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Is Lane Kiffin just playing mind games, or does Ole Miss really have a shot at the SEC title?

Lane Kiffin, channeling his inner Nick Saban, feels the sting of “rat poison.” Now, don’t fret! Both coaches use this metaphor to describe the intoxicating — and potentially damaging — effects of excessive media praise.

In 2022, Saban, known for his championship pedigree, expressed his concern on The Nick Saban Show about the media hype surrounding his team. “I think the rat poison this year…it’s more worse than ever,” Saban said, noting the “media noise” as something that could make his players complacent. The former coach also stressed his focus on winning one game at a time, fearing the early hype would blur that vision.

Fast-forward to today, and Kiffin seems to echo his mentor’s sentiments. An On3 post declared Ole Miss a strong SEC title contender despite powerhouses like Georgia and Texas looming. Now, Kiffin responded to it in a fun way by reposting it with simple “🐀 ☠️” emojis. He appears to playfully suggest that the praise might distract his team from their championship aspirations.

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Poll of the day

Do you think Lane Kiffin's "rat poison" comment will motivate or demoralize Ole Miss?

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This seemingly small incident highlights the lasting bond between Kiffin and Saban. Kiffin, the former Alabama quarterback’s coach, clearly holds his former boss in high regard. 

Kiffin has been reminiscing about his Alabama days with Saban for a while, sharing throwback stories and anecdotes on social media. Now, reviving the “rat poison” metaphor even after his Alabama stint tells us how much Kiffin values Saban’s wisdom. Kiffin even playfully uses the metaphor for Saban himself, jokingly asking him not to “poison!

Will Lane Kiffin avoid another upset fueled by “rat poison?”

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The “rat poison” saga continued between Nick Saban and his former assistants! The year after Saban coined the “rat poison” metaphor, Lane Kiffin playfully turned the tables back on Saban. Their then-upcoming matchup in 2023 was highly anticipated, and Saban downplayed his team’s chances, saying, “I don’t know if we’ve got a good enough team to beat Ole Miss or anybody else we play.” Thus, the GOAT gave a subtle compliment to Kiffin. Now, the ever-so-sarcastic Kiffin responded on social media with “🐀 ☠️” emojis and a GOAT emoji, poking fun at Saban’s attempt to downplay the hype. Ironically, Alabama ended up winning that game 24-10.

With Ole Miss being a potential SEC title contender, will the pre-season hype work its magic (or curse) again this year? Interestingly, Kiffin’s team conveniently avoids Alabama on their regular-season schedule. Has Lane Kiffin learned his lesson and will dodge the “rat poison” this year, or is the title talk a different beast altogether?