Alabama Football: Latest rumors on Auburn and Tennessee coaching situations


While Alabama football glides toward another Championship, tough times in Knoxville, on the plains of Auburn and on the bayou.

Let’s admit it Alabama football fans, we relish all the self-inflicted wounds incurred by the Auburn, LSU and Tennessee football programs. Our response to problems in Athens is much the same.

Currently, three of the four programs are giving us plenty of amusement. The two Tigers and the Vols are in disarray with no one to fairly blame but themselves. It is possible current rumors are not overreactions, but that what is happening with the three programs might actually be worse.

The Bengal Tigers are in near-complete meltdown. Bo Pelini will be a first step sacrifice. Though Pelini’s performance was unacceptably poor, he is nowhere near the top of LSU’s problems. Alabama football and basketball fans may be skeptical but Will Wade will eventually be punished and NCAA scrutiny resulting from Wade’s recruiting practices have spread to the football program.

LSU has an even more troubling problem with allegations of ignoring or mishandling sexual misconduct complaints. As reported by USA Today in mid-November,

"Officials in the university’s athletic department and broader administration repeatedly have ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims’ requests for protections and subjected them to further harm by known perpetrators."

In all cases, allegations must be proven. If found valid, no amount of cajun voodoo will stop the devil from collecting his due.

The situations in Auburn and Knoxville are not as disgusting. Rather than outsiders, players, coaches, administrators and boosters, all male, appear to be the only ones involved.

According to Football Scoop, and other unverified sources, Tennessee wants Jeremy Pruitt to step down.  Tennessee AD, Phil Fulmer gave Pruitt a contract extension a few months ago. Since then the Vols lost seven of eight games. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported the Vols’ Compliance Department is looking into recent recruiting practices.

One of two things is happening in Knoxville. Either the Vols are trying to get ahead of what they already know are punishable NCAA recruiting violations or Phil Fulmer wants Jeremy Pruitt’s job. It is widely known Phil Fulmer would like nothing more than being the Vols head coach again. The release of the internal investigation might be an attempt to force Pruitt to resign, or excuse firing him while voiding millions of exit dollars, owed by UT.

Then there is the loveliest village. It is a lovely east Alabama hamlet. Unlike the town, Auburn football and men’s basketball programs are ugly and the flaws are ingrained. We have frequently written about Auburn’s perpetual mediocrity. Seemingly oblivious to their own failings, nothing ever changes with the two programs.

An insane contract extension for Gus Malzahn has and will cost them tens of millions in coach payments. The past week’s strongest rumor has been Gus’ firing was to make way for Kevin Steele. It was claimed a faction of boosters made the Gus-Steele decision, but not everyone concurred. A search firm was quickly hired. Mario Cristobal turned the Aubies down. Bruce Feldman tweeted Auburn is considering Steele, Steve Sarkisian, Brent Venables, Billy Napier and UAB head coach Bill Clark. According to Football Scoop, West Virginia head coach, Neal Brown should be added to the list.

Why any top coach or any top player would choose Auburn is a mystery. Unless, of course, the decision is all about money.

Next. Who can beat the Crimson Tide?. dark

For Alabama football, it is Playoff season. For certain Crimson Tide rivals, it is seriously silly season. Why all this plays out, Greg Byrne should act boldly.