama can take care of LSU and Georgia itself. Baylor and TCU play in November, as do Ohio State and Michigan. Bottom line: As embarrassing as it was to drop one at home against Ole Miss, it would be a HUGE mistake to go to sleep on Saban's team the rest of the way. Would anyone really be shocked to see them right there in the Final Four at the end of the year? Nope. Not a bit. Oh, no! Romo! Who would you rather be in the NFC East this morning? The 0-2 Giants and Eagles, scuffling, but with relatively few injury issues? Or the 2-0 Cowboys, facing the prospect of moving ahead without quarterback Tony Romo (broken collarbone, out 8-10 weeks) and receiver Dez Bryant (broken foot, out indefinitely)? Oh, and before you answer, keep in mind that Dallas backup quarterback Brandon Weeden will be relying on banged up tight end Jason Witten (sprained ankles, sprained knee). OK, considering how hapless the Giants and Eagles have looked so far, you'd take the 2-0 and take your chances with Weeden and a Cowboys run defense that held former teammate DeMarco Murray to two years on 13 carries Sunday. Still, this division suddenly is wide open, and even Washington -- which is the only other team with a victory so far -- might be right in the thick of it. Brace Your Knee CCThe Yankees are still here It looks like the Blue Jays might have the AL East well in hand. It has done since the trade deadline, actually. They made by far the best moves in the division, and they made the Yankees look old, slow and old. Also, old. A 2.5-game lead is not a lock, though. There's still plenty of baseball to play. The Yankees might bear watching, after all. This is especially true if the AL Wildcard leaders can get the kind of pitching performances from former ace C.C. Sabathia that they got Sunday against the Mets. Sabathia has allowed one earned run against the Mets and Rays in 12.2 innings in his last two starts. That doesn't mean the big man is back, necessarily, but it might mean that New York could be poised to make one, last push at the Jays before settling for the one-game wildcard playoff. Sabathia reportedly has a new knee brace to thank for his recent success. Since returning three starts ago with his new brace, his ERA is 1.04. The Sooners are back, baby ... maybe Oklahoma was a non-factor in last year's first college football playoff season, which had to stick in the Sooners' collective craw. After thumping Tulsa this past weekend, 52-38, Coach Bob Stoops' crew appears to be ready to bounce back from last year's 8-5 disappointment -- which ended with an embarrassing 40-6 loss to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Last year's fourth-place finish was Stoops' lowest in the conference since taking over the program in 1999. A 3-0 start with victories against Akron, No. 24 Tennessee and Tulsa might not seem like something to get wild about, and yes -- the Sooners started last year 4-0 before stumbling. But with no ranked opponents on the schedule until Baylor on Nov. 14, Oklahoma has plenty of time to build confidence behind quarterback Baker Mayfield -- who set a school record with 572 total yards Saturday in his third start for the Sooners. Jameis Winston ... Hall of Famer? From first-round bust to Hall of Famer in one week. That's the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston so far. Witness this quote from Tampa Bay receiver Louis Murphy after Winston's solid performance in Sunday's victory at New Orleans: "He's going to have a great career," Murphy told Fox Sports. "He'll do great things, set records, and I believe he's going to be a Hall of Fame player. You can't put the carriage before the horse. He'll be fine." We'll just let that quote dangle out there for now.