Report: Lane Kiffin to interview for Bama OC job

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For the love of all that’s good and holy, college football gods, pleeease allow this hire to happen.

In the brief time since the surprising news surfaced that Doug Nussmeier was leaving Alabama for Michigan, several candidates have been mentioned as potential replacements as the Tide’s offensive coordinator.  Only one of those, though, rhymes with “Lane Kiffin.”

Shortly after the news broke, Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com tweeted that Nussmeier’s departure “does open very real possibility of Lane Kiffin joining #Bama staff,” adding that “[h]e & Nick Saban are buddies.”  One of Feldman’s cohorts, though, has taken the speculation to another level.

Thursday morning, Jeremy Fowler reported for the same website that “Kiffin is interviewing for the Alabama offensive coordinator job as early as today.”  The interview will take place in Tuscaloosa, Fowler noted.

The report continues a rather bizarre connection between the two coaches that continued last month.  In mid-December, it was reported that Kiffin, one of the most polarizing coaches in the college game, would be visiting Alabama to evaluate the Crimson Tide’s offense ahead of the Sugar Bowl.

As expected, the arrangement created quite the buzz both pro and con — mostly the latter — a development that Saban didn’t quite understand.

“Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit, get some professional ideas with our guys, is a real positive thing, so I don’t know why there’s any reaction to it to be honest with you. I’m really quite surprised,” Saban said at the time.

Kiffin’s last three jobs have been as head coach: USC (2010-13), Tennessee (2009) and Oakland Raiders (2007-08).  He called plays during his time with the Trojans, while his last official stint as offensive coordinator came with the same program in 2005-06.  Those also serve as his only tears as a coordinator at any level.

The fact that both Saban and Kiffin lean toward the pro-style side of the offensive coin lends credence to the rumored interest, even as it would likely be blasted and/or ridiculed if it were to come to fruition.

The thing is, what you or I or anyone else would think of the move wouldn’t make a spit bit of difference to Saban.  If he feels Kiffin is the best man for the job and gives the Tide the best opportunity to win, he’ll pull the trigger on a hire, the rest of the world be damned.

Still, the thought of Saban and Kiffin in the same college football program for an entire season — and with the latter back in the SEC no less — makes me giddy.  Unabashedly, positively school-girl giddy.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.

Stanford schedules 2018 game against FCS UC Davis

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Let this post serve as your annual reminder that Notre Dame, UCLA and USC remain the only FBS programs who have never played a game against or scheduled a game with a team from the FCS/Div. 1-AA.

In that vein, Stanford announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a 2018 game against UC Davis.  That game will, of course, be played at the Cardinal’s football home, Stanford Stadium, on Sept. 15 of that year.

The two football programs have met three times previously, the last coming in 2014.  The Cardinal holds a 2-1 advantage in the miniseries, with the lone loss coming back in 2005

In addition to the game against the FCS program, Stanford also has 2018 non-conference games scheduled with San Diego State, at home, and Notre Dame, in South Bend.  Their Pac-12 schedule that season consists of home games against Oregon State, USC, Utah, and Washington State as well as road trips to Arizona State, California, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington.

Other future non-conference games, with the annual rivalry game versus Notre Dame a given, include Boston College, BYU, Kansas State, Northwestern, TCU and Vanderbilt.

Starting slotback leaves Army for Elon

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Even as Tyler Campbell seemed determined to transfer from the Army football program, head coach Jeff Monken had held out hope that the starting slotback would reverse course and return to the service academy.  In the end, that hope proved futile.

According to Sal Interdonato of HudsonValley.com, Campbell has followed through with his departure plans and has transferred to Elon.  As the Phoenix play at the FCS level, Campbell will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.

A third-year junior, Campbell will have two seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

Last season, Campbell started 11 of the 13 games in which he played.  He ran for 326 yards on 34 carries — his 9.6 yards per carry was tops on the Black Knights — while adding another 71 yards on a pair of receptions.  He saved his best for last, rushing for a career-high 88 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl win over North Texas.

While in the offensive backfield at Army, he’ll play in the defensive backfield at Elon as he’s currently listed as a cornerback for the Phoenix.