Why Lane Kiffin still texts Nick Saban, and why Saban never texts him back

Even after leaving Alabama to coach at Florida Atlantic, Lane Kiffin's relationship with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban is an anecdotal talking point. Kiffin coached under Saban from 2014-16, and it was a magical three years all things considered. College football's odd couple put together an impressive run that included three College Football Playoff appearances and one national championship. 

The thing is, Kiffin and Saban don't do a whole lot of talking anymore -- at least not from Saban's end. 

In a detail feature by Chris Low of ESPN, Kiffin says he still texts his former boss from time to time. However, Kiffin said he doesn't hear back from Saban. 

Kiffin says he still sends text messages to Saban, though Saban doesn't text back -- with anyone. However, Kiffin has conversed with Saban's wife, Terry, via text message.

"I know I get a lot of grief about some of the things I've said about Coach Saban, but working under him was like going back to school and getting another degree," Kiffin says. "I've been able to find that mix between Coach Saban and Pete Carroll, and because of that, I'm much more prepared as a head coach."

That doesn't necessarily sound like a shot across either bow. It sounds like Saban is so entrenched in #TheProcess that he doesn't have the time, energy or both to reach back out, and Kiffin basically confirmed as much in speaking to Low. 

Still, Kiffin texting Saban, and Saban not texting back, is the most Kiffin-Saban thing possible. It's the story of a guy who enjoys trolling and another guy who couldn't possibly be bothered by it. However, Kiffin may need to bring out the bigger ammunition to get a rise out of Saban.

According to the first-year coach, whose team will play in the Conference USA Championship Game, he has a video of Saban dancing at a karaoke party during a recruiting visit. "Maybe I will post that," Kiffin told Low. 

Please do. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop