/On most weird weekend of most weird 2020, Saban-Kiffin matchup takes center stage

On most weird weekend of most weird 2020, Saban-Kiffin matchup takes center stage

* High school games were moved from Friday to Thursday due to Hurricane Delta, the 25th named hurricane in this extremely active hurricane season. Many games were also played in slop despite the hurricane. * Southern Miss’ homecoming game against Florida Atlantic Saturday was postponed due to COVID-19. The south Florida school wasn’t sure if it could field any teams. This is what you need to know: Southern Miss and FAU have changed their schedules six times this season. We are now in the second week. * Saturday’s Alabama/Ole Miss game at Oxford was moved to 6:30 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. due to better playing conditions. Let’s focus on the Alabama-Ole Miss match, which brings the second-ranked and, in my opinion, best college football team to Oxford. I laughed out loud when Nick Saban, Alabama’s coach, spoke about Saturday’s weather and whether the game would be played. Saban said, “We’re going make our best effort for Saturday…Nobody listens to anything I say anyway . I disagree. His players do, indeed. Saban’s teams played a lot of textbook football throughout the years. You can easily take any Alabama tape from the past few years and make an instructional video about how to block or tackle. It helps to have the best players, but it’s also because of Saban. You will notice a significant change in Alabama’s offensive football play if you look at the tapes over the past few years. They no longer line up in I-formations, pass the ball to the tailback, and then smash the heads of the opponents. They spread the field, often splitting five receivers, and they toss the ball around all over the place. Yes. And sometimes, they do still hand the ball to one or more future NFL tailbacks. You know who Saban turned to when making the switch to a more open offense. Lane Kiffin is that person. It was 2014. It was 2014. Doug Nussmeier had moved to Michigan from Alabama. Saban appointed Kiffin as his replacement and stated this about Kiffin: “He’s an outstanding offensive coach with great experience at both the college and NFL levels. “I have always been impressed by what I saw in his games called.” Kiffin transformed Alabama’s offense by spreading the field, throwing the ball slightly more and moving at a faster pace. Saban stated that Kiffin’s offense averaged 600 yards per game during his four first games at Bama. It is an interesting relationship. Kiffin was part three seasons of Alabama’s winning teams, losing only two SEC games to Ole Miss (and Hugh Freeze). Freeze’s high-tempo offense and spread-the field offense were a major reason Saban hired Kiffin to improve his offense. For the most part, Saban was very happy with Kiffin’s work at Alabama. There were times when the boss was not so happy. One of them was late for a game against Western Kentucky, September 2016. Bama was cruising, but Kiffin called something Saban didn’t like. While TV cameras were focused on Saban and Kiffin, Saban took off his headset. Saban replied, “There aren’t arguments.” These are known as “ass-chewings.” But there were many more. Kiffin was famously unable to catch the bus several times after playing. Saban doesn’t wait for anyone. The most famous was the fact that the two parted ways after Kiffin took the FAU job in 2016. However, Kiffin planned to continue coaching the Crimson Tide through playoffs. Saban stated, “No need for it.” However, it is clear that there is mutual respect between them. Saban stated this about Kiffin earlier this week during his weekly press conference: “Lane (at Ole Miss) has done an outstanding work.” They’re hard working and making lots of exciting plays. They pose a lot of issues… We have a tremendous amount of respect for Lane’s work here.” Kiffin has often credited Saban with making him a better coach. Saban’s comments about Saturday’s matchup are spot-on. He talks about the explosiveness and skill of Kiffin’s Ole Miss offense. The Rebels boast a number of offensive playmakers who can match Alabama’s speed and skill. Ole Miss is able to score on anyone and move the ball. Ole Miss is not as good on defense or in the offensive line. Alabama is home to more talented athletes than any other state, no matter how late they play or how wet it is. This much is true even in a completely different 2020 season.