The “Lane Kiffin to Auburn” rumors reached ridiculous heights on Monday night.
After Columbus, Miss., TV anchor Jon Sokoloff tweeted that Kiffin was set to resign as Ole Miss coach and head to Auburn on Friday, Kiffin at first attempted to shoot the report down by quote-tweeting “that’s news to me Jon. Nice sources.”
Unsatisfied with that retort, however, Kiffin apparently created his own fake news release about Sokoloff’s future. Kiffin “reported” that Sokoloff was set to leave Columbus’ WCBI-TV for WLOX, a station in Biloxi.
For what it’s worth, Sokoloff was among the first to definitively report that Auburn had hired athletics director John Cohen away from Mississippi State. Hey tweeted that Cohen’s hiring was a “done deal” on Oct. 29, a full two days before Auburn officially announced the move.
Kiffin has been issuing non-denial denials about his future at Ole Miss — and potential future at Auburn — for several days. He told 247 Sports’ Brandon Marcello following Saturday’s loss to Arkansas that he wasn’t sure he was Auburn’s No. 1 candidate, then doubled down at his Monday press conference by citing Tommy Tuberville’s infamous “pine box” comment following the 1998 Egg Bowl and Nick Saban’s December 2006 denial that he was headed to Alabama (it must be noted that Tuberville was indeed hired at Auburn less than 48 hours after saying he’d only leave Ole Miss if he was dead, and Saban of course left the NFL’s Miami Dolphins for Tuscaloosa a few weeks after flatly denying he was going to do so).
Kiffin is widely believed to be the top candidate at Auburn, which is looking for a replacement for the fired Bryan Harsin. The Tigers (5-6) face Alabama (9-2) in the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon, less than two days after Kiffin’s Rebels (8-3) host Mississippi State (7-4) in the Battle for the Golden Eggs on Thanksgiving night.