The college football, silly season, coaching carousel should be winding down. Alabama football fans have been having great fun watching the transitions evolve. A few programs risk being musical chairs’ losers and head coach-less when the Early Signing Period begins on Wednesday. The Early Signing Period may also be in its last December iteration. It hampers bowl teams (and any program with a pulse has one) and more so, stresses Playoff teams.
Theoretically, there is plenty of time for the Playoff teams to recruit and practice for big games. The one-day Quiet Period is Sunday, Dec. 12. The month-long Dead Period begins the next day. Those labels are misleading. Recruiting does not stop, it just moves to phone calls, texts and other electronic connections. The travel burden normally required by recruiting staff is what changes the most. Alabama Football begins Playoff practice on Thursday, the second day of the Early Signing Period. Recruiting will continue, though the number of players sought by schools will be reduced.
Nick Saban brings stability to Alabama Football
Watching the frenzy of football coaches being fired and hired captures the attention of many fans. Unlike other programs, Alabama Football is stable as long as Nick Saban is its leader. Assistants and Coordinators change frequently for the Crimson Tide, usually with no downside. Nick Saban takes the turnover in stride. Apparently, some head coaches respond differently. A Friday rumor was Dabo Swinney was in tears after the departure of Tony Elliot to become the head coach at Virginia.
Tied together in an obtuse way are the coaching staff transitions at Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn. Bryan Harsin has been rumored to want out of Auburn, with a western United States destination as his preference. Rumors claim Harsin has chased openings at Washington and Oregon. Washington chose a Fresno State coach instead.
Oregon appears to be trying hard to lure Chip Kelly back, though a Friday report claimed Georgia DC, Dan Lanning will be the Ducks’ next head coach.
How does Oklahoma fit into the connected trio of schools? New Sooner head coach, Brent Venables made a strong hire, bringing in Jeff Lebby to be his OC. Venables, who knows as much about coaching defense as anyone in college football, then chose a journeyman coach to be his DC. Ted Roof is that coach, and his track record at Auburn and the other 11 schools where he has been the DC, is suspect. Defense is no longer optional in the Big 12 and perhaps Venables was not interested in turning his defense over to a more accomplished DC.
Speaking of Auburn, the Tigers and Bruce Pearl skated again. Pat Forde of SI.com provided the details and used a better adjective than useless.
In closing, the NCAA penalty imposed on the Auburn basketball program was pathetic in every way, but one. Since it is now legal to buy players, it is almost pointless, for a near-useless NCAA to punish anyone or any school.