Alabama Football: Todd Grantham a realistic DC option for Nick Saban

Happy Tuesday everyone. The men’s basketball team will try to recover from Saturday’s shellac in Norman as they host Vanderbilt. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Nate Oats said the team walked by for a while without doing their best.

“I think we played poorly and got away from that,” Oats said. “Teams missed shots against us or sometimes missed free throws. This was a game that had Oklahoma locked in and they desperately needed a win.

Alabama, on the other hand, had no fire in its stomach for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

“So yeah, if you don’t play with a sense of urgency and you don’t want to play hard, you have to lose the game,” Oats said. “That has to be clear, you can’t get away with that.”

Bottom line is that Oklahoma brought it to them in a hostile environment and they didn’t respond well. Hopefully they can grow from the experience and realize their huge potential in March. Tipp-off is 7:30 CT on SEC Network, and we’ll of course cover it later.

In football news you just want to talk about who’s going to hire Saban has his assistants so I think we’re going to do that. Dennis Dodd has #sauces telling him Saban would love to have Jeremy Pruitt, but that’s unlikely to happen.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has reached out to former Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt regarding the vacancy of the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator position, CBS Sports sources report. No offer is believed to have been made at this time, and Alabama would not comment on Pruitt’s candidacy when approached for comment.

Sources indicate that Pruitt has a strong chance of being hired by the Tide as the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation. He was fired in Tennessee two years ago when the NCAA made allegations of 18 Level I violations against the volunteers. Level I violations are the most serious on the NCAA scale of violations.

So if it’s not Pruitt, then who could it be?

Georgia co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann was considered the leading alternative to Pruitt as recently as last week. However, sources have told Tide Illustrated that Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart is now confident of keeping Schumann in Athens.

Additionally, there doesn’t appear to be any progress on Alabama and other alleged candidates, including Jimmy Lake or Jim Leonhard.

This makes Grantham the most likely alternative at the moment. The 56-year-old assistant joined Alabama’s staff last summer as a defensive analyst after spending the last four seasons as Florida’s defensive coordinator.

No idea how reliable Tony’s #sauces are, but Grantham is 56, has over 30 years of coaching experience, got his first DC job in 2005, has coordinated in both college and the NFL, most notably working for Saban on Michigan State and then as an analyst last season. As a coordinator, his defense has had good seasons and bad seasons. If he’s someone Saban is comfortable hiring, then he’ll do fine even if the naggers keep complaining.

Saban spoke to Washington OC’s Ryan Grubb about this opening.

Grubb, 47, spent last season leading the Huskies’ offense while also serving as quarterbacks coach. The Iowa native has been coaching at the FBS level since 2014 but never in the SEC, and has no direct ties to Saban or his coaching tree.

Washington twice increased Grubbs’ salary in late 2022, including a second increase in December that would see him earn $2 million annually through 2025, according to the Seattle Times. That puts Grubb among the highest-paid assistants in college football, and significantly higher than Bill O’Brien, who has earned $1.1 million for Alabama over the past two seasons.

It will be interesting to see if this happens. From Grubbs’ point of view, he would be able to show that he can go on offense without the watchful eye of head coach Kalen KeBoer, as he has done for most of his career.

Much of the credit went to Grubb, and that credit is probably deserved. But Grubb’s departure might answer one question: Was the offense his idea or head coach Kalen DeBoer’s?

It’s always difficult to figure out who the real guru is when an OC is training under their offense-oriented boss. DeBoer was an offensive coordinator in southern Illinois, eastern Michigan and Indiana before getting the HC job at Fresno State — where the Bulldogs produced a top-15 offensive line in Kalen’s sophomore year.

This attitude would be a kind of departure for Saban as it seems quite impossible that he is very familiar with Grubb. He’ll no doubt do his duty of care, though, and if he’s comfortable with him, Grubb is.

Lastly, Roman Harper shared the DeVonta Smith interview I embedded yesterday with a little jab at David Pollack, who told Nick Saban at the national championship game that Georgia “had conquered college football.

Georgia isn’t going anywhere, and neither is Alabama. These two will fight for the foreseeable future.

That’s it for now. Have a great day.

tide roll.