We all love a good college football beef, and given that Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin is one of the biggest heels in the sport, it’s no surprise that he’d be involved in one. In this case, it’s with Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. There very clearly some things going on behind the scenes on both sides to stoke the flames. But publicly, it’s been almost exclusively coming from Lane (not surprising since Jimbo doesn’t do social media and Lane very much does). While in general Kiffin’s online trolling is humorous, at least from the outsiders’ perspective, his fixation on dunking on Jimbo at every turn is starting to border on being weird.
Let’s take you back to the beef’s origins...
The first thing that happened between these two programs outside of their annual on-field matchup came in January 2022, when the Aggies hired away Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator D.J. Durkin. We didn’t hear anything from Lane about this publicly, but an Ole Miss staffer getting a pay raise to come to A&M certainly fits into Kiffin’s ongoing narrative of hating on the Aggies for having a lot of funds at their disposal.
Which brings us to 2022’s February Signing Day.
"It's basically like everyone's got different salary caps. I joked the other day, 'Are they gonna implement a luxury tax on Texas and Texas A&M?'"— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 1, 2022
️Ole Miss HC @Lane_Kiffin tells our @CoachReedLive that NIL has changed college football forever. pic.twitter.com/1yg22LzoGS
It wouldn’t long for Jimbo to address this, less than 24 hours in fact, as it came up at his Signing Day press conference, where he would refer to the coaches making these accusations as “clowns” (we’ll circle back to this in a bit).
The talk would seemingly go dormant after this. Lane would move on to conversing with his dog on Twitter, and Jimbo would shift his ire to Nick Saban. But then...
The Kiffin/Jimbo beef all came to a head once again the week of the two teams game in late October. Leading up to the game, Kiffin talked about Durkin being hired by A&M, saying “We got outbid. Kind of a common theme with that program.”
Lane Kiffin is a savage!— that SEC podcast (@thatSECpodcast) October 27, 2022
Lane with some high praise for his former coordinator DJ Durkin, who made the jump to Texas A&M last offseason:
"We tried to keep him... We got outbid. Kind of a common theme with that program." pic.twitter.com/tLTyPfKGhx
Following Ole Miss’ defeat of the Aggies on Oct. 29. In his on-field interview following the game, Kiffin referenced Jimbo having a “joker outfit for me,” clearly referencing the “clowns” insult Jimbo lobbed nearly nine months earlier. Lane would make reference to it again in his postgame press conference.
It took Lane Kiffin seconds to troll Jimbo Fisher after beating Texas A&M:— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) October 30, 2022
“Maybe Jimbo has a Joker outfit for me.” pic.twitter.com/iuTvh9hrTR
Lane Kiffin on Jimbo Fisher calling him and Nick Saban clowns during the offseason:— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) October 30, 2022
“You take that personal. Glad we won.
“I guess I can be a clown for Halloween now.”
OK, so Lane won the game, got bragging rights and game Jimbo his comeuppance for the “clown” comment. We’re done now, right? Far from it. It would be barely a month later before Kiffin would really up his retweet game to keep Jimbo and the Aggies in his crosshairs.
Throughout December, Lane would lob a slew of retweets aimed specifically at the Aggies, mostly related to recruiting or the transfer portal.
This first one isn’t really any new information, just Kiffin tweeting out an article recapping everything we’ve already covered. Because of course.
College football quotes of the year https://t.co/xbLgzRXsV8— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) December 19, 2022
We’d hear from Lane next when four-star QB Marcel Reed flipped from the Rebels to the Aggies just days before signing day. Kiffin retweeted one of Reed’s tweets related to NIL followed immediately be his A&M commitment tweet.
Texas A&M transfer kicker Caden Davis committed to Ole Miss, but in addition to retweeting his commitment tweet to Ole Miss, Lane went back days later and retweeted his announcement of his transfer from Texas A&M from back in November.
When Jimbo Fisher complained about the role NIL is playing in college football recruiting, Kiffin couldn’t help but chime in. The facepalm emoji speaks for itself.
When Cleveland Harris committed to Ole Miss on Dec. 23, Lane felt compelled to retweet that the Aggies had offered Harris back on Dec. 11.
The real cherry on top of the retweet blitz came when Ole Miss secured Texas A&M transfer WR Chris Marshall on Christmas Day. Kiffin throwing out one retweet when the Rebels landed a transfer or commit is very common, but for Marshall, he retweeted SIX DIFFERENT TWEETS about it.
Days later, Ole Miss would get blown out by Texas Tech 42-25 in the Texas Bowl. Surely Lane would be soley focused on the performance of his team, right? Nope, gotta shoehorn another Jimbo reference in there.
Lane Kiffin still had his sense of humor after Ole Miss got beat down in the Texas Bowl— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) December 29, 2022
Kiffin gave his close friend Jimbo Fisher a shoutout:
"We read the (analytics). When it doesn't work, everyone says they are stupid. So, Jimbo will be happy today, the book didn't work."
You’d think maybe the offseason would bring a quiet period for Kiffin’s continued fixation on A&M, but nope. To his credit, this one was more than just him being paranoid, as exactly one month after this tweet, it was announced that Texas A&M was hiring away Ole Miss RB Coach Marquel Blackwell. The second consecutive offseason a Rebels coach has left for College Station.
We now arrive at this week, when Lane once again took the opportunity to dunk on Jimbo for claiming that all offenses run the same plays. He even tagged Kirby Smart for moral support. Kirby did not retweet, reply or even like the tweet.
In general, I like what Kiffin brings to college football. He speaks his mind, which is something we rarely get from college coaches. But appreciating someone’s openness doesn’t mean they’re immune from critique. He’s not necessarily wrong in the implications he’s putting out there, and I get that he likes to troll, but the fact that he does this constantly with A&M/Jimbo and not with any other program is odd. Especially considering that you’re getting radio silence from the A&M side save for one press conference over a year ago. At some point it goes beyond good-natured pettiness and enters into the realm of an unhealthy fixation.
There are times where things are better left unsaid, or at least not said publicly. But knowing Lane, he won’t be slowing down any time soon.
What do you think of Kiffin’s fixation with Jimbo?
This poll is closed
Jimbo deserves it, honestly
It’s a bit odd but also hilarious
It’s gotten weird