Alabama Football: Auburn search takes turns, Sark to stay and more

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Alabama Football: Auburn appeared close to hiring Billy Napier but he passed and Steve Sarkisian does not interview.

Alabama football fans can breathe easier today as Auburn appears to be moving toward making a reality-based hire. Multiple reports indicated Louisiana Ragin Cajun, Head Coach, Billy Napier was the Tigers’ top choice. Recent reports are that Napier turned down the job.

Based on statements from Auburn beat reporters, Steve Sarkisian has not and will be interviewed for the Auburn opening. Per Dennis Dodd, Kevin Steele is no longer be a candidate for the Auburn Tigers.

The bottom line is reality is overwhelming the delusional Auburn football program and the powers behind it. Auburn would have gotten a good, young coach. Billy Napier has drawn considerable notice for his accomplishments at Louisiana. However much Auburn values Kevin Steele, hiring a defense guy in an offense-centric college football world did not seem wise.

Napier’s resume includes coaching stops at Clemson, Colorado State, Alabama and  Arizona State. In the last two seasons with the Cajuns, Napier’s teams have gone 11-3 and 9-1. Nick Saban thought highly enough of Napier to have him on the Alabama football staff twice.

If Kevin Steele is spurned by the Aubies he will be in high demand elsewhere. LSU will need a new DC soon. There have been rumors of Steele possibly joining Shane Beamer at South Carolina. He might even stay at Auburn should the Tigers follow their past spending pattern and throw even more dollars at him.

The hottest rumor at midday on Monday is the Tigers pursuing UAB head coach, Bill Clark as their new top target. That too would be a sound reality-based decision.

In Knoxville, Phillip Fulmer has given Jeremy Pruitt a dreaded vote of confidence that throughout the sporting world, often precedes a parting of the ways. It is possible the Tennessee Vols don’t have the funds to terminate Pruitt. Known for being one of the least ‘cash-flush’ SEC programs, the Vols might be stretched to pay Pruitt’s $13M buyout. Nonetheless, Phil Fulmer is reportedly set to earn a large bonus this year.

For now, it is likely no attractive head coaching gigs are on Steve Sarkisian’s radar. If Auburn could hire Sark, it would have already done so. Thinking an Urban Meyer would be interested is not much more delusional than believing Sarkisian could be lured from Tuscaloosa. Sark will be a head coach again. At some point, he will have a better opportunity than Auburn.

Did the Crimson Tide ante up for Sark? We hope Grey Byrne took our advice and did just that.

Next. Thoughts on the loss of Landon Dickerson. dark

Other programs will continue to chase Sarkisian. If he and Byrne have agreed in principle on a new deal, Sark will not entertain new offers.