JessN: Saban’s going nowhere, but we like for you to be prepared

BamaMoon

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Tagging on to a few recent comments...even if you don't think Dabo had to build Clemson from the ground up, there's no question he's built something there in 10 years that's majorly an improvement of what was before and he's also sustained it, which is key.

What might he be able to do with starting at Bama after the machine CNS will leave and building on that???

And something that I believe he doesn't get enough credit for: he's a great recruiter and his player seem to genuinely love him to death.
 

Keeter

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I really believe that pulling Dabo from CU would be not only incredibly difficult, but impossible. I've lived in the Clemson area -- it is beautiful with lakes and the Blue Ridge mountains close behind. He is WORSHIPPED and ADORED but still has a good level of privacy and family life. He can get anything he wants from a school that has the best athletic support -- academic and otherwise -- that I have ever seen. He's cracked the recruiting nut -- gets his top choices just about every year. The ACC is not the "forced march grind" that is the SEC -- and helps rather than hurts him as long as he dominates. HIs faith is important to him -- and CU has traditionally had the largest FCA program in the country. There is also a large, conservative evangelical church a few miles down the road which has adopted him as their favored son. He has surpassed Frank Howard and Danny Ford in the Clemson pantheon -- and has Bobby Bowden status in the ACC.

I know we all think that the sun rises and sets in Tuscaloosa with Bama football...but not every one thinks that way -- even favored sons and daughters. The microscope is much finer in Alabama than in Clemson. In this universe Bama can offer him nothing that CU doesn't...I can't believe I wrote that, but at this time it is true. And unless he drives the bus into a ditch, I don't see that happening.

We better look at other options...and certainly in 6-8 years there will be several.
Until Mama calls......
 

bigjue24

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Nice write-up, Jess. That was well thought out . I think Saban will coach until he can't due to medical reasons.

I assume he has a list already made of the top 6 candidates he'd like to be the next head coach at Bama. He probably updates it each year. Hopefully, that list will not be needed for the next 10 years. :)

My personal list of current possibilities would be :
1. Dabo (ask at least 3 times before moving on to the next person)
2. Cristobal
3. Pruitt (if he does well at TN consistently)
4. Kiffin (if he has success at Ole Miss and behaves consistently)
5. Sark

I do not want Urban Meyer or Hugh Freeze.. good coaches but I don't trust them at all.

Whoever is on Saban's list will be good enough for me. RTR.
I might quit watching if they hired Freeze.
 

CrimsonTheory

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I think plan A-Z has to be Dabo and then if that don't happen then I would consider a guy like Chris Petersen. By the time Nick retires, it would have been a few years out of CFB for Petersen and maybe he might be interested in returning to football. If Petersen is off the table, then whoever is the hot coaching name of the day.

I think Dabo comes if Bama and more specifically Gene Stallings give his blessing. You can take the man out of Alabama but not the Alabama out of the man.
 
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jashleyren2

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I feel confident in saying that it will not be Dabo. I just believe the longer he stays at Clemson, the more entrenched he becomes, and his ties to Alabama fade more each year. He's a Clemson man. It's where he belongs. No, instead, someone likely not even mentioned in this great read will likely be the guy, but the trend in college and NFL has been to hire a "hot hand". A name of the moment type guy. Alabama is not the place for that man. Alabama is a place that is unlike Texas, or USC, or Penn State, or even Ohio State, all respect to those programs. Alabama is a place where only a seasoned commander can come in and do the program right. Anyone can take the job and sneak a 10 win season out from time to time. Fran did it. Shula did it. Hell, even DuBose did it.

The guy to take over the program will have won before, but maybe not measured in national titles or Super Bowls. He will have won year after year, and the only limitations that have held him back so far in his career are the ones that existed because he WASN'T at Alabama. No names come to mind, but think of the guys who were perennial winners at their NFL franchise or college program, but there was another beast in their league or conference, who dominated due to talent disparity. PJ Fleck at Minnesota is a very good, recent example. John (not Jim) Harbaugh is another, despite the Ravens loss to the Titans this past weekend.
 

tusks_n_raider

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I’d rather have Urban Meyer than Dabo and I can’t stand Urban.

Dabo is a great choice if you want Alabama to be on probation for another decade.
 

JessN

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I might quit watching if they hired Freeze.
I probably should have included him on this list because a lot of people -- and I mean a lot -- consider him one of the best pure coaches of football not named Nick Saban.

I got a chance to see him do a clinic-type discussion one time on wide receiver play. He was doing things that have gotten a bit more common now but at the time were considered high-risk and revolutionary, but were getting results. If he had had any concept of why defense is really important at the time (and I think he's matured since then), Ole Miss might have just won a title under him.

Napier is another that probably deserved a few paragraphs. There are just so many on the fringe right now that people ask about. P.J. Fleck at Minnesota, another one. Bronco Mendenhall. Kyle Whittingham. Gary Patterson hasn't forgotten how to coach (but he may have some baggage). Fuente at Virginia Tech. A lot of this comes down to are you hiring in three years, or hiring in six? Some of the mid-major guys will get a chance to step up in a six-year window and either prove themselves or get flushed.

What if you could hire Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame? It's not out of the question. But do you take him knowing what happened during that practice-filming accident? What happens if Golding leaves and we replace him with a veteran DC and that guy is in place when Saban quits?

Or do you go back and revisit and old coaching search (think 2007 prior to hiring Saban) and consider Greg Schiano, who was no worse than fourth on Alabama's list then?

There's a lot to think about here but not knowing the timeline, you just can't say.
 

bamaga

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I really believe that pulling Dabo from CU would be not only incredibly difficult, but impossible. I've lived in the Clemson area -- it is beautiful with lakes and the Blue Ridge mountains close behind. He is WORSHIPPED and ADORED but still has a good level of privacy and family life. He can get anything he wants from a school that has the best athletic support -- academic and otherwise -- that I have ever seen. He's cracked the recruiting nut -- gets his top choices just about every year. The ACC is not the "forced march grind" that is the SEC -- and helps rather than hurts him as long as he dominates. HIs faith is important to him -- and CU has traditionally had the largest FCA program in the country. There is also a large, conservative evangelical church a few miles down the road which has adopted him as their favored son. He has surpassed Frank Howard and Danny Ford in the Clemson pantheon -- and has Bobby Bowden status in the ACC.

I know we all think that the sun rises and sets in Tuscaloosa with Bama football...but not every one thinks that way -- even favored sons and daughters. The microscope is much finer in Alabama than in Clemson. In this universe Bama can offer him nothing that CU doesn't...I can't believe I wrote that, but at this time it is true. And unless he drives the bus into a ditch, I don't see that happening.

We better look at other options...and certainly in 6-8 years there will be several.
I will give you two compelling reasons. One you have covered. That’s the one about his school. The one he grew up loving, the one he walked on , when he could have had help at a smaller school. That sacrifice is huge , don’t discount that.
the second, if he is truly a competitor, the Calling for something more challenging . The same reasons college coaches try the NFL. You want to do it against the best. Except Dabo is a college coach, and has little interest in the NFL. The SEC is the most competitive conference in CFB. He will be challenged weekly. And to do it at a school he grew up loving, his home state school. The most decorated school arguably in college football. Clemson will never compare to that. Sure he could win 12 games a year for the next 10 years and Clemson will still be Clemson. Unless FSU or Miami can figure things out, the ACC will always be a second rate football league. If he is really a competitor, He will want to be challenged, or he could stay in his comfort zone , and win those 12 games a year. And wonder how he would have fared against consistently better competition.
With all that said, I think he will stay at Clemson. Not because of the reasons you gave, but more because he and his family have been there long enough to put down roots. They are a Clemson family. His kids go there or went there. I for one hope we go in a different direction Than Dabo, but I don’t think any coachsearch committee would be doing their due dilligence if they don’t at least put out feelers. Plus I think he does want to coach at Alabama , just not any time soon. But when the GOAT retires, in 5-6 years , will that be long enough for his ‘Clemson family‘ to move on to lives of their own . I don’t know. I guess we will see.
 
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bamaga

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Is there a Saban assistant that has had much success as a head coach?
FISHER WON A Natty( put that in because some don’t like that term). , Kirby played in the CFBP CG, Dantonio made it to the playoffs. Cristobal won the PAC12, I’m sure I’m missing some.
 
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4Q Basket Case

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This is a great topic, and I love that to really participate, you have to name somebody you’d support. It’s a lot easier to throw rocks at weaknesses (newsflash: their is no perfect or riskless hire out there), than it is to say, “Acknowledging questions about A, B, and C aspects, I support Coach [Whoever] because....”

If I were in Byrne’s chair, I’d offer Dabo first. No, he’s not riskless, but then no hire is — even the Saban of 2007 carried the risk of a short tenure. Dabo is the lowest-risk / highest upside candidate out there.

But I don’t think Dabo comes, even if offered. He just has it too good in Auburn With a Lake. Still, you have to try.

My guess is that the offer would come through a 4-person conference call with Byrne, Saban, Sexton, and Dabo. Absolutely no publicity whatsoever. Nobody would acknowledge that it was even discussed.

Assuming Dabo says, “Thanks, but no thanks,” and depending on their respective performance between now and then, my second call would be to either Cristobal or Pruitt.

Neither is perfect. There are question marks and/or gaps in both resumes. But Cristobal has been a head coach at two different places, building Florida International from below ground level (I thought it was a huge mistake when FIU fired him), and turning around Oregon.

I really think Pruitt will be successful at UTe. No, he’s not polished, and probably won’t ever really be. But we’ve had successful head coaches who were a little rough around the edges. He’s a dang good defensive guy, a fine recruiter, and I’m guessing he’d be able to get a better OC at Alabama than he can at UTe.
 

Padreruf

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I will give you two compelling reasons. One you have covered. That’s the one about his school. The one he grew up loving, the one he walked on , when he could have had help at a smaller school. That sacrifice is huge , don’t discount that.
the second, if he is truly a competitor, the Calling for something more challenging . The same reasons college coaches try the NFL. You want to do it against the best. Except Dabo is a college coach, and has little interest in the NFL. The SEC is the most competitive conference in CFB. He will be challenged weekly. And to do it at a school he grew up loving, his home state school. The most decorated school arguably in college football. Clemson will never compare to that. Sure he could win 12 games a year for the next 10 years and Clemson will still be Clemson. Unless FSU or Miami can figure things out, the ACC will always be a second rate football league. If he is really a competitor, He will want to be challenged, or he could stay in his comfort zone , and win those 12 games a year. And wonder how he would have fared against consistently better competition.
With all that said, I think he will stay at Clemson. Not because of the reasons you gave, but more because he and his family have been there long enough to put down roots. They are a Clemson family. His kids go there or went there. I for one hope we go in a different direction Than Dabo, but I don’t think any coachsearch committee would be doing their due dilligence if they don’t at least put out feelers. Plus I think he does want to coach at Alabama , just not any time soon. But when the GOAT retires, in 5-6 years , will that be long enough for his ‘Clemson family‘ to move on to lives of their own . I don’t know. I guess we will see.
Good post...I get when people say "Mamma called..." However, I just don't get that with Dabo. I'm not a flag waver for him -- but I cannot deny that he has built a really strong program. Did he have good athletes? Yes...but he also brought in even better athletes...
They think they are blue bloods in CFB -- as do a lot of programs. Is it a top 5 program? No way...but probably now a consistent top 10 or 15.
If he comes back in 5 years, he will be a success...for that will mean he has continued to be a success at CU for the next 5 years.
 

Keeter

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I think plan A-Z has to be Dabo and then if that don't happen then I would consider a guy like Chris Petersen. By the time Nick retires, it would have been a few years out of CFB for Petersen and maybe he might be interested in returning to football. If Petersen is off the table, then whoever is the hot coaching name of the day.

I think Dabo comes if Bama and more specifically Gene Stallings give his blessing. You can take the man out of Alabama but not the Alabama out of the man.
I imagine if Stallings is still around, he will tell Dabo to take it
 

Mystical

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If he comes without Venables, will he have success? Not sure Venables would come to Alabama with him.
I think people forget fans at OK wanted to fire Venables before Dabo hired him. I don't think anyone was saying Dabo struck gold when he hired Venables back then. I remember the melt down OK fans had after they loss 55-14 in the Orange Bowl with everything on the line. They were even money in that game. OK had some monumental break downs while Brent was there. Clemson was never a bottom of the barrel program but they were never near what they are now. Clemson won a National Championship in 1981. Before Dabo their last ACC championship was 1991. Dabo came on the scene in 2008 by 2011 he had won the ACC. By 2015 he had his program ahead of FSU and shortly after ran off Jimbo Fisher. The guy has won the ACC from 2015 to the present day. I know the ACC is weak but it was weak from 1982 to 2011 also and Clemson could not win the ACC.
 
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