Kiffin canned by Tide before title game

Alabama coach Nick Saban decided to go with his new offensive coordinator for the College Football Playoff title game, announcing Lane Kiffin will not be coaching the offense when the Crimson Tide face Clemson next Monday night.Kiffin was expected to continue at Alabama through the playoff run despite accepting the head-coaching job at Florida Atlantic University. Steve Sarkisian, who already had been named Kiffin’s successor, will take over play-calling responsibilities for the championship game.”We made the decision because it was in the best interest of our players, our program and for Lane for him to assume his duties at Florida Atlantic,” Saban said. “We mutually agreed that this was best for both programs.”Kiffin was late to several events in the past week leading up to the Peach Bowl and some Alabama staff members said they “were done with him,” according to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.Saban pointed out the issues with “distractions that occur when you’re trying to hire a staff and recruit to another place” when discussing Kiffin’s departure following the announcement.Kiffin released a statement through Alabama, citing the issues involved in “trying to serve the best interests of two universities” and noting it “became apparent that both programs would be better served by me giving all my time and efforts to being the head coach at FAU.”Alabama was 40-3 in three seasons with Kiffin calling offensive plays.”This wasn’t an easy decision and we appreciate the way Lane handled this in terms of doing what is best for our team,” Saban said in a statement.Kiffin appeared on “The Paul Finebaum Show” later Monday and offered his own explanation.”I re-watched the game a couple times last night and I was kind of thinking, ‘I don’t feel like we played great.’ … It was just … I was wondering was I always there because you are bouncing between two jobs,” Kiffin said on the “Paul Finebaum Show.” “You’re interviewing guys at night, calling recruits at night. I was just talking with coach. That game, we had a month to prepare for doing both things. Now we have a little over a week for this game. Coach and I were just kind of bouncing it around and just felt that really, for the players, that you can do (two jobs) 100 percent. You try.”Kiffin said he’ll always think of his time at Alabama as “awesome.””When we signed the paper three years ago to come here, that initial contract, I don’t know that anybody could have imagined it would go this good with three SEC championships, three SEC Offensive Player of the Year (winners) and now got one game left to win back-to-back national championships.”