Nick Saban Looks Annoyed With Rumors As Lane Kiffin Doubles Down, Reveals Possible Mole At Alabama

Lane Kiffin Nick Saban Alabama Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele
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Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban have a very close relationship from their time together in Tuscaloosa, but they are on opposite ends of this weekend’s college football matchup. Alabama will host Ole Miss on Saturday in a game that will have huge implications in the SEC West, which will send ripples throughout the rest of the FBS.

It already is!

Ben Garrett of the Ole Miss Spirit reported on Sunday night that Kiffin and his staff are preparing for the Crimson Tide defense differently than they normally would. The Rebels, especially their head coach, are very familiar with Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

However, Ole Miss believes that Steele is not in charge of the defense.

Kiffin said that he and his staff believe that a switch was made after Alabama’s loss to Texas. They think that Saban gave the defensive play-calling duties to defensive backs coach Travarias Robinson.

Robinson served as South Carolina’s defensive coordinator from 2016 to 2020. The staff in Oxford noticed that Alabama’s defense looked more like a Robinson defense than a Steele defense during its near-loss to USF on Saturday.

Nick Saban refuted the claim.

Unprompted, Saban responded to his former offensive coordinator’s claims during a press conference on Monday. He looked exhausted and annoyed while reiterating that Steele is the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator and holds all of the duties that come with that title.

Lane Kiffin still disagrees.

Ole Miss’ head coach doubled down on his preparation revelation while speaking to the media shortly after Saban did the same.

I was asked the question, ‘What’s it like going against Steele’s defense?’ I wasn’t trying to start this big thing. We saw things on TV copy just where it was different. First off, of what the play looked like — the calls and stuff. And so we looked into that further. And then it ain’t no secret that people in these buildings know each other, so we obviously got some information that way, too.

— Lane Kiffin

Although Kiffin may not have been trying to “start this big thing,” he knew exactly what he was doing when he made his initial comments. It forced Saban to have to address the claims during his press conference, which visibly annoyed him, and it creates a lot of noise that Saban would prefer not to have floating around.

There is also one particular part of Kiffin’s comments that are worth noting.

And then it ain’t no secret that people in these buildings know each other, so we obviously got some information that way, too.

— Lane Kiffin

Hmmmmm………. is there a mole in Tuscaloosa?!

Even though what Kiffin said about coaches knowing each other and talking is not at all unordinary, it adds another layer. It fuels the outside chatter.

While Saban deals with a team that lost to Texas and almost lost to USF, Kiffin is forcing him to deal with questions about his defensive coordinator. And he has to figure out where the inside information that Kiffin claimed Ole Miss received from Alabama coaches is coming from.