Lane Kiffin should be prepared for a fine from the SEC this week.
Kiffin criticized the officiating crew assigned to Ole Miss’ game Saturday after the Rebels lost 35-28 to Auburn.
The Ole Miss coach retweeted a replay from the game that showed a kickoff bouncing off the finger of Auburn RB Shaun Shivers. The ball continued to roll into the end zone after hitting Shivers’ finger and Ole Miss recovered it for what would have been a touchdown.
But the officiating crew said that the ball never hit Shivers’ finger and ruled the kick a touchback. An on-field replay review was never initiated from the SEC replay office.
Looks like Lane Kiffin will be getting a fine this week from the SEC. pic.twitter.com/DZN18mN1Qy
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) October 24, 2020
Ole Miss had just gone up 28-27 with 5:43 to go before that kickoff. The tweet Kiffin retweeted said “Y’all are a disgrace SEC, your officiating is absolutely atrocious. If y’all want to just keep gifting Auburn wins, just say it.”
While Auburn didn’t score on its ensuing possession, the Tigers got the ball back with fewer than three minutes to go and scored the go-ahead TD with 1:11 left to move to 3-2. Ole Miss fell to 1-4.
Replay keeps benefitting Auburn
It’s pretty clear the kickoff hit Shivers’ finger. You can see it move in this video below. It’s inexplicable how the referee on the field wasn’t summoned for a review.
The Shaun Shivers touchback play on the Ole Miss kickoff. pic.twitter.com/muOAaN10qW
— Auburn Tigers | AL.com (@aldotcomTigers) October 24, 2020
Had the ruling rightly gone Mississippi’s way, the Rebels would have been up at least seven points instead of just one.
The lack of a replay comes two weeks after the SEC was forced to issue a statement after a controversial replay review that helped Auburn get a win over Arkansas. Auburn QB Bo Nix appeared to spike the ball backward after fumbling a snap. The spike was recovered by Arkansas.
The backward pass should have been a fumble and was called intentional grounding on the field. Following a replay review, the call of intentional grounding somehow stood. And after the game, the SEC said that while there was evidence that the spike was a fumble, Arkansas didn’t recover the ball quickly enough for the call to be changed to a fumble. Had Arkansas gotten the fumble call, it could have run out the clock for the win.
Auburn also got fortunate in the first game of the season. A replay review should have given Kentucky a go-ahead touchdown before halftime on Sept. 26.
Kiffin has criticized officiating on Twitter before
This is not the first time that Kiffin has called out officials on social media. Kiffin was fined by Conference USA in 2019 when he was at Florida Atlantic for a tweet depicting C-USA officials as blind and in need of guide dogs.
To his credit, Kiffin still hasn’t deleted that tweet.
Kiffin was fined $5,000 by Conference-USA for that tweet. We’re guessing that his fine from the SEC will be larger than that.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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