50 shades of Urnge schadenfreude

Long-time readers of the blog will remember the absolute glee I took in learning that Lane Kiffin ditched Tennessee for Southern Cal.

I bring this up now because of an item in today’s Mandel Mailbag ($$).  A reader asks who Alabama would turn to if Nick Saban suddenly decided to call it a day in Tuscaloosa.  Mandel rejects the thought of an internal promotion (yeah, including Booch), as well as Dabo jumping ship for what Mandel refers to as a lateral move (ouch).  After skipping past Corch, here’s where Mandel goes next.

So then it would become — which of Saban’s protégés is A) qualified and B) interested? Georgia’s Kirby Smart is qualified but probably not interested. Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt would be very interested but is not yet qualified.

I think we all expect Pruitt would crawl over broken glass for the Alabama job were it offered.  My question is where that abandonment would rate on the Lulu and Junior departure scale, assuming that, oh, John Currie rated a zero and the Laner a white-hot ten.  I don’t sense that the UT fan base is quite as emotionally invested in Pruitt as it was in Kiffin, but on the other hand, Fulmer is.  (On the third hand, that might be just the opening Fulmer needs…)

I suspect Vol tears would flow more over rejection as a general principle than specifically tied to the coach, but who knows?  What do you think the response would be?



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

31 responses to “50 shades of Urnge schadenfreude


    I rarely think of the Vols…this is one of those times.


  2. JCDawg83

    Only an idiot would take the Bama job right after Saban leaves. That said, Pruitt is the most likely candidate.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Got Cowdog

    Depends on the timeline. Saban hangs it up after the 19 season, Pruitt goes 8-5 and gets them to a decent bowl in 19 then bolts for Bama?
    I’d give it a firm 8 on the LJDS. Fulmer’s righteous indignation could push it as far as a 9.
    Not that I would want to see this happen, of course. Don’t you think Vol fans have been through enough?


  4. Mayor

    Foolmer. They’d want Foolmer back. And he’d do it.


  5. Bulldog Joe

    First in line for popcorn if they promote Sarkisian.


  6. Little doubt that their first choice would be Dabo… You would think that he would be smart enough to know that what he has going on at Clemson already makes him a legend. Following Saban at Bama – that’s almost an impossible task – even if he is successful.

    But the ego might win – you never know.

    Pruitt? I still see his path like this… He’ll actually to pretty good work at UT, but he will not be able to get by the Dawgs and maybe UF and that will get him fired after year 4. He will be the D.C. either back at Bama or some other place, maybe even UGA, and will settle in somewhere new a couple of years later and do quite well.

    Who Bama brings in – who knows… I do know they’ll drop – and I do not care who it is. When your Head Coach is that much of an Alpha, you can not ‘plug and play’ and keep ‘the process’ at the level it was before.


    • JCDawg83

      Dabo would be an idiot to leave Clemson for Bama. At Clemson, he has the easiest cakewalk schedule in P5 football to the playoff. He starts the season with 10 wins guaranteed and unless a generational talent lands on one of the other division’s teams, the ACC championship game is no more difficult than a game against Wofford or Furman.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Silver Creek Dawg

        Tough to say No when mama calls. Roy Williams said no to UNC once and then came home.


        • Otto

          Bama is an interesting one. I wouldn’t follow Saban but going after a fired coach could be interesting.

          It is hard to say what Dabo or Smart would do. Dabo made some remarks about fans not being happy with their most recent win over USCe. Granted a logical person makes the argument Bama is even less logical about their in state rival. As you say when mama call it can put logic out of the window. Bama offers money, resources, and a University committed to winning that Clemson and UGA won’t match. Which yes I think many discount the possibility of Smart leaving. He has tasted the temptation, and has dealt with the politics of Athens.


        • siskey

          True. But that was with two coaches between him and Dean Smith. Plus he had done a hell of a lot more at Kansas than Pruit will do at Tennessee. (I think).

          Liked by 1 person

      • CEPH

        Why do you think Bowden chose not to join the SEC!! Bowden ruled the acc just like Dabo. Very weak competition so he would be a fool to leave for the sec. Besides he couldn’t take the lake with him.


        • Otto

          Bowden will be the Bear of FSU football, if he went to the SEC he would be in the footsteps of another iconic name. He had recruiting pipelines, built a legacy, and as you point an easier path at FSU.


  7. No Axe To Grind

    Like I said in a post months ago, Clempsun can match the Elephants dollar for dollar. IPTAY don’t mean “I pay ten a year anymore.”


  8. Most big urnge fans want those EEE wide seats fore eevvveeerrrr….


  9. Uglydawg

    Hopefully Kirby will be a primary catalyst in Saban’s hanging it up.
    Whoever Saban tells them to go after, they’ll go after with all they have.
    I think it will be Kirby, but I also think he’ll stay at UGA.
    It could be Mullins…esp. if he has UF on the uptick by then.
    It won’t be Booch, dammit…
    James Franklin?
    Maybe Geoff? Remember, Bill Curry followed Perkins…and he won SEC coach of the year and they threw a brick through his window and fired him anyway.
    The prerequisite for being offered by ‘Bama is going to be ….
    A. From the Saban Tree.
    B. Performing at a very high level in present job.
    C. Willing to lie awake at night pondering his fate should he lose twice in a row to Auburn.

    IF Pruitt can manage B. he may get the job..but I doubt it. Just remember how much Alabama fans hate Fulmer. Their hatred of all things orange almost matches ours. Pruitt will be seen as tainted by both.
    But I hope it happens. There’s nothing like a good dumpster fire in Knoxville to warm my spirits. If Lulu and Jr. are pissed, I’m happy.

    The day Saban hangs it up is going to start a very entertaining chain of events. They’re not rationale people, those Alabama fans. It’s going to start a show for the ages.
    (Dabo would be crazy to leave that lollipop schedule and set up…he’s the toast of Clemson)


  10. Russ

    Whoever winds up at Bama doesn’t really worry me. They will struggle much like they did after Bear left. Sure, they will have good years, but nothing like this run now.

    I just hope it’s Kirby that sends him into retirement. I think it will be. And I’m going to love all the venom spewed by the Gumps through their dentures.


  11. Salty Dawg

    Yes! Pruitt should definitely go coach at AL if given the chance. He would lose several games each year, not make it to the playoffs and then get railroaded out of town. Good times! Lulu and Junior will seek solace in their deep fried snickers bars when he leaves them high and dry.


  12. Spike

    Ahh.. The Big Orange.. recall Charlie Strong and even David Cutcliff turned them down in the past..


  13. TN Dawg

    Being from Knoxville, I don’t sense that Tennessee fans are in love with Pruitt, but they think the Vawls are finally stabilized and headed in a direction (which I actually agree with).

    I don’t know that they’d pull their hair out and scream traitor, but they’d definitely be upset, mostly because there would have to be yet another coaching search.

    At least Jon Gruden wouldn’t be mentioned, with his 9 years left in LA.


  14. FlyingPeakDawg

    Tom Herman make Texas relevant and goes to Bama. The time frame is about right…3 – 5 years.


  15. Tony Barnfart

    I think they end up with somebody good, but who is himself outrunning the chopping block of an irrational fanbase. So, yes, I could see it being somebody like a Pruitt if he has a string of runner-up / near miss finishes in the SEC East—but not quite satisfying enough for Urnge nation who is still in denial about their place in the 21st century. Tom Herman could be that guy if he does everything but fails to get over the Oklahoma hump.

    Dabo / Kirby / Jimbo would probably be foolish to leave (if projections hold) the worlds they have created for a position thats only distinguished by a tradition that (a) they will not get credit for (even Kirby) and (b) will only serve to bring about their demise. A potential “up-and-comer” from a lesser school would (a) not be appealing to Bama, at least at first and (b) be an enormous career risk, particularly if the coach is young.


  16. Hobnail_Boot

    Head? Hermann or Fisher.

    Heart? Trooper Taylor.


  17. I think you guys are missing the major points on the “problem” of following Saban, perhaps overlooking the obvious. True that following a legend is tough, and you may not measure up to his record, but: 1) the benches are full of underclassmen that were 5 stars and 4 stars, chomping at the bit, 2) the salary will be very high, 3) the staff will not be cut back, you will have mucho help and 4) the assistant coaches will be lined up with resumes in hand to get credit for coaching those players, you will have your pick. Now, you may only last 4-5 years if you cannot keep the momentum going, but it isn’t like you are having to turn a program around that has fallen on hard times, or persuade the HS players to come to a rebuilding campus with lousy facilities. Think of riding the inertia wave versus getting it up and moving after 2-3 failed coaches. The talent would be down, the recruiting momentum would be broken, and there would be a new sheriff in some nearby town with all the nice, shiny toys.

    I don’t see a Smart or Dabo going to Tusky in the near future, but Pruitt would crawl over hot coals for the job, and there will be 7-8 new “hot” newbies salivating for their shot.