With Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier leaving for Michigan, Tide fans will now speculate on whether former USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin is headed to Tuscaloosa.
For weeks, rumors swirled that Nick Saban was headed to Austin to coach the Texas Longhorns. Now that Charlie Strong has been announced as their next head coach, this latest development will give fans something to talk about until a new hire is announced.
Kiffin was brought in recently to consult with Alabama on offensive strategy. This raised eyebrows among fans who only know Kiffin as the brash young coach who has seemingly failed upward his whole career.
“Lane is a really good offensive coach, and I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Saban said of Kiffin back in December. “Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit just some professional ideas with our guys, I think, is a real positive thing.”
While former OC Nussmeier had kind words to say, this may have been a sign of things to come.
Nussmeier was vocal about desiring a return to the Washington Huskies as their head coach, so a lateral – if not downward – move to Michigan could mean that either he or Saban, or both, were not happy with the arrangement.
The key question is whether Kiffin and Saban could co-exist. Saban prefers his coaches not speak to the media, and Kiffin has been known to make some ill-advised comments. And while Kiffin has been the subject of highly public firings, he’s still a well-regarded offensive mind.
Whomever gets the job – and our money says it won’t be Kiffin – will have an interesting first year on the job.
Alabama returns a veteran offensive line and plenty of talent at wide receiver and running back. The Tide also has no heir apparent at quarterback, and therefore no obvious offensive strategy.
All this should make for an interesting offseason in Tuscaloosa.