If there were any doubts of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s thoughts on his future at Alabama, look no further than this week’s developments at the Capstone. The man who has said repeatedly Alabama is his last stop in coaching is putting a stamp on the future of the program that even an Auburn fan could recognize.

This week offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier announced he was going to Michigan, a move that will probably take him to Ann Arbor for a season or two (before Brady Hoke goes job hunting himself).

Today defensive line coach Chris Rumph announced he was headed to Austin to join Charlie Strong’s staff at Texas.

If there are two areas where Alabama struggled this season, it was on offense and on the defensive line. Hence, you can believe these staffers left on their own if you want, but if so you probably also believe everything you see on the WWE too.

Signs of change are everywhere at Alabama; the only sign you don’t see is Nick Saban settling in for a slow retirement. 11-2 at most places is cause for celebration. At Alabama it means it’s time to re-evaluate where things are and make the necessary changes to continue the dynasty that has made Alabama the most feared and hated name in college football.

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher even said it himself. In the week leading up to their game with Auburn, he handed the Tigers the ultimate insult.

“It’s not that I’m not excited to play Auburn,” Fisher said the week before the big game, “I’m just glad it’s not Alabama.”

Alabama football isn’t going anywhere. It is still the golden standard, and news of offseason staff changes points to a head coach not ready to sit on his Lake Burton dock and watch the ducks relieve themselves just yet.

Early names mentioned to replace Rumph include USC assistant and interim head coach Ed Orgeron and former UA DL coach Bo Davis. Davis was named the defensive line coach at USC earlier this week (following three seasons at Texas), but sources indicate that a return to Tuscaloosa would be a welcome invitation.

13 thoughts on “More changes on Tide staff”

  1. ITK,
    Nussmeier made Alabama’s offense the most prolific it has been in the Coach Saban era, the D-line was great last year under Coach Rumph, we struggled this year because we were rotating 2 freshman and a first year starting jr. Why you are so quick to throw people under the bus is beyond me. I’m confident coach Saban will find good replacements but to kick them why there on the way out is less than classless.

    1. I think the trick is you’re associating all Alabama’s success to those guys and suggesting ITK is doing the same with their failures. It’s just not that simple, and certainly not that hateful.

      Regardless, you don’t get to choose your coaches. Doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion.

  2. I don’t post as often as I used to. But this week has been different.
    It was clear watching the Tide offense this year that things weren’t up to standard. Things like drive killing penalties from the offensive line. This year’s offensive line was not very disciplined, at all. The backs were giving away scores with fumbles. These are not Nick Saban’s idea of the process as he is a stickler for perfect execution and finishing.
    Then too, it was becoming apparent that Doug Nussmeyer was trying to use A.J. McCarron as his stepping stone. Don’t get me wrong here, McCarron is special. The problem during the season was that Nussmeyer was trying to push him into heroic game winning, and video game stats. In doing so, he managed to play away from McCarron’s strength which is being a team player. Call it being a game manager, but the ProHall of Fame is lined with QB’s who won games playing being a game manager. Terry Bradshaw was a good QB and he made the most out of every weapon he had at his disposal. His results don’t lie.
    Nussmeyer was not interested in letting the backs and offensive line run over people and establish dominance. You can watch the games and see his play calling was far too cute. It was obvious that Nussmeyer wanted to have another QB success story to add to his resume.
    Anyone who doesn’t believe it can watch mental errors left and right on film while A.J McCarron was airing the ball out far too often behind a line that was not ready to pass block with real efficiency.
    Some may say that is Nick Saban’s fault and ultimately, it is. But if they look long enough they can see that the Tide offense was not the same sharp relatively mistake free machine as it usually is.
    So Nussmeyer is gone. I have yet to hear anywhere of anyone at UA crying over it.
    Enter Kiffin, a man with a lot to prove and a chance at redemption. Seems like magic is about to happen. And for some reason I don’t expect the same sloppy effort and grandstand QB play this year. Who knows?

    1. Just for what it’s worth, Kiffin isn’t out to prove anything so much as to remind us how good he is as an offensive coordinator. It’s the only position he’s really excelled at. He won championships as OC at So Cal and brought them another Heisman that came down to his development of Leinart as much as the on-field talent.

      It’s hard to criticize Nuss though. He wasn’t perfect and maybe not aggressive at the right times, but at least in the games Alabama lost this season they were littered with fundamental mistakes in execution rather than outright incorrect play calling. I think what we’ll get more of with these changes is a talent-based identity rather than an outright overhaul in Alabama’s success.

      Let’s put it this way—–Alabama could have played for a title this year and lost on the field with fundamental mistakes (not play-calling exclusively) regardless of how anyone feels about Nuss, but Nuss was already interviewing with Michigan anyway behind the staff’s back. Saban didn’t like it, the balls started moving, and here we are.

      1. I agree and disagree.
        Because in my humble opinion the play calling is a moot point if your players fundamentals are substandard.
        But as always I do appreciate your opinion, sir.

  3. I disagree with your ‘guess’ about Nuss. I don’t believe for a second that he was interviewing in secret for a lateral position at a school that has been a 10+ year shipwreck. If he was then it was only after the IB when the Bams nation wanted his head in a basket. What happened with Nuss is that Saban was a lot more pissed than he showed in public. To wit, saying he was very disappointed that we were in scoring position 4 times in the second half and came away with no points. Then he called in Kiffin and Nuss knew his gig was u. To wit, we hired Kiffin the very next day after Nuss was officially anounced at Michigan. Nuss didn’t pull shit over on Saban. RTR!

    1. Um, it’s not really a secret though (not anymore, once Saban found out). Yes, Nuss was interviewing without letting anyone at the University of Alabama know, including head coach Nick Saban.

      So publicly it looks like Nuss left and Kiffin was almost immediately hired, one of the quickest hires I’ve ever seen.

      Look closer, and it’s clear this was simply not a quick hire. But it wasn’t Kiffin that was invited in before Nuss was asked to leave—-it was the opposite. The result might have been the same, but yes, Nuss was interviewing for a higher-paying job before Saban was actively considering a new OC, and yes it was before the Suger Bowl, hence the meeting in between.

      1. I also wouldn’t call Michigan a shipwreck. It’s a good gig, a good job. Ann Arbor can be gorgeous, and it has been every time I’ve been there.

        But Michigan nearly won their division this year and probably should have. Maybe that says more about the B1G, but Michigan still has more wins than any other program, including Alabama. It’s not a bad gig, that’s all I’m saying.

        1. I agree that Michigan is an iconic gig. But if Nuss could not deliver the goods with the amazing skill talent at Bama, Michigan is in for a wake up call.

          1. Except Nuss did deliver at Bama. I think it’s a safe bet last year’s national championship came up in his interview.

            Michigan does have talent and recruits well. I think the real outlier here is the relative weakness of the B1G conference. Remember, it’s not necesarily about winning a national championship at Michigan like it is with Nick Saban. Hoke is trying to get a conference title and hasn’t gotten to the conference championship yet. I think the Nuss-to-Michigan hire is good for everyone.

            I do agree that Alabama had better talent than what was shown this year. It’s hard not to wonder what someone else might have done with Alabama’s offense. Now we’ll get to find out.

    1. To late. JawJaw already hired Pruit. Kirby will never move laterally anyway. His best claim to fame and a head coaching job is right here with Nick.

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