Lane Kiffin made it clear that Ole Miss’ 31-28 win over Texas A&M was personal.
It started as soon as the final seconds ticked off the clock when the Ole Miss coach was interviewed on the field by the SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic.
“I thought the running backs did well,” Kiffin said. “390 yards rushing against a bunch of five-stars is pretty good.”
He wasn’t done there. Cubelic asked the Ole Miss coach what he was dressing as for Halloween.
“I don’t know, maybe Jimbo (Fisher) has a Joker outfit for me,” Kiffin said.
Most SEC fans certainly understood the Joker reference, but for those who didn’t, Kiffin drove home the point in post-game press conference Saturday.
“When someone attacks you personally and calls you and your good buddy, (Alabama) coach (Nick) Saban, both clowns, you take that personal,” Kiffin said. “Glad we won. I guess I can be a clown for Halloween now.”
He even added, despite what coaches tell the media, the extra motivation in situation like these is very real.
“I don’t want to give you coach speak, so, yeah, it’s real,” he said.
Earlier this year, there was much made of Texas A&M’s No. 1 recruiting class.
“We don’t have the funding resources as some schools with the NIL deals,” Kiffin said earlier this year. “It’s like dealing with salary caps. I joked I didn’t know if Texas A&M incurred a luxury tax with how much they paid for their signing class.”
Fisher replied days later to accusations, specifically to Kiffin’s comment as well as Nick Saban’s comments.
“And then to have coaches in our league say it? Clown acts,” Fisher said. “Irresponsible as hell. Multiple coaches in our league, the guys griping about NIL and transfer portal, are using it the most. That’s the ironic part. It does piss me off.”
The Joker barb is, no doubt, a reference to being called a clown act.
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.