OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin held his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon, and, inevitably, questions arose about his name being associated with coaching vacancies around the country.
The latest smoke concerning Kiffin's name has been centered around the opening with the Auburn Tigers. Kiffin was asked on Monday if his players come to him and ask him about his future, and he gave a lengthy answer in response.
"They don't," Kiffin said. "I think they know how we operate, and they've been in this before. They don't even ask. I don't know what else to say. I'm extremely happy here. The difference in where this program is compared to three years ago, and we feel like we have really good support. I can get up here and give the 'Pine Box' speech and 'I'm not going to be the next head coach at Alabama.' I can give you those things. I don't know what those mean. Been here three years and have been fortunate enough to have three different contracts. I don't know why a fourth contract makes people feel better. Like I said, we're very appreciative of everything here."
The "Pine Box" and "Alabama" notes refer to Tommy Tuberville and Nick Saban, both of whom stated they would not be taking other jobs before leaving their schools for Auburn and Alabama, respectively. Tuberville gave his famous (or infamous) "Pine Box" comment, ironically, while he was employed at Ole Miss before taking the job with the Tigers.
So, in short, let the speculation continue. Kiffin has noted that he is happy with the Rebels, but he has yet to sign his new contract offer from the school or go fully on the record about his name being tied to the Auburn opening.
In the midst of this drama, Ole Miss also has a game to play this week. The Rebels play host to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the annual Egg Bowl on Thursday night with a 6 p.m. CT kickoff, and the game will be televised on ESPN.
You can follow John Macon on Twitter at @JMakeGillespie.
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