Paul Finebaum thinks Nick Saban could have handled Lane Kiffin’s departure from Alabama much differently.
In a fascinating interview on ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Wednesday, the noted analyst spoke about how the Crimson Tide coach parted with Kiffin after the Peach Bowl in January. Finebaum isn’t a fan of how Saban managed the separation with the former Alabama offensive coordinator.
Here are Finebaum’s comments to host Bob Ley:
“He blew the situation with Lane Kiffin. Lane Kiffin should have either been gone a long time ago or he should have been allowed to stay for the national championship game. Saban gambled. He let his ego get to him, saying ‘I can win the national championship seven days after I fired my offensive coordinator,’ who by the way already quit. And it blew up in his face.”
Those are strong words. Still, the case can be made that Finebaum is right.
Kiffin’s absence from the national championship game will go down as one of the biggest “What-ifs?” of Alabama’s 35-31 loss to Clemson at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. It was a curious move to allow Kiffin to become Florida Atlantic’s coach full-time before the season was over. But if the Crimson Tide had won, it’s likely that we never would have heard more about the choice.
Still, Alabama’s offense was inconsistent at best during the game. Steve Sarkisian, Alabama’s offensive coordinator for the national championship game, didn’t have the same familiarity with the Crimson Tide’s scheme and personnel. Saban left himself open to questions with the move.
Finebaum makes a bunch of sense in this portion of the interview.
Crimson tirade https://t.co/fbiEAjM0Rr
— Bill Frazier (@bfrazier65) March 22, 2017