Alabama coach Nick Saban has said offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's focus is entirely on football as Kiffin prepares to return to Tennessee this weekend, where he's still reviled by fans for leaving the school in early 2010 after only one season as head coach.
However, Kiffin's mother is making it clear that she does have concerns about her son's return to Knoxville's Neyland Stadium.
"I'm scared to death for his safety," Robin Kiffin said, according to CBS Sports. "Some people were visiting us last weekend from Tennessee and they said they better not let him on the sideline (where Kiffin coaches at Alabama), they should put him in the press box. I want him to be in the press box."
Unfortunately for Robin Kiffin, Saban prefers that his coordinators operate on the sideline rather than the press box, and Lane Kiffin is no exception. Lane Kiffin can expect to hear plenty of boos as the Crimson Tide takes the field, and especially when he enters and exits the tunnel at the corner of the field designated for visiting teams. Kiffin was 7-6 in his only season at Tennessee, before leaving to take the head-coaching job at USC. His departure left UT fans with raw emotions, particularly after it was reported that UT recruits were encouraged not to enroll at Tennessee so that they could be recruited at USC.
Earlier this week, Kiffin was even cast in an unfavorable light in a Tennessee political advertisement.
Under Kiffin's direction, Alabama's offense has been explosive at times this season, topping 600 yards in three games, but has also struggled in a loss to Ole Miss and a narrow win over Arkansas. Kiffin can expect to hear the worst of insults from Volunteers fans on Saturday, though, no matter how his offense performs.
A little extra security for Kiffin might not hurt, either.