Doug Nussmeier has left Alabama for Michigan, so I guess we’re in the market for one.
But first, a couple of comments on the last one…
* Nussmeier was able to come on board in 2012, take the offensive reigns from Jim McElwain and help the Tide win a national title. No matter what else has happened, you can’t take that away.
* Statistically speaking, for the most part, Alabama improved in each of Nuss’s two years and were better than McElwain’s last (2011). Yards per game increased to 454.10 in 2013 compared to 445.50 in 2012 and 429.60 in 2011. Scoring dipped just a bit in 2013 to 38.20 points per game, but was close to 2012 (38.70) and both years were better than McElwain’s last (34.80). [However, it must be pointed out that McElwain’s last year at ‘Bama was spent with a brand new quarterback (AJ McCarron) and he had the luxury of leaning on the top defense in college football].
* Despite the statistical success, something just seemed “not quite right” this year. Arguably, this offense had more talent and more weapons than any team in Tide history. Though an offensive line was being re-loaded, McCarron, T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper, plus a ton of others, provided a lot of options for Nussmeier’s O.
* But the season started with a whimper offensively against Virginia Tech, and except for a shoot out with Texas A&M, was rocky until mid-season. Late in the season, the offense swooned as the play calling appeared out of sync. After a great second half against LSU, the Tide offense struggled against Mississippi State, Auburn and Oklahoma.
* And by “struggle,” I mean slow starts and predictable play calling, though gobs of yards may have been earned.
So, all that is said to say this: in this case, parting may not be such sweet sorrow. Nussmeier takes a lateral move that is described as such:
Lateral moves tend to get under his skin, but only if he really wants that coach to stay. Nussmeier is making a lateral move in name – from OC to OC – but he’s leaving the most stable program and best coach in college football to join a coach in Brady Hoke who’ll be on the hot seat next season at Michigan.
In other words, from the frying pan to the fire. I really do hope it works out well. As I said above, Nuss was a big part of a 2012 championship season and that’s a big deal.
But, now Alabama fans turn to the future. Who will the next guy be?
Some say this fellow. I’m not all that fired up about that option, although it would make life interesting for the next couple of seasons.