Lane Kiffin expects to return as head coach for Ole Miss despite reports of ties to Auburn coaching vacancy

Rumors have been swirling about the Ole Miss Lane Kiffin coach’s career status since Auburn’s job opening on Oct. 31, and those whispers began picking up speed during the week leading up to Thursday night’s Egg Bowl against its in-state rival, Mississippi. The Rebels fell 24-22 to the Bulldogs in an instant classic before eyes immediately turned to Kiffin’s future after the game.

After the loss, the Rebels’ third-year head coach was asked if he intended to remain the program’s coach in Oxford, Mississippi. Kevin was very emphatic in his response.

“I do,” said Kevin.

Kevin went on to address a report from earlier this week that suggested he plans to accept the Auburn job, and what he told his players when it surfaced.

Kevin replied, “I can easily say that it’s between team meetings and we don’t really talk about it.” “I just told them that this report – which you probably don’t pay much attention to but your family – is inaccurate. False reports.”

Ole Miss Quarterback Jaxson Dart was asked after the game how his team handled rumors that his coach had walked out the door.

“I mean, it’s kind of hard sometimes when things get thrown in your face, you know,” he said. “I feel as a team we were able to stay together as long as we could. We really wanted this match because we really wanted to win this match for each other. I thought as the week went on we had a good approach, you know just trying to stay together and try to finish this year in the right way.”

The obvious next question for Kevin is: Where does he go from here? State law places a four-year limit on government contracts for employees. Additionally, Auburn plays Alabama at Tuscaloosa Saturday in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week at 3:30 p.m. ET. Is this a case where Kiffin could use leverage to get a new contract from Ole Miss?

“I don’t know. I signed three,” he said (via: 247Sports). “Does face-to-face four mean you never leave? I don’t know. I’m more focused and worried about the game than if I signed another contract. I’m not being ungrateful for it. Everyone thinks you signed the contract… Well, a year ago I signed the same thing.”

Once the Iron Bowl ends on Saturday, more focus will turn to Kiffin’s future. It’s in a position at Ole Miss where it can compete for division titles on a fairly consistent basis, but Auburn is a program that has played at times at the highest level over the past decade and a half.

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