Lane Kiffin to Alabama?

Christian Petersen

This is a real headline.

A number of sources, including Bruce Feldman, are reporting Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is leaving to take the same position at Michigan.

You know what that means.

So, how do we feel about this?

I've been a longstanding proponent of moving on, and I think Butch Jones is allowing Tennessee fans to do that.  This has been a whole new era for Tennessee Football, closing the door on the Fulmer's leave/Kiffin's year/Dooley's tenure stretch that dragged this program to the depths of despair.  The page has turned, and even when Kiffin (and Dooley, eventually) has fallen on hard times I've found myself wishing we had something of our own to celebrate more than taking solace in the misery of others.  In any relationship, I believe you truly move on when you're just not impacted by what the other person does anymore, unless the other person is Charles Woodson.

Then again, when your girlfriend leaves you in the middle of the night you don't often get the chance to play her five years later on The Third Saturday in October.

The best revenge is living well, but there's no better living than beating Alabama.  And there's no more satisfying way to beat Alabama than to do so with Junior Visor over there on the sideline.

It's similar in some ways (but very different in others) to John Calipari's move from Memphis to Kentucky, which for Tennessee fans was pure hate consolidation.  And while Calipari can and has helped Kentucky win championships, I for one am glad he's there in part because I can't imagine a scenario where it's more satisfying to beat those guys.  Kentucky, like Alabama in football, is already our biggest rival.  Only something like this, something personal, could take it to another level.

And look, honestly what's Kiffin going to do at Alabama that Alabama isn't already doing right now?  Recruit another number one class?  Okay.

The Third Saturday in October is the SEC's most storied rivalry.  It doesn't need Kiffin to make it so; more than anything it needs us to hold up our end of the bargain the same way it needed Alabama to do so ten years ago.  If you throw Kiffin on this fire, it's going to go to a different place.  It will only be a better place for Tennessee if we beat them again.  But when that day comes?  I can think of few things more satisfying than beating Alabama and beating Lane Kiffin at the same time.

For now, it's just wish fulfillment.  But it's an awfully tempting wish.

UPDATE JANUARY 10: Wish fulfilled.  Lane Kiffin is the new offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama.

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