Mississippi State fans might've hoped that Lane Kiffin would leave Ole Miss in the offseason, but it looks like he will stay with the Rebels for a while.
On Saturday evening after the SEC Championship game, Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter announced that Kiffin would be receiving a hefty contract extension. Although the length of the extension is unknown at this time, he will be earning $7.5 million per year-- much more than his previous salary of roughly $4.9 million per year.
"We are committed to winning championships at Ole Miss, and Coach Kiffin is the person to lead us to those heights," Carter said. "With his winning edge, offensive vision and recruiting prowess, he has quickly cemented our team among the best in the nation, and this is just the start. With major facility projects on the horizon, we are investing in this program like never before and look forward to building on the foundation that Coach Kiffin has established."
It's no surprise that the announcement came after Alabama defeated Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship game. Georgia has been a lock in the college football playoff nearly all season, but with the victory, the Crimson Tide all but sealed their fate as well. This means that Ole Miss will be heading to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans-- a feat that every SEC team wishes to accomplish. The last team the Rebels reached the Sugar Bowl was in 2016, and they defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 48-20 under the leadership of former head coach Hugh Freeze.
Although his 2020 season was mostly successful, Kiffin proved why he deserved a contract extension this year. His Rebels finished the regular season 10-2-- including 7-0 at home-- and ranked No. 8 in the CFP rankings. The 10-win regular season was the first in program history. Statistically, they average 506.7 yards per game, which ranks first in the SEC and fifth in the nation. Heisman-contender quarterback Matt Corral has developed into one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country under Kiffin's guidance, and the team boasts a handful of future NFL Draft picks.
As it stands now, the friendly banter and overall competitiveness between Kiffin and Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach should continue for at least a few more years. No matter how each team does, there's no denying it: the state of Mississippi is home to two of the best coaches in college football.