Colts and Giants may make sense for Nick Saban, but not as much as Alabama

7 Comments

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has won national titles at two different college football programs. He has coached a Heisman Trophy winner. He has enough SEC championship and bowl championship rings to open a jewelry exchange. He is handsomely paid to be the head coach at one of the biggest programs in the sport. Why would he leave? If there is anything that could pry Saban away from Alabama, a chance to redeem himself in the NFL would seem to be among the most logical possibilities.

Saban recently caused a mild stir when he suggested he would likely still be coaching the NFL’s Miami Dolphins if the franchise just listened to him and allow him to sign free agent quarterback Drew Brees, the man who actually got Purdue to a Rose Bowl. The Dolphins ended up acquiring Daunte Culpepper via trade with the Minnesota Vikings that spring and former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington via trade with the Detroit Lions. Good thinking there Miami. Saban eventually left the Dolphins to become the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he had the luxury of choosing his own quarterback on a yearly basis without interference from a front office. Needless to say, things have gone well for Saban in Tuscaloosa. Saban’s comments about his past at Miami though got Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to think maybe this is an indication, or a secret code Saban is sending to those receiving the message in the NFL. Is Saban saying he is ready for a return to the NFL?

Florio says Saban may be saying he would be interested in returning to the NFL if the right team with the right franchise quarterback in place happened to come calling. The two franchises that make the most sense? The Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck) and the New York Giants (Eli Manning).

Personally, I can’t see Saban coaching anywhere else but Alabama. In my mind, Saban is far more likely to retire for good before jumping back into the world of the NFL. There was a time I thought Saban could potentially flirt with trying to redeem himself at the NFL level after things went south with the Dolphins, but Saban has just too good of a thing going at Alabama. From the rich contract and the ability to be in full control of whatever he wants, there are very few jobs out there that would make sense to Alabama to take up. As much as coaching in the NFL is considered the top level of the coaching profession, Saban has been there and seen the drawbacks firsthand. why get caught up in that again when you can keep plugging away and building national title contenders until retirement?

Star WR Michael Pittman confirms he’ll play in USC’s bowl game

Getty Images
Leave a comment

(Pardon us as we’ve been catching up on a few things due to some very significant technical difficulties.)

USC fans can assuage their anguish somewhat over the retention of Clay Helton with the knowledge that one of their school’s most explosive weapons on offense will be available during the postseason. There, feel better?

After some uncertainty and speculation, Michael Pittman announced on Twitter this week that he will be playing in the Trojans’ bowl game. USC will face Iowa in Holiday Bowl Dec. 27, the first meeting between the football programs since 2002.

Pittman led the Trojans this season in receptions (95), receiving yards (1,222) and receiving touchdowns (11). The catches and yards led the Pac-12, while the scores were second.

The fourth-year senior was named first-team all-conference and is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award.

FAU makes hiring of Willie Taggart as Lane Kiffin’s replacement official

Getty Images
1 Comment

A week ago, it was reported that Willie Taggartbadly wants a second act” at USF.  While that job ultimately went to a Clemson coordinator, Taggart still ended up landing yet another gig in the Sunshine State.

With rumors swirling throughout the day, Florida Atlantic confirmed Wednesday evening that Taggart has been named as the Owls’ new head football coach.  Taggart replaces Lane Kiffin, who left shortly after FAU won the Conference USA championship game Saturday for the Ole Miss job.

“I’m grateful to Brian White and President Kelly for their belief in me to lead the football program at Florida Atlantic University,” a statement from Taggart began. “I’m looking forward to long-term success here. I think our players and the university deserve that commitment. Family is extremely important to me. I couldn’t do what I do without their love and support and all of us are looking forward to being here in Paradise for the foreseeable future.”

After four years as the head coach at South Florida, Taggart left USF for Oregon — for one season as it turned out as he pulled up stakes from the Pac-12 school for the Florida State job in December of 2017.  Less than two full seasons later, though, Taggart was shown the door by the Seminoles in early November.

Taggart is a native of Bradenton, Fla. and has deep, extensive recruiting ties in the state, which will only aid him in taking over a football program that has won two conference championships the past three years.

Taggart has never won a conference crown during his 10 seasons as a head coach, although he did claim a division title at South Florida in 2016.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Coach Taggart on board to lead our football program,” FAU athletic director Brian White said in his statement. “Coach Taggart is a proven program builder who will develop strong relationships with our student-athletes and develop them as future leaders. His deep relationships around the state of Florida and the nation will be vital in recruiting as well. The traits he brings to the table will allow us to continue building upon our recent success.”

FAU’s Harrison Bryant named Mackey Award winner as nation’s best TE

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In a change of pace, we come to an award that doesn’t involve either Joe Burrow or Chase Young.

The John Mackey Award winner was announced earlier in the day Wednesday, with Florida Atlantic’s Harrison Bryant claiming this year’s honor.  The Mackey is handed out annually to the nation’s top tight end.

Established in 2000, the 2018 winner was Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson.

This past season, Bryant caught 65 passes for 1,0004 yards and seven touchdowns.  Bryant led all FBS tight ends in both catches and receiving yards.

Bryant beat out seven other tight ends for the 2019 Mackey.

  • Hunter Bryant, Washington
  • Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
  • Brevin Jordan, Miami
  • Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
  • Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
  • Colby Parkinson, Stanford
  • Giovanni Ricci, Western Michigan

Ole Miss announces future home-and-home with Oregon State

Getty Images
1 Comment

With the 2019 regular season put to bed, there is some future scheduling news on which to hit — and some very rare news at that.

Wednesday afternoon, Ole Miss announced that it had reached an agreement on a future home-and-home series with Oregon State.  The Beavers will travel to Oxford Sept. 18, 2027, with the Rebels making the trek to Corvallis on Aug. 31, 2030.

The 2027 game will mark the first-ever between the football programs.

According to Ole Miss, they have played a current member of the Pac-12 just twice, with both of those games coming against Cal.  Those games, incidentally, came in the last three years, including this season.

Oregon State last played a team from the SEC in 1987 when they traveled to Georgia.  A team from that conference has never played in Corvallis.