Lane Kiffin's relationship with the SEC is...okay, is bad. Lane himself is not terribly endearing anyway, and his abrupt departure from Tennessee and breaking of SEC rules to accuse Urban Meyer of recruiting violations while Meyer was at Florida cemented Kiffin's status on the conference's Most Hated list.
But today, Lane Kiffin is the SEC's favorite coach.
If USC beats Notre Dame, the odds of an all-SEC BCS Championship game are very, very high.
After the Irish, the next three teams in the BCS rankings are SEC teams: No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Florida. Three losses from the top four seems implausible at best, so an ND loss to the Trojans would likely result in two of those three playing for the National Championship in Miami on January 7.
Kiffin said this week that he received a text of encouragement from an Alabama coach. Not Nick Saban —per Kiffin, Saban "doesn't know how to text," but it is safe to assume that the Alabama staff does not contact rival coaches without Saban being made aware of it. Kiffin is not a man known for keeping his mouth shut, but I think we can safely assume he has more support from the upper ranks of the SEC thank he has let on. They have a lot riding on Kiffin's squad today.
Tennessee is still finding, and being penalized for, violations committed during Kiffin's brief tenure, so that particular SEC member will be probably not be rooting for Kiffin's Trojans.
But if USC knocks off the undefeated, top-ranked Irish?
For at least this one day, in Tuscaloosa, Athens, and maybe even Gainesville, Lane Kiffin won't be hearing boos.