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Lane Kiffin: Alabama's Success Boils Down to One Thing, Nick Saban

Former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator will return to Bryant-Denny Stadium when Ole Miss visits Saturday.

Even though it's been a while since Lane Kiffin has been on the same sideline as Nick Saban, he's still learning and borrowing from the Alabama head coach.

For example, the term "Rat poison."

"I just think it's really good, especially the way he explained it," Kiffin said Monday about teams getting distracted by their own success. "It's like drinking rat poison. That's pretty good."

When No. 12 Ole Miss visits No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, it'll be the first time Kiffin has been back to Bryant-Denny Stadium since he was the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator (2014-16).

Last year's game at Ole Miss turned into a shootout. Like Alabama at Florida two weeks ago, this will be the first time the Rebels play at a packed SEC venue on the road in two years. 

That means it'll also be the first time Kiffin's had to deal with it at Ole Miss, as this is his second season leading the Rebels. 

It's definitely something that has the attention of the offense. 

"This is going to be a great team to go against and it's going to be fun going against them," quarterback Matt Corral said. "I love when the crowd is crazy, having that energy. I love it. 

"That's college football."

But Saban vs. Kiffin will be the main attraction, especially since the former assistant was credited with revamping the Crimson Tide offense that has become as good as any in college football. 

Nevertheless, when Kiffin was asked what was primarily behind the success and staying power of Alabama football, he had a quick answer: "Nick Saban."

 “Alabama’s been around a long time. They haven’t won like this for a long time, or run big for a long time,” Kiffin continued. “It’s not like it’s just the school. It’s one person. He’s been able to maintain it through tons of different players, tons of different coaches, more coaching turnover than I bet anybody’s ever had.

“So it’s about the way that he works and probably more important than anything, the way he recruits. They got great players. Last year we played them here and they had six first-rounders. We had two draft picks [total]. He’s dominated in recruiting, and now with free agency, he gets to add onto that. He said it himself when first asked about free agency, it was going to make the rich richer, and he was right.”