Mr. Yost

December 8th, 2016 at 9:07 AM ^

Because he's about to win what, his 3rd national championship?

He's been a clown at every stop pre-Alabama, but he's been awesome at Bama...some of the play calls he makes, finding matchups, and not being afraid to abandon the gameplan and take what the defense gives has been special. Especially with the lack of talent he's had at QB.


December 8th, 2016 at 9:19 AM ^

Sorry, I call BS. Give me a consistently solid QB, a Heisman-caliber RB each and every year, an NFL-quality offensive line, and some fantastic skill players, and I too could squeak wins out against overrated SEC teams. Nussmeier did it before him, and I'd bet a penny whoever comes next, you won't see a drop-off. I'll also bet he bombs at Houston, and gets run out of town before 2020... 


December 8th, 2016 at 10:20 AM ^

Nussmeiers teams put up worse results with inferior talent. Nussmeier had an NFL QB (and great OL, RB, WR). Kiffin had a converted WR, a FSU castaway, and now a true FR QB who can't throw the ball and is merely a pretty good runner. 


EDIT: To clarify, I think that Kiffin is much better than Nussmeier (who I think it a pretty bad OC), not the Kiffin is a genuis offensive mind. 


December 8th, 2016 at 11:50 AM ^

I took your defense of Kiffin to heart, because I don't want to be unfair to him, and went and looked at Alabama's margin-of-victory for the three years before Kiffin (BK) and the three years under Kiffin (UK). While this is incredibly crude, and doesn't take the talent into account, the relationship between offense and defense, the strength of schedule, etc., if Kiffin was a clear-cut plus over his predecessors, you'd assume that metric would be better UK than it was BK. Here are the MOV results year-by-year, including all games played (with 2016 obviously missing one, possibly two games, against the best competition they'll have played all year):

2011: 26.7

2012: 27.8

2013: 24.2

2014: 18.5

2015: 19.9

2016: 28.8

In summary, in his first two years Kiffin was substantially worse than his two predecessors. This year is his best, and he is actually beating his competitors. But when you consider they play one and maybe two more games against the #4 and maybe #3/#2 team, I'll bet that numbers drops down closer to his first two years. 

My conclusion: Kiffin sucks and Houston is stupid. 


December 8th, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

you know, actual offensive efficiency numbers?  Margin of victory takes into account defense, doesn't take into account opponents, pace, etc. There are far better numbers for what you're trying to achieve!  Bama's Offensive FEI numbers the last six years:

2016: 16th (Kiffin)

2015: 18th (Kiffin)

2014: 6th (Kiffin)

2013: 10th (Nuss)

2012: 4th (Nuss)

2011: 7th (McElwain)

Kiffin has had the least success here, but as others mentioned, he's probably not had quite the talent at QB as the other two.  All evidence does point to the fact that it really doesn't matter who the O coordinator is for an offense that has insane NFL talent on the line and at RB (and to a lesser extent WR).  When you're running top-rated backs behind the best O lines in football even Doug Nussmeier (who has gone on to be awful at his next two stops) can be successful. And Kiffin probably isn't any better than Nuss unless he can personally recruit the kind of talent that Saban does - doutful at Houston.


December 11th, 2016 at 11:03 AM ^

anybody could just call plays during the games but that's just a needle in a big haystack that is the responsibilities of a OC. You have to recruit, watch hours of film to game plan your opponent, manage practices. Look after 30 student athletes year round. Not as easy as you think plus Kiffin has to put with Nick Satan as he embarrasses him on national tv, treating him like a little bitch in front of millions. Having said that I'd give it a shot for 1.3 million a year.


December 8th, 2016 at 9:13 AM ^

I don't think Kiffin is all that bad intrinsically.  I think the problem is that he was given high level HC positions too early with failure being a predictable result.  I am also guessing that working under Nick Saban was perfect for him because Saban probably taught him humility. Kiffin has had too many sycophants around him.  Saban is a lot of things, but definitely not a sycophant.

I think Kiffin is right where he belongs now: HC at a non-Power Five school that has a lot of resources but is still basically a stepping stone job.  When he was elevated to HC for Oakland, he had no HC experience.  Then he worked two high profile HC jobs but without ever having had the experience of building a college program.

Kiffin didn't have a resume that justified his hiring before.  Now, his resume and experience level are perfect for the kind of job he should have taken before going to Oakland, Tennessee or USC.  I think he will finally be successful as an HC now that he is ready.


December 8th, 2016 at 10:11 AM ^

I think this is the right take.  Dude's only 41, and there's not many good candidates right now.  I think it's a reasonable risk to take.  He was at Oakland and Tenessee for such short periods it's hard to glean much from those stops.

MI Expat NY

December 8th, 2016 at 10:10 AM ^

If you throw out his NFL experience, which I think you should since he was young and unprepared for a job that most coaches fail at, he's only had one failure.  And that was at USC under harsh sanctions, and even there he had a 10-2 season.  

I won't argue that he certainly has acted like an asshat, but if he's matured and figured out how to be a head coach under Saban, I think he's worth the risk.  Especially for a program like Houston.  Houston isn't a job that simply requires a steadying hand and you'll be successful.  Houston needs to always take a chance on the next coach with high upside.   


December 8th, 2016 at 8:30 AM ^

I guess the only question I would have then is how many years will it be before he is left on the tarmac at George Bush Intercontinental? I willl go out on a limb and guess that it is three seasons, and like his stint at USC, after a game where Houston plays as though it died recently. 


December 8th, 2016 at 8:35 AM ^

But obviously it's still a big risk. His track record as a head coach is terrible. Maybe he'll do better this time around but it's a semi-desperate move on Houston's part. They are dying to stay relevant after sniffing the Big 12. The problem from my perspective is that hiring Kiffin is actually a lose-lose proposition: either he's much better than at USC or UT and gets hired away in 2-3 years or he remains a terrible head coach and Houston is stuck with a mess. Down vote on the decision from this corner of the woods.


December 8th, 2016 at 8:33 AM ^

Wonder if Mario Cristobal gets the promotion or what? He's Bama's best recruiter. I hope he goes and coaches elsewhere honestly, but can't imagine he passes up the OC job if they offer it to him.

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MI Expat NY

December 8th, 2016 at 10:13 AM ^

I don't think he's ever been a coordinator before.  I'd be a bit surprised if a defensive guy like Saban takes on a guy that has never coordinated before as his OC.  Alabama can and should do better (unless he's seen as a guru behind the scenes, but I've never heard that before).