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Jumbo Package: Cornhuskers zeroing in on Alabama Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien

Happy Gump Day!

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2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Nebraska, you glorious bastards, make this happen:

Nebraska’s top three candidates for the open coaching job are Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Kansas coach Lance Leipold and Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, per The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

I say that half-in-jest, but think about it from UNL’s perspective.

You have a program in disarray, whose roster has been gutted, who is in a highly competitive Big 10, at a program with a lot of historical success and very little fan patience. You need a reclamation specialist, someone who runs a clean ship, that can recruit well, with a pro pedigree to sell mama and daddy on, and you need to starting posting some dubs immediately.

Remind you of Penn State a decade ago? Me too. Only O’Brien’s pedigree has improved since then with even better recruiting success, with the addition of a Heisman trophy winner to his CV, and a stint under Nick Saban. Even better, he already has major division success taking a team from near Death Penalty to a nine-game winner — in the nasty Big Ten East.

For all the scorn I dump on his head as an offensive coordinator, I’ve never doubted BoB’s abilities as a program buillder or college head man. This makes perfect sense for the Huskers, TBH. As a gracious alum, I hope it happens for him (and as a salty college football analyst, I pray it happens for me.)

Liepold is an intriguing option too: far more affordable, and with Frost’s buyout it may come down to simple budget math. But if cash is tight, then that is almost certainly going to rule out Matt Campbell, who’s buyout is roughly three times what was just paid Frost.

And that’s before you even hire a coach or an assistant staff. As wealthy as the Big 10, I don’t think admins are keen to drop $120 million or so on a coaching change without that big time track record to back it up. BoB, meanwhile, makes just over a million a year, and that kind of buyout is a rounding error when you’re talking about a new headman in the Power Five — particularly one whose contract lapses at the end of this season anyway, and would necessitate no buyout if an agreement can be reached in principle now.


It’s decision day!

It’s decision day for Longview (Texas) High Top247 2023 receiver Jalen Hale who is looking strongly at the likes of Alabama, Texas and Texas A&M down the stretch of his recruitment.

The Crimson Tide and Longhorns have had the most buzz throughout Hale’s recruitment, with him taking officials to Tuscaloosa the weekend of Sept. 3 and Austin the weekend of Sept. 10 (for the Alabama game).

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Hale gave Texas A&M his last official this past weekend and during the summer he took officials to Georgia and USC. Alabama is trending on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

“I’m still looking over my choices,” Hale told 247Sports late Tuesday evening. “I will know by 1pm tomorrow. I’m going go over all my schools, my pros and cons for me, pray on it and let my heart choose.”

We’ll have the write up for you if ‘Bama lands Hale. I’m somewhat concerned that his last visit was to A&M. As CB wrote over the summer (and I wish I could find the link), Jimbo’s classes have been hella’ sketchy, and he’s landing guys at the last second after a rushed, final impromptu visit.

Cheating. I’m saying he’s cheating. Jimbo is not a coach; he has always been a bagman who can’t find his ass with two hands and a sextant.

EDIT: Ah-ha! Found it! See below. Fisher’s cheating is some next-level Hugh Freeze-kind of sketch.


It requires a remarkable amount of patience to sit on the bench at Alabama, when most of the players can go and start for practically any program in the nation. Traeshon Holden is just the most recent high school superstar who saw himself become just another guy fighting for a job when he landed in Tuscaloosa.

Before he made the cross-country trip to Tuscaloosa from sun-kissed Harbor City, Calif., Holden was the star offensive weapon for Narbonne High. He led the Gauchos in touchdowns and all-purpose yards. Why wouldn’t he continue it with the Crimson Tide? Instead, Holden quickly found himself behind a future-Heisman Award winner and multiple first-round picks on the depth chart.

Quickly, Holden’s expectations had to be tempered, which meant waiting for his shot. Which meant the speedster needed to learn how to be “patient.”

“I just waited my turn and just worked,” Holden reflected on Tuesday.

Paying your dues pays off. Holden is Alabama’s leading receiver so far in this young season. And, given his size and rapport with Bryce, I’d venture to say he remains there.


More short-sighted administrative greed, another tradition killed by sluts in suits chasing conference realignment cash like a Karsdashian chasing Twitter clout.

The most recent victim? Bedlam — as Oklahoma and Okie Lite both signaled yesterday that the rivalry would not continue when the Sooners head to the SEC.

Hooray! One more thing ruined.


Don’t make me love you, Long Snapper

Alabama’s long snapper Kneeland Hibbett will donate a percentage of his NIL endorsements to the Concussion Legacy Foundation to honor his grandfather, Dennis Homan.

I really feel for Hibbett here. A few years back, I did a story on a good friend’s father played on those title teams with Homan, and whose brain was also pulverized by football-related CTE.

Just a class move by Kneeland here, and our sympathies to his family.


Auburn may be panting over the prospect of a Deion Sanders hire to replace the certain-to-be-fired Bryan Harsin, but a lot more people are pointing to another school as one that makes the most sense: a school with a hellraising, boisterous reputation, one that is football crazy and can win in a wide-open P12, and one that is unafraid to take risks — Arizona State.

There’s a lot to like about the Fun Devils here.


Speaking of Herm Edwards and coaches out on their ass. That 2017 coaching class certainly did not live up to its hype or promise...or often even competency. It was as bad a bunch of hires as you’ll see, and the SEC missed on the most. Among them: from Baldy in Knoxville, to Moorhead at CLANGA, to Chad Morris at Arkansas.

Woof. Brutal.


Yesterday, Nick Saban let a few guys out in front of the mic, and Tyler Steen was obviously going to get the call-up the week he faces his old team.

But, of more important substance was Saban’s assessment of ‘Bama’s starting tackle:

“He’s a very athletic guy,” head coach Nick Saban said. “He’s got really good power for his size. And is a good pass blocker. Very smart guy, understands how to play fundamentally, use his hands and has played pretty consistently for us in the three games that he’s played. Has certainly not disappointed us in any way, shape or form. He’s got a lot of experience, which I think helps. We’re very pleased that he’s here.”

Added defensive lineman DJ Dale, “Overall, he’s a great player. He’s smart, very strong. He’s a lot bigger than I thought he was, just from the summer and then him actually putting pads on. … Tyler was a great addition, and I’m happy that we have him.”

“Tyler was a great addition, and I’m happy that we have him.”
Me too, Coach. Me too.


A lot more on tap for you today. Have a great Gump Day, and we’ll see you later. Roll Tide

Poll

O’Brien to Nebraska?

  • 36%
    Makes sense. Good fit. Affordable too.
    (354 votes)
  • 18%
    I guess. But is that really going to excite the Nubber fanbase?
    (179 votes)
  • 45%
    As long as he’s not in Tuscaloosa at the end of this season, I don’t care what he does or where he goes.
    (445 votes)
978 votes total Vote Now