Nebraska Football: Rumored Lane Kiffin move ramps up pressure on Trev Alberts

Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin walks off the field (Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)
Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin walks off the field (Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) /

Was there ever really a chance that Lane Kiffin was coming to the Nebraska football program? That’s a question that is now going to go unanswered. For those who thought there was no chance that the Ole Miss coach would ever leave his current school, that’s been proved false, but he’s not coming to Lincoln.

Instead of being named the splash hire that Nebraska football so desperately needed, he’ll reportedly be heading off to the dysfunctional SEC also-ran that is Auburn. That is if the claim by Mississippi reporter Jon Sokoloff on Twitter can be believed. If true, he’ll be taking the Tigers’ job on Friday. That of course would be one day after Ole Miss and Mississippi State play their annual rivalry in the Egg Bowl.

Assuming the report is true, it would officially be the first big move in a coaching carousel season full of rumors but very little actual movement. It seems possible that Kiffin taking the Auburn job, which opened up after Scott Frost was fired by Nebraska football, would start a bit of a chain reaction among the other schools that are looking for new coaches. It would also put some added pressure on Huskers AD Trev Alberts.

Since Frost was fired, one rumor after another has spilled out about who the second-year athletic director is set to hire as his replacement. Those rumors sometimes touted a big hire like Deion Sanders or Lane Kiffin.

Other times, they claimed that Matt Rhule was in Lincoln and a deal was imminent. And at other times, there have been rumors that the Husker hire would be quite underwhelming.

That’s why Lane Kiffin going to Auburn would put quite a bit of pressure on Alberts to get this one right. It was one thing to laugh off Kiffin coming to Lincoln when it seemed like he wasn’t going anywhere. It’s another if he’s going to a program that would seem like a step down from Ole Miss and has quite the record of upheaval.

That’s not to say that the Nebraska football program is better than Auburn, but it does mean that Alberts needs to hire someone who will make the same kind of splash. The problem is that it’s hard to know if that kind of splash hire is out there.

Recent days has seen lots of talk of middling prospects like Army’s Jeff Monken or former BYU and Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Those names aren’t going to get Husker fans revved up. While Alberts has said he doesn’t care about winning the press conference, it’s actually important that he does.

“Winning the press conference” means impressing people who will be talking about the hire. It means impressing badly needed recruits to help turn Nebraska football around. It means getting momentum as the program heads toward signing day and the offseason.

If Lane Kiffin is going to be announced for Auburn at the end of this week, the pressure is officially on for Trev Alberts and Nebraska football.