Coach Kiffin takes trip down memory lane at National Championship game
Alabama took care of Ohio State in the College Football Championship game, but another team was represented at Hard Rock Stadium – Ole Miss.
Rebel head coach Lane Kiffin was in attendance at the game where the Crimson Tide won its 18th national title by drubbing OSU, 52-24.
In the suite (from left to right) are: New England Patriots linebacker Anfernee Jennings, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Tony Brown, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney, Detroit Lions linebacker Reggie Ragland, Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr., Miami Dolphins tackle Raekwon Davis, and Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III.
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) January 12, 2021
In contrast with the Buckeyes, Ole Miss scored 48 points against Alabama in October. This was the most scored against Alabama all year.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) January 12, 2021
Kiffin occupied the luxury suite as he watched some of his former players from Tuscaloosa reach college football’s summit. He served as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks’ coach from 2014-16.
Jennings played at Alabama from 2015-19. Brown played at Alabama from 2014-17. Jones played at Alabama from 2008-10. Diggs played at Alabama from 2016-19. McKinney played at Alabama from 2017-19. Ragland played at Alabama from 2012-15. Smith played at Alabama from 2017-18. Davis played at Alabama from 2016-19, and Ruggs played at Alabama from 2017-19.
The Miami area is not foreign to Kiffin. Prior to coming to Ole Miss, he was the head coach at Florida Atlantic from 2017-19. FAU is located in nearby Boca Raton.
During his time at Alabama, Kiffin developed such quarterbacks as Blake Sims, Jake Coker and true freshman Jalen Hurts who became a freshman All-American and led the Tide to the SEC championship and a berth in the national championship game.
He also mentored Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry in Tuscaloosa.
This Crimson Tide squad featured a few players who had been at Bama with Kiffin. But perhaps the next time Kiffin appears at a national championship game, it might be with a team of Ole Miss Rebels.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.