Ole Miss head coach kiffin lane spoke about his relationship with Alabama legend Nick Saban on Tuesday, saying he has an «unusual form of respect» for what Saban has done for his career.

Kiffin, who spent three years working under Saban as an assistant coach, he expressed his appreciation for what Saban has done for his coaching career in an appearance on «College Sports on SiriusXM» radio.

Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin looks on before the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 24, 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

«I think maybe it’s an unusual form of respect for what he did for me,» Kiffin said. «First of all, I respect the guy. He’s the best college coach I’ve ever coached.» college football because he’s doing it in a different era than Bear Bryant and some of those names because of scholarship limitations compared to then.»

«Imagine if Nick Saban had unlimited scholarships, or if he could take 150 players. Good luck to everyone else. It would be Alabama and Georgia, I guess.»

Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin talk

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide chats with head coach Lane Kiffin of the Mississippi Rebels before they meet at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Kiffin compared Saban to a member of his family, saying he becomes protective when someone else makes fun of the seven-time national champion.

«It’s like a family member where I can joke about him or something,» Kiffin explained of their relationship. «But, if someone else does it, he really annoys me.»

Saban hired Kiffin in 2014 to be alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after Kiffin was unceremoniously fired as head coach at USC.

During his time with the Crimson Tide, Kiffin and Saban occasionally butted heads, with Saban replacing Kiffin as the play caller for the 2017 national championship game after Kiffin took over the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic University.

Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin meet after a game

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban meets with Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin after a college football game on November 12, 2022 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Looking back, it seems Kiffin is thinking fondly of his time with Saban as the two head coaches prepare for another season of fighting for the SEC West title.

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