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Lane Kiffin buries Jimbo Fisher because the Texas A&M coach committed a cardinal sin

Cheating will not get you excommunicated from the college coaching community. Who in this league of honorable gentlemen hasn’t broken a rule or two? The profession can also forgive moral turpitude.

The unforgivable sin of college coaching is much worse than that: publicly criticizing or denouncing another coach is an attack on the clipboard wall itself. It’s forbidden.

Not only did Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher break that cardinal rule this offseason, but he also did so by coming on to the greatest of all time, a man whose drive tree stretches far and wide.

Is Nick Saban infallible? Surely not.

But is it the role of another coach to say it publicly? Most coaches would say no.

Fisher is not most coaches. This proud peacock refused to give in to the college football overlord.

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Throughout the offseason, there have been unsubstantiated rumors that the Aggies’ No. 1-ranked recruiting class may have been a byproduct, at least in part, of new rules governing the name, image and likeness. Naturally, this did not sit well with Fisher.

Next, Saban spoke at a speech in May in Birmingham. While lamenting the effects of NIL, Saban, without proof, accused the Aggies of buying every player on their roster. His allegation raised some eyebrows.

Fisher could have ignored, minimized, or simply dismissed Saban’s claim. Instead, he went on scorched earth.

At a press conference that naped the Clipboard Wall, Fisher dubbed Saban a despicable narcissist and fake god. He suggested that if you sniffed Saban’s program, you would find a scum.

As Omar said in “The Wire”, if you come to the king, you better not miss it. Not only did Fisher miss, but he also tripped and stuck his face in a pile of his own peacock poo.

The Fisher’s Aggies, despite all that recruiting success and a No. 6 preseason ranking, are 3-5. And Fisher has become the biggest joke in his profession.

This is normally when the sports media sharpen their scalpel, but Fisher’s peers joined in the laughs. Ole Miss’ quick-witted master of humor, Lane Kiffin, leads the charge.

Kiffin was caught in the crosshairs of Fisher this offseason. After Kiffin insinuated that recruiting incentives were helping A&M sign, Fisher fired back, calling Kiffin a clown.

While Kiffin opted for veiled beards ahead of Saturday’s game at Kyle Field, he cleared up any ambiguity after his No. 12 Rebels defeated the Aggies 31-28.

Kiffin began his assault during his postgame interview on the SEC Network.

“I mean, 390 rushing yards against a five-star group is pretty good,” Kiffin said.

SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic asked Kiffin what he could wear for Halloween. Kiffin thought Fisher could lend a hand.

“Maybe Jimbo has a Joker outfit for me,” Kiffin joked.

Kiffin’s verbal haymakers continued during his press conference.

“When someone attacks you personally and calls you and your buddy Coach Saban both clowns, you take it personally,” Kiffin said.

The gloves are off and Fisher is the punching bag.

Kiffin tweeted earlier this week that “Karma” is her favorite song from Taylor Swift’s new album. Now we know why.

Of course, Fisher will appreciate the last laugh. He is protected by an $87.5 million buyout.

Fisher broke rule 1 of his profession, but he didn’t forget rule 2: make sure you have an exit hatch lined with dollar bills.

Bryan Harsin knows Auburn is no good

Speaking of buyouts, Auburn coach Bryan Harsin looks like a man ready for his pink slip and a journey to a buyout utopia.

“We are not good enough. That’s exactly what it’s about,” Harsin said after Auburn’s 41-27 home loss to Arkansas dropped his two-year record with the Tigers to 9-12.

I couldn’t have said it better myself, although I’ve been saying it since pre-season.

Harsin didn’t recruit well. While SEC peers like Kiffin, LSU’s Brian Kelly, Florida’s Billy Napier and South Carolina’s Shane Beamer have met needs via transfers, Harsin has lost more than he won on the portal. He also couldn’t keep his coaching staff intact.

The university’s investigation into Harsin that became public last winter didn’t help the coach, but that warrant had the marks of a failure before the court began.

Bottom line: Auburn isn’t good enough, and neither is its coach.

three and out

1. It’s strange to see the Steve Spurrier-built program bereft of talented wide receivers and crippled by a quarterback who doesn’t threaten defenses from the air. Florida did well to keep their game against Georgia under 22 points. The 42-20 defeat revealed the amount of recruiting Napier has to do. Start by upgrading skill positions.

2. It’s a testament to the season Hendon Hooker of Tennessee has that he completed 76% of his passes in a 44-6 rout of Kentucky and I thought that was an average performance, by Hooker’s standards. That’s how high Hooker set the bar with his stellar play against Florida and Alabama. He is the favorite for the Heisman Trophy, but that award is won with performances in November and December. It will be remembered how Hooker fared this week against No. 1 Georgia and their ironclad secondary in voting.

3. South Carolina beat Kentucky and Texas A&M with smoke and mirrors, but its offensive limitations were exposed in a 23-10 loss to Missouri. The result was a boost for struggling Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz and beleaguered quarterback Brady Cook. Amid the fanbase’s call for a quarterback change, Cook delivered one of his best performances.

Blake Toppmeyer is an SEC columnist for the USA TODAY Network. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer.

The “Topp Rope,” is his weekly SEC football column published on the USA TODAY Network.. If you enjoy Blake’s cover, consider a digital subscription which will allow you to access all of this. Also discover his podcast, SEC Football Unfilteredor access exclusive columns via the Unfiltered SEC Bulletin.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Lane Kiffin buried Jimbo Fisher. Here’s why he roasted the Texas A&M coach

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