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Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin dismisses report he will leave Friday to join rival Auburn

Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin is reportedly leaving school on Friday to take the job at SEC rival Auburn unless you ask Lane Kiffin.

Mississippi CBS affiliated sportscaster jon sokoloff reported Monday that the well-traveled head coach would make another change to his resume by leaving Ole Miss on Friday, before Saturday’s game against rival Mississippi State, only to be corrected by Kiffin on Twitter.

“BREAKING: #OleMiss HC Lane Kiffin plans to step down as Rebels coach Friday and head to Auburn to become the next Tigers head coach, according to sources,” Sokoloff tweeted. Sources say the Tigers have yet to officially offer the job to anyone. So Lane to Auburn is happening. I count soon.

Kiffin, an active Twitter user, did not hesitate to respond.

“That’s news to me Jon,” Kiffin tweeted. Good sources.

Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin (pictured) is reportedly leaving school Friday to take the job at SEC rival Auburn—that is, unless you ask Lane Kiffin ( also in the photo)

Kiffin, an active Twitter user, did not hesitate to respond to Jon Sokoloff’s report

Kiffin, the son of the late NFL defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, has previously coached at Florida Atlantic, USC, Tennessee and with the Oakland Raiders, so Sokoloff’s report seemed credible to many.

And in fairness to Sokoloff, Kiffin hasn’t specifically denied the claim that he’s leaving school for Auburn.

Instead, Kiffin went on to joke that Sokoloff would be leaving WCBI News in Starkville, Mississippi to take over a rival station.

“So Jon to WLOX is happening,” read the caption on a photograph Kiffin posted on Twitter. ‘Story soon.’

One Twitter user responded to Kiffin by posting a clip of then-Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban telling reporters “I’m not going to coach Alabama” less than a month before accepting the Crimson Tide job in January of 2007.

Kiffin joked that Sokoloff would be leaving WCBI News in Starkville, Mississippi, to take over a rival station.

The Rebels (8-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) head into the rivalry game known as the Egg Bowl after losing three of the last four. Similarly, the Bulldogs (7-4, 3-4) have lost three of their last five games.

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“It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of love in the relationship, I guess that’s the nice, positive way of putting it,” Kiffin said of the rivalry. ‘It means a lot to a lot of people. We have been fortunate to change our direction in recent years and try to keep it that way.

Kiffin and Mississippi State coach Mike Leach are both in their third seasons. The Rebels won 31-24 two years ago and 31-21 last season.

“I think we’ve come a long way with the program,” Kiffin said. ‘I think we’ve turned the list around, improved the list. It obviously improved production in the field and made the program much more visible nationally for recruiting than it was when we got here.’

Ole Miss lost 42-27 at Arkansas last Saturday.

Sokoloff got some support on social media amid criticism for his Kiffin report

Many of the Bulldogs, including record-setting junior quarterback Will Rogers, have yet to experience a victory in the rivalry game.

“It would mean everything,” Rogers said of winning Thursday. ‘That’s all I’m really worried about right now. Coach Kiffin has done a great job preparing his guys to play and getting them excited, so I know they’ll be ready to play.

“We have to answer the call and we have to be ready to go on Thursday night.”

Leach has stressed to his players the importance of avoiding getting caught up in the rivalry.

“The most important thing is to focus on doing the best that I can and be the best team that I can be and leave it at that,” Leach said. “Otherwise, if you get distracted by a bunch of other things, it won’t help your focus or what you’re trying to do.

“Just go out there, take charge, try to get better and try to get better this week to be the best team you can be.”

But the Mississippi players on both teams understand the importance of the game.

“This is the game that everyone thinks about every year,” said Rogers, who is from Brandon, Miss. ‘It doesn’t matter where we play it or who’s ranked higher or what the records are. It is the most important game of the year, every year.

Kiffin and Mississippi State coach Mike Leach (pictured) are both in their third seasons. The Rebels won 31-24 two years ago and 31-21 last season.

Merry

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