Akron and Florida Atlantic meet tonight in the Boca Raton Bowl in Boca Raton, Fla., the first of five bowl games involving teams from the Mid-American Conference. He was sacked in his second season with the Oakland Raiders, left after one year at Tennessee for the USC job and then was sacked during his fourth season with the Trojans in 2013.
Kiffin's impact has transcended football.
However, the Owls might have to depend on another coach to get there, because Kiffin isn't signing away a decade of his coaching life to stay at FAU.
Florida Atlantic (10-3) faces Akron on Tuesday night in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl and has won nine straight games, capturing the Conference USA championship earlier this month.
The two legendary figures in the game do share something in common: their passion for the game.
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"I've told Lane that when I met with him, I thought we could be a top-25 program and we need a coach who can do that", Kelly said in a TV segment. "They were very hands-on". Probably not, but if there's anything that we have learned about the polarizing Kiffin, it's that you never truly know what's going to happen in his career.
That includes winning the Conference USA title and blowing out everyone in the league. While on the defense side Akron will have to rely heavily on linebacker Ulysses Gilbert III. "They're playing phenomenal football". FAU leads the FBS with 20 interceptions, and Akron is second with 19. Additionally, for Akron, expect freshmen QB Kato Nelson to get the start under center for the Zips. The Zips won the first bowl game in school history in 2015, defeating Utah State, 23-21.
"And we haven't done anything else differently, so it has to be Lane", Kelly said.
Also, click over here for the full 2017-2018 college football bowl game schedule.
Akron is making its second bowl appearances the last three years but only the third in program history. He also got fired from the Oakland Raiders head coaching job.