The Alabama Crimson Tide fell short of claiming the national title after a wild loss to the Clemson Tigers. In leading up to kick-off, plenty was made about Alabama’s transition at offensive coordinator, with Lane Kiffin jettisoning the program in favor of the head coaching job at FAU.
Since that time, speculation (especially among the Alabama faithful) exists that the Tide would have won the championship if not for Kiffin’s exit and he addressed that as part of an interview with Clay Travis of FOX Sports.
“I don’t know that, there’s no way to know that. Sark was put into a very difficult position, whatever it was — a week, eight days, all of a sudden, you’re calling the game… If it would have been different and had I been there and we would have won, if that is the case, I don’t know that (that would have happened), it would have nothing to do with anything to do with Sark. It would have to do with the comfort, the players being comfortable of what they know (with him being on the sideline).”
Kiffin is, of course, referring to his old colleague and (brief) replacement offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and he is right to take the heat off in this way. It seems reasonable that Alabama’s personnel would have been much more comfortable with the system already in place and, even if Sarkisian did a good job under the circumstances, everyone can agree that it was sub-optimal.
Kiffin has never been one to shy away from controversial comments but, this time around, he probably toed the line quite well and Alabama fans won’t have either Kiffin or Sarkisian in the role when 2017 opens.