If Washington Hires Doug Nussmeier, the Nick Saban-to-Texas Rumors Will Heat Up


Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier is a rumored finalist for the Washington Huskies coaching job that became vacant when Steve Sarkisian left for USC earlier this week. Nussmeier was the Washington Huskies offensive coordinator in 2009 before leaving to run the Tide’s offense in 2011. As the Seattle PI notes, he helped recruit many of the players currently on the Huskies roster.

So if/when Chris Petersen says no to Washington, do the Huskies pluck Nussmeier from Alabama? If that happens, it could be the domino that triggers Nick Saban to leave for Texas.

Look at Saban’s staff at Alabama. It’s been picked clean the last few years. The most loyal has been defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who is probably just waiting out Saban in hopes of getting the head job. And look at the competition angle: Yes, Alabama reloads, it doesn’t rebuild, but in the last two years, Saban’s lost grueling, draining, regular season games to rah-rah, go-go young offensive masterminds Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M and Gus Malzahn of Auburn. They’re the hot new kids on the SEC block. Sumlin has agreed to stay at A&M; we’ll see what happens with Malzahn after the SEC title game (or BCS title game, if they beat Missouri Saturday).

One could argue Saban’s in a similar situation to what Urban Meyer faced at Florida. In 2008, behind Tim Tebow, the Gators won a second BCS Title (the first was in 2006). In 2009, the Gators were poised to do it again, but were beaten by Alabama, which had the hot new (well, new again; he won a title at LSU in 2003) coach on the SEC block, Nick Saban. The Gators finished 13-1. After Meyer’s star QB graduated, the Gators struggled to finish 8-5. Meyer left coaching to spend time with his family.

Eleven months later, he resurfaced in a much easier conference to dominate: The Big Ten. Meyer is 24-0 so far at Ohio State in the Big Ten.

Saban has won three of the last four BCS titles, an incredible run. He’s got to replace his star QB, AJ McCarron. The backup, Blake Sims, doesn’t come with the resume that McCarron did. (The skill players … oh boy the skill players returning are friggin’ sick.) If Saban loses his offensive coordinator, might it make sense to say, ‘hey, I had a great run at Alabama, let me go double my salary at Texas and clean up in the vastly inferior Big 12 and grab another title or two before retiring.’

Yes, I know what his comments have been the last few months.

Yes, I know his wife said.

Let’s see what happens with Nussmeier, ok?