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Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin Were Never A Long-Term Marriage

Lane Kiffin's reported move to Auburn might be a questionable one, but it was only a matter of time before he left.

The Ole Miss Rebels reportedly will lose arguably the best coach their program has seen since Johnny Vaught following the conclusion of the Egg Bowl vs. Mississippi State. 

Yes, Lane Kiffin is apparently heading to The Plains to become the next head coach of the Auburn Tigers, succeeding Bryan Harisn who was fired earlier this season.  

Should Kiffin defeat Mississippi State in Oxford in the Egg Bowl on Thursday, he will finish his career at Ole Miss with a 24-10 record, three-straight bowl appearances, including a Sugar Bowl. 

Not to mention, one of the best starts to a season in the history of the Ole Miss program this season at 7-0.

However, if you're an Ole Miss fan, those three seasons of success wouldn't make this any easier. 

In fact, it would likely make you downright angry. 

This would be the second time a star head football coach has left Oxford for Auburn, following Tommy Tuberville, who left for the Plains after the 1998 season. 

With that said, Lane Kiffin leaving Oxford sooner rather than later always seemed as though it could be the inevitable outcome. 

Rebel fans might not like to hear it, and most will probably disagree with it, but Ole Miss is not a destination job. 

It is a great job. It is a desirable job. But it is also a job that, if it is performed to its highest level of success, is still merely a stepping stone for a blue-blood job.

Is Auburn the destination Kiffin thought he'd be gifted after accepting the Ole Miss Job three seasons ago? Likely not. 

Surely he believed something like Miami, Florida, LSU or something even potentially bigger could come about.

But that opportunity had not come yet.

Instead, he was left with the decision to leave a program he already has on the upswing, for a program that has been proven to have national championship caliber potential with more than one administration. 

And yes, that means in a sense that Lane Kiffin used Ole Miss to further his career. 

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But it also means that Ole Miss helped Lane Kiffin revive his career. 

Both of those things can and are in fact true.

Before Kiffin came to Oxford, he was not a desirable leader of a program. 

He was attempting to rebuild his career after being left on the tarmac by USC, and then attending the 'Nick Saban School for Coaching Rehabilitation'.

Florida Atlantic was the beginning of the journey. Ole Miss now seems like simply the next stop on it. 

And that's ok. 

If Kiffin does leave, Ole Miss can find a replacement. Would it be as exciting or as fun to watch as Kiffin? Probably not.

He is, after all, one of a kind. 

But that doesn't mean that they can't find someone who can take what Kiffin has already built, and take it to the next level. 

Who are those names that could replace him you might ask? That will all come in time. 

But for now, it is best to just accept what happens, and thank Kiffin for transforming Ole Miss from a radioactive dumpster, back into a respectable SEC West program. 

You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan

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