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Avoiding Extra Pressure: Lane Kiffin Has Made Arkansas Game About His Comment

Nobody has been talking about Ole Miss' players this week ahead of Saturday's matchup which does have implications

Lane Kiffin probably didn't mention popcorn on purpose but he hasn't run from it, either.

It probably wasn't the original plan but it probably became the plan on the fly after he told folks to get their popcorn ready before kickoff against Alabama.

After the Crimson Tide kicked Ole Miss sideways, 42-21 (and it wasn't that close), he found a way to take the focus off how his players performed.

Oh, he also went for first downs on fourth downs, which has been criticized repeatedly in the media and some fans. That didn't make the difference because Alabama was going to win that game.

Instead, all of the attention has been about his decisions. That's not an ego boost but may be more a case of getting any pressure off his players.

In Oxford they have even created a promotion off the whole thing.

This week, Ole Miss has appeared relaxed. We have no idea about the Razorbacks.

Kiffin has had everyone criticizing him after the Rebels fell behind Alabama 42-7 before scoring a couple of touchdowns in the final nine minutes for the final margin.

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It would have been much more pointed questions to the players without it.

The Hogs, meanwhile, have had to talk repeatedly about getting kicked around and dominated by Georgia.

It is accurate to say it's one of those things. The focus has been on the players and how they didn't measure up to the Bulldogs. Honestly, everybody knew that going into last week's game.

But now the players have had to admit it for a week.

The hope is they build off that loss. Pittman has said he wasn't "going to make a mountain out of a molehill" getting too worked up with the players about mistakes.

We'll find out Saturday morning how well that works.

There could be a big New Year's Day trip for the winner, who will be in the driver's seat for a runner-up spot in the West and if they can keep it rolling could end up in the Sugar Bowl.

It's not the playoffs, but it is the next best thing.

Considering the way things have been for the Hogs for the last decade that would be a major leap forward, especially considering they have Alabama left on the schedule.