It was stunning to see how quickly University of Mississippi head football coach Hugh
Freeze ended up out the door. The team will go with interim head coach Matt Luke, who spent the last five seasons as co-offensive coordinator.
Unless Luke is able to go undefeated this season, it seems highly unlikely that he will get the head coaching job. The university will probably want to go in a direction that is as far as possible from anything Freeze related.
The fact that Luke has been a part of the university since his playing days as a walk-on offensive lineman is in his favor, however. He has ties with Freeze but has been around the program for years, and his family has strong ties to the university.
The NCAA investigation and punishment might have a major impact on which coaching candidates the Rebels can attract. There could be some big names out there, including former University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly or former Louisiana State University head coach Les Miles.
The Rebels could seek out a current SEC coach, such as Gus Malzahn, who is at Auburn University but could be on the hot seat this year. Texas A&M University head coach Kevin Sumlin and University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones both may be out of jobs, as well.
There are plenty of coaches at non-Power Five schools that would love a chance to coach at a university in a major conference. One of those coaches could be a perfect fit. But not every coach from a mid-major conference would be a smart hire.
One name being bandied about is current Florida Atlantic University head coach Lane Kiffin. Right after UM fired Freeze, Kiffin went on Twitter and followed several accounts associated with the Rebels, including the official page of the football team.
If there was ever a coach to make you believe in a Faustian deal, it is Lane Kiffin. It has been amazing to watch him fail his way up the coaching ranks. To be fair, some of his early work as an assistant coach wasn’t terrible, but his failures have been much more spectacular.
In the 2007 season, he was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and managed a 5-15 record until the team fired him just four games into the 2008 season. Amazingly, he left the Raiders job to land at the University of Tennessee, where he spent one season as head coach, amassing a 7-6 record and losing the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Kiffin jumped from the Volunteers to the University of Southern California, where he posted two winning seasons before the wheels came off. He went 28-15 overall at USC before the Trojans fired him at Los Angeles International Airport after a loss.
Somehow, Kiffin landed on his feet as the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama. He helped Alabama win a national championship over Clemson University, but the team dismissed him a week before the rematch after he complained to Sports Illustrated about everything from salary to early-morning meetings.
Kiffin had already the Florida Atlantic job by then, but it was another example of how ends up in the news for all the wrong reasons. Everywhere Kiffin goes, it ends in drama and controversy.
Kiffin could be a great coach one day, but unless he wins at FAU in a big way this year, he shouldn’t even be in consideration for the Rebels job. He could also be trolling UM by following the team on Twitter.
Either way, the Rebels should stay as a far away from Kiffin as they can at this point.