BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTO BY CANDY EBLING
Prior to the game between the Florida Atlantic Owls and Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, one of my followers asked whether Owls Coach Lane Kiffin would leave to take a more high profile job.
I told him that it’s possible but Kiffin can afford to be selective of his next gig.
In 2017, the former USC-head coach led FAU to an 11-3 record and the Owls trounced Akron 50-3 in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Owls were Conference USA Champions, even appearing in the AP Top 25 rankings for one week.
The 2018 season saw FAU finish with a 5-7 mark and it missed a bowl game.
As the 2019 season concludes, chalk up another successful season for Kiffin and his Owls.
The Owls defeated Southern Mississippi 34-17. The game was televised nationally on the NFL Network. FAU won The Conference USA East Division title. The exposure was priceless.
They'll face the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday at 1:30 PM in The Conference USA Title Game at FAU Stadium.
On Saturday, Former Green Bay Packers Hall Of Fame QB Brett Favre wasn’t in the building to lead his Alma-Mater.
But how has Kiffin managed to compile a pair of winning seasons at a mid major university?
1. He gives fresh starts to players at major universities such as QB red-shirt sophomore Chris Robison, who played at Oklahoma before being dismissed for disciplinary reasons. Robison has been Kiffin’s biggest reclamation project thus far during his tenure at FAU.
2. He knows the value of Social Media and takes full advantage of as he has 434,400 followers on Twitter.
3. His offense is real good. The team has eclipsed 30 points in nine of it’s games. FAU gave the Ohio State Buckeyes a battle by losing the opener 45-21.
4. FAU has amassed 300 or more yards in 11 of its 12 contests.
5. Against Southern Mississippi, FAU forced five turnovers and just committed one.
The coaching carrousel has already begun.
Florida State, Arkansas and Missouri are Power Five Schools looking for new coaches. You can rest assure, this is just the beginning of many more job openings.
Will Kiffin, who has head coaching stops at USC, Tennessee and the Oakland Raiders be ready to leave a university which at the rate he’s going being a Big Fish in a Little Pond eventually erect a statue for him outside of FAU Stadium?
Time will tell.
Will Kiffin follow the likes of Butch Davis (FIU) and Frank Solich (Ohio University) and coached at Nebraska along with Miami, North Carolina be happy to stay put, thus putting them in the been there and done that category?
I’ll be curious to see how this plays out.
But with Bowl Season upon us, this is the time when coaches do jump ship and take the greener pasture jobs and as a result, interim coaches audition for opportunities to be permanent coaches. Will the coaches take the money and run or stay put and be happy?
One thing is for certain, Kiffin is earning close to $1 Million annually in an area where there is no state income tax and his father Monte Kiffin is on his staff.
Life isn’t all bad coaching football in paradise in the Sunshine State.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is the Owner of the South Florida Tribune & Broadcasting Network.
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