Roman Harper predicts which SEC coach will make the biggest leap in Year 2
SEC Network analyst Roman Harper betting on Lane Kiffin — and Ole Miss’ schedule.
Harper picked Kiffin to make the biggest leap of any SEC coach entering Year 2 at their current programs. That group of coaches includes Mississippi State’s Mike Leach, Arkansas’ Sam Pittman and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz.
Harper is going with Kiffin primarily because of Ole Miss’ favorable schedule for this upcoming season, he said on SEC Network Monday evening.
“I’m going Lane Kiffin right now and that’s purely because of the schedule,” Harper said when asked which SEC coach would make the biggest leap in Year 2. “I like Lane Kiffin, but I don’t think he’s going to be this extraordinary coach who learned so much in the offseason. No. You look at the schedule. They have Louisville first. They will win that game. Then it goes Austin Peay, Tulane, they’re at Alabama, Arkansas at home, at Tennessee — a very winnable game. LSU is at home. That matters. At Auburn, they’ve always struggled there. You just never know. Liberty, they’re going against their old coach in Hugh Freeze. That is an emotional game. Texas A&M is at home. Their hardest games are all at home. So, Ole Miss will take the biggest jump because of the schedule.”
Kiffin has a complicated history with Year 2. At USC, that’s when he had his most success as he led the Trojans to a 10-2 record and a Pac-12 South title. But at Florida Atlantic, the Owls bottomed out to 5-7 during Kiffin’s second year. He didn’t make it to Year 2 at Tennessee.
Last season, Kiffin led Ole Miss to a 5-5 record in his first year at the helm. Ole Miss went 4-5 in the SEC and then won the Outback Bowl.
Ole Miss’ 2021 campaign begins on Sept. 6 against Louisville.