Monday night was supposed to be Lane Kiffin’s show.
He was supposed to be the offensive coordinator leading Alabama to back-to-back national championships. He’s helped the Tide to a 14-0 record up until this point but will not be taking Raymond James Stadium with the Tide on Monday against Clemson.
Kiffin was relieved of his play-calling duties on Jan. 2 following Alabama’s 24-7 Peach Bowl win against Washington.
“This wasn’t an easy decision and we appreciate the way Lane handled this in terms of doing what is best for our team,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said in a statement last week. “At the end of the day, both of us wanted to put our players in the best position to be successful. Obviously, we are in a unique situation here where we have our next offensive coordinator already on staff. We have full confidence that Sark will step in right away and make this a smooth transition.”
That responsibility now belongs to Steve Sarkisian, who spent this season as an offensive analyst for the Tide. He met with the media on Saturday for the first time and seemed excited for the opportunity.
As for Kiffin, what will he be doing for the game?
The newly hired FAU head coach told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that he will be watching the national championship game from Boca Raton, Fla., and offered his support for Sarkisian.
Lane Kiffin will watch game from Boca & predicts a Bama win. “Sark will do awesome. He's one of best game day callers in all of football"
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) January 9, 2017