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Jumbo Package: For once, Tide’s opponent deals with coaching turnover before playoffs

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. The college football writers seemed to have enjoyed their long holiday weekends, as they should, so things are a tad light today. Still, we bring you what we have. First off, Alabama’s opponent is dealing with a coordinator getting hired before the playoff game. Imagine that.

Kelly is confident that Lea and the entire coaching staff will be in sync come Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Irish operation has to be rock solid or it will pay the consequences.

“If you don’t have that continuity and the collaboration of the entire staff with your team going forward against Alabama, you have no chance,” Kelly said. “So that won’t be an issue. We won’t let it be an issue.”

It’s never easy juggling two roles at once, but I doubt that Lea’s distractions will be the difference in this one. Still, we have been there and done that, Irish.

Jesse Palmer talked about Alabama’s QB success.

“You’ve gotta give Nick Saban a ton of credit and the coaching staff, they do a fantastic job recruiting,” Palmer said. “One of the biggest reasons offenses can continue to have production is when you don’t have lag or a drop-off at the quarterback position. So you go from Tua, who now looks fantastic with the Miami Dolphins in his rookie year, to a guy like Mac Jones, a guy who had a lot of question marks. He’s been sensational. Then you’ve got Bryce Young, who’s gonna take over after Mac Jones and he was the No. 1 quarterback coming out of high school this past season. You just continue that progression year after year, there’s no drop-off regardless of who the play-caller is, there’s always gonna be weapons around him. Alabama has such a high standard right now at that QB position.”

Jesse isn’t wrong, as Alabama has landed a couple of top QB prospects recently in Tua Tagovailoa and Young, but it seems a little strange to credit recruiting in a year where Mac Jones, who wasn’t a particularly heralded recruit, is performing well after developing himself.

Eric Crouch believes that DeVonta can win the Heisman.

“I do think a receiver could win it this year,” 2001 winner Eric Crouch told last week. “I think DeVonta Smith definitely has just a good of chance as anybody. Maybe people are tired of a quarterback winning it. That’s coming from a quarterback myself.”

Crouch, who played at Nebraska, did not reveal his ballot in following the rules of the Heisman Trust. He is one of 927 electors deciding this year’s award, which includes 56 living past winners, 870 media members and one fan vote. Ballots were due Dec. 21, two days after conference championship games.

May it happen. He deserves it.

Trevon Diggs got the last laugh on Jalen Hurts yesterday.

Diggs and Hurts entered the NFL as second-round draft choices on April 24. While Diggs has been a starter since his first game, Hurts entered the Eagles’ lineup on Dec. 13.

Against Dallas, Hurts completed 21-of-39 passes for 342 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, ran for 69 yards on nine carries and lost a fumble.

Those are some nice yardage totals for Hurts, but also a lot of turnovers against a pretty bad defense. That is always the battle for young QBs.

New Auburn coach Bryan Harsin was asked about sharing a state with Nick Saban.

“As far as coach Saban, he’s done a tremendous job,” Harsin said. “Much respect from me for what he’s been able to do and the type of programs he’s put together. I’ve got nothing other than respect for him and what they’ve done and I’m certainly looking forward to competing against him and we’ll have our opportunity to do that. But we’re going to focus on what we need to do at Auburn and how we need to do it so we can put ourselves in position to compete when it’s time.”

That time is a ways off, Bryan.

Urban Meyer is reportedly a hot name for NFL openings this winter, and Pete Thamel believes a trend is emerging.

Why would the NFL have more appeal than a job like Texas or USC? Few jobs in sports promise to change as precipitously as college football coaching in the next 12 months. The absolute control that so many of these coaches coveted is now waning, with the transfer portal, one-time transfer exemption and Name Image and Likeness rules all shifting the power away from the coaches. This isn’t an endorsement or indictment of that shift, just acknowledging facts.

Pete makes some valid points about recruiting in the era of free transfers and NIL. Recruiting is always a cumbersome job. Now coaches will have to ramp up the recruiting of their own players every season and also deal with players who will be increasingly concerned with endorsement opportunities in college.

Last, the Steelers had a little fun after clinching their division.

Unfortunately that led Skip Bayless to do this.

I’d tell him to keep his day job but he kind of sucks at it.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.