Alabama Football: Why doubting DeBoer makes no sense

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The Alabama Football program officially has the man tasked with following up Nick Saban as the Alabama Football head coach. For everyone familiar with what Kalen DeBoer has done as a Head Coach, not only at Washington but at Fresno State and Sioux Falls, there's excitement. Kalen DeBoer is a winner. For the people who aren't excited, their reasons range from wanting a different Head Coach or doubting his ability to come in and recruit the South.

For those not thinking Kalen DeBoer should've been the leading candidate or calling him a "Backup plan" the question I'd ask you is why and who did you prefer? If your preferred candidate for the job was Dan Lanning okay he's been in the Alabama Football program, has had success recruiting, and is a fantastic coach. But, what happened when the two head coaches faced off against each other? DeBoer beat Lanning in 2022 at Oregon and then in 2023 he beat Lanning again in the regular season and in the Pac-12 championship with a playoff spot on the line.

The biggest thing when looking at DeBoer and comparing him to not only Lanning but other coaches, are the games he's won with the second-best team on the field. When Oregon faced the Washington Huskies the Ducks roster ranked tenth in the country in the 24/7 sports team talent composite. The Huskies ranked 26th. Steve Sarkisian's Texas team was ranked sixth in the country in talent to Washington's 26th ranking.

Steve Sarkisian was the biggest name many Alabama fans wanted. By most measures, Sark's brand value is greater than DeBoer's. However, where was Steve Sarkisian's first head coaching gig? Washington where he went 34-29 with no season better than DeBoer's either 11-2 or 14-1 seasons. Steve Sarkisian's best season as a Head Coach came this season when he led the Longhorns to a 12-2 season.

The man who ended Sarkisian's season was DeBoer when his Huskies totaled 532 yards of offense on the Longhorns. So the question I'd ask Steve Sarkisian supporters is what makes Sark the better head coach? Using University of Washington history, plus head-to-head games, Kalen DeBoer is the better coach.

The other name that drew massive support from Alabama Football fans was Lane Kiffin. We've all lived through the Lane Kiffin experience with his time as the Alabama Football offensive coordinator. Rehiring Kiffin would've been interesting as Nick Saban and Greg Byrne had to deal with firing him just six days before the National Championship Game. Kiffin has rebuilt Ole Miss, doing a fantastic job in the process but, his track record and recruiting concerns.

Kiffin's built Ole Miss through the transfer portal and hasn't done that well in traditional recruiting. If bringing Kiffin back wasn't complicated enough, you'd also have to bring back former defensive coordinator Pete Golding which would've further complicated things.

The biggest reoccurring concerns about the hiring of DeBoer are with recruiting and DeBoer never coaching in the SEC or recruited in the South. We've seen coaches overcome this. Nick Saban hadn't recruited in the SEC until LSU hired him. Neither had Urban Meyer, before he built a dynasty at Florida. At some point, every coach in the SEC had to recruit there for the first time and we'll see how DeBoer adjusts.

Alabama Football: DeBoer will get help recruiting

Any concern with Kalen DeBoer on the recruiting trail can instantly be shut down if the coach keeps key assistants from Nick Saban's coaching staff. Travaris Robinson and Freddie Roach have ranked among the nation's top recruiters according to 24/7 Sports. Another key player in recruiting will be Washington's wide receiver coach JaMarcus Shepard, if DeBoer retains him. Shepard has helped develop Rome Odunze, Ja'Lynn Polk, and Jalen McMillan into 1,000-yard receivers over the past two seasons. This season's Washington offense and the production of its key players will be a massive tool in recruiting skill players to Alabama.

Note: Records and Stats via College Football Reference