Alabama offensive co-ordinator Doug Nussmeier has taken the vacant offensive co-ordinator’s job at Michigan. 

Michigan only announced on Wednesday that head coach Brady Hoke had fired Al Borges after three years at Michigan.

Nussmeier was Alabama’s OC and quarterbacks coach for the last two years, coaching an offence that included a quarterback Heisman candidate in AJ McCarron, a RB who’s now starring in the NFL in Eddie Lacy (and other great running backs including TJ Yeldon and soon-to-be Heisman Candidate Derrick Henry), a host of great wide receivers including Amari Cooper, and not to mention a SEC Championship and National Title.

Because of their dependency on the defense, Alabama didn’t have to post gaudy numbers offensively. This year they were 49th in passing yards, 25th in rushing yards, and 18th in points scored, according to the ESPN report.

Nussmeier was the offensive guru at the University of Washington prior to coming to Tuscaloosa.

The favorite for the job – in the media’s eyes – is one Lane Kiffin, who was invited to Tuscalossa around December 16th to ‘evaluate Alabama’s offense’. Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban also share the same agent – one Jimmy Sexton.

Saban was nice about his OC leaving: “He is a bright coach who works hard and brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to work each and every day. Our production and balance the last two years has been very good and he also brought a lot to the table in terms of coaching the quarterbacks. AJ (McCarron) had one of the best seasons and careers of any quarterback here, and that says a lot when you look at the history and tradition of that position at Alabama. We wish Doug and his family the best and appreciate all they did to help us be successful with the program at Alabama.”

THE BOTTOM LINE: It’s interesting, because we’d argue that offensively, Alabama had their problems during the season. They struggled with a beaten-up Virginia Tech in the opening game of the season, and weren’t great against Colorado State in Week 3. They struggled in the first quarter against Kentucky. They only put up 20 at a poor Mississippi State team. Oh, and they lost the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma, in which AJ McCarron was pretty terrible all game long. And when there was a chance for a comeback using Derrick Henry – who was sensational during the game – they opted not to take him out of the game despite him not looking gassed.

Why are we making this argument: Because if this story is true, we don’t think Nick Saban worked all that hard at keeping Doug Nussmeier in a job. If Nick Saban really believed in Doug Nussmeier and his play-calling, Nussmeier would have been offered a ton of money (according to Bruce Feldman at CBSSports.com, he’s going to become one of the top five paid OCs in college football). Why? The University of Alabama could afford it. And they could afford it even more with the ton of money they are going to get from ESPN with the SEC Network deal. We think that Saban was quite happy for Nussmeier to go, so the Crimson Tide could start afresh after having no SEC Title or no Championship for the first time in the years.

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Al Borges was told he wasn’t coming back before the Kansas State game, but Borges pleaded with them to keep it quiet until after the National Championship Game. So they did, in deference to him. Doug Nussmeier was hired in the interim period between the SEC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl. In fact, Nussmeier told Saban and the team he was leaving prior to the Sugar Bowl. That was one of the reasons Alabama’s offense from offensive line to quarterback to TJ Yeldon was pretty inept all night long.  They were unmotivated. Again, Nussmeier hasn’t announced anything, but that’s coming. But again, Saban – who seemed to want an up-tempo offense after Auburn beat him – wasn’t too worried about him leaving.

CONSPIRACY THEORY 2: Doug Nussmeier already knew his job at Bama was in jeopardy the minute Nick Saban got Lane Kiffin to evaluate the offense on December 16th, after the Auburn loss.

 

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