Skip to main content

Was Lane Kiffin a Serious Candidate For Possible FSU Vacancy?

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Ole Miss Rebels' coach Lane Kiffin was a "prime candidate" to take over for the Florida State Seminoles if Mike Norvell replaced Nick Saban.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

OXFORD, Miss. -- Nick Saban's retirement shocked the college football world and immediately started the speculation on who would be tasked with replacing the greatest coach of all time.

While Lane Kiffin's name was thrown around, the Ole Miss Rebels' coach was not considered the No. 1 option to replace Saban out the gate, leaving many to believe his future at Ole Miss was safe. Coaches such as Washington's Kalen Deboer and Florida State's Mike Norvell were reportedly the No. 1 targets for Alabama, per ESPN, but Kiffin was supposedly going to be the first guy on the Seminole's list if they lost Norvell.

Lane Kiffin 3

On Wednesday, ESPN released the details on how Alabama went about replacing Saban this offseason, and explained that Kiffin would have been one of the Seminole's top candidates had they lost Norvell to the Tide.

"In fact, in the wee hours of that Friday morning, the fear among Florida State officials was that Norvell was close to trading his FSU garnet for Alabama crimson," ESPN wrote. "Sources told ESPN that Florida State was poised to move quickly if that happened and that Kiffin would be a prime candidate to replace Norvell."

Fortunately, Deboer was hired to take over for Saban, but would Kiffin have been interested in the potential vacancy in Tallahassee? 

Kiffin already recruited the meat of his 2024 transfer portal class by the time Saban called it curtains, but Norvell has turned Florida State into a prime portal destination, similarly to what Kiffin has done at Ole Miss. This would make Kiffin's potential transition to the Seminoles rather easy, as he also understands recruitment in the modern era of college football.