The Ole Miss football team has steadily improved ever since Lane Kiffin was hired to coach the Rebels back in December of 2019.
In his first season at Ole Miss, Kiffin secured a 5-5 record, and the Rebels won their first bowl game since 2015. The next year, Kiffin coached the Rebels to 10 regular-season wins, a feat that had never been accomplished in program history, and took the Rebels to the Sugar Bowl while he was at it.
Jaden Rashada and Lane Kiffin
On top of his success record-wise, Kiffin has also proven that he can develop his players. Before Kiffin was at the helm in Oxford, Miss., Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was not considered a Heisman Trophy candidate and was not getting attention regarding the NFL Draft.
In 2021, however, Corral was in the running for the Heisman Trophy, which brought the quarterback into the sights of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers drafted Corral in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft after the Ventura, Calif., native excelled in Kiffin's offense for two years.
CBS recently recognized Kiffin's immediate success at Ole Miss and ranked him as the No. 18 college football coach in the nation going into the 2022 season.
18 Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin: Ladies and gentlemen, Lane has done it. He has cracked the top 25. After spending last season at No. 30 following a 5-5 debut with the Rebels, he doubled his win total to 10 in 2021 and reached the Sugar Bowl. Take that success and combine it with Kiffin's consistent ability to provide quotes and content, and of course he's going to be loved by a group of sportswriters and sports talkers. 2021 rank: 30 (+12)
Out of the 25 coaches listed, seven coach teams in the Southeastern Conference.
Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Sam Pittman was ranked No. 22, followed by Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops at No. 16. It might be his first season coaching in the SEC, but LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly is still viewed as a top 10 college football coach and was ranked No. 7.
Three SEC coaches are listed in the top five: Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher is ranked No. 5, followed by reigning national champion Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs at No. 2. And, of course, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is the No. 1 college football coach going into the 2022 season.
Having both Saban and Fisher ranked as top five coaches in college football gives their matchup on Oct. 8 even more excitement. Saban recently called out Fisher on his recruiting techniques and the NIL, and Fisher responded by telling reporters to "dig into [Saban's] past" when it comes to recruiting.
With seven coaches ranked in the top 25 and the Saban/Jimbo feud in full swing, the SEC is set to be must-watch TV in the fall.
Lane Kiffin and Matt Corral
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