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Alabama football earned the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. It will be the Crimson Tide’s fourth appearance in the playoff’s four-year history. Alabama will face No. 1 Clemson on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl semifinal. No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia will meet in the Rose Bowl semifinal.Who will be Alabama’s next defensive coordinator?
The news became official early Thursday that Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt would become the next head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.
Pruitt, who spent the last two seasons as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, will be the 26th coach for the Volunteers. Props to Pruitt for working himself up from essentially the bottom. He got his start on the high school level, and has built up an impressive résumé over the years.
With Pruitt set to move on, two questions arise for Alabama football: Will Pruitt coach in the College Football Playoff, and who will be Alabama’s next defensive coordinator?
As for Pruitt staying through the playoffs, Alabama coach Nick Saban has been in this position twice before.
In 2015, Kirby Smart took the Georgia job before the playoffs. Smart stuck around for the rest of the season, and helped lead Alabama to the championship.
Last season, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was in the mix for head-coaching jobs. He stayed for the semifinal, but was shown the door before the championship game.
Pruitt seems like the type who’d try to stick around for the playoffs. Pruitt has a great connection with the players, and a lot of the players on the team speak very highly of him.
In terms of Alabama’s next defensive coordinator, look for outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi to get a serious look. Prior to the season, Lupoi earned a pay raise from $550,000 to $950,000. He was also given the title of co-defensive coordinator.
Lupoi is a hot commodity in the coaching world, and Saban will want to hang on to him. Another promotion may be the only way.
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