Trying to get caught up at work after the long vacation. Here's a few notes from around the league:
*As schnifin pointed out in a diary, Coach Cowher is expected to announce his decision this coming Monday.
*On a similar note, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has been approached by the Atlanta Falcons about their head-coaching vacancy. Many of us believe Whisenhunt would be the Rooney's first choice to replace Cowher, so don't expect anything to materialize on this front until after Cowher has made his decision. Obviously head coaching opportunities are hard to come by, and it's understandable why coordinators often jump at the first chance they get, but I can't imagine Whisenhunt choosing Atlanta over Pittsburgh if he knew that Cowher was out the door, or even if he knew that Cowher would be back for just 2007. We'll see.
*A quick word on Nick Saban and the Alabama job...we all know by now that he accepted the Alabama job to the tune of $32 million bucks over 8 years. First of all, I find it disgusting that institutions of higher learning are offering that much money to a man who will only be coaching football. What about all the professors, administrators, and staff members who work for a tiny fraction of that amount? Ridiculous priorities in my mind. Remember, this offer is now going to alter the market for coaching salaries from here forward, meaning we can expect major programs to continue raising the stakes to get the guy they want.
Alabama. What a joke. NOBODY, and I mean nobody (well, nobody but greedy, quitting, liars) wanted that job, and I don't blame them. You've got overbearing boosters, Bear Bryant's relatives on the Board, you can't go to the grocery store without being bombarded by folks, and you're likely to get fired if you have one down year. Remember, previous coach Mike Shula is only one year removed from an 11 win season. Plus, the landscape of college football is vastly different than it was in the past when the Alabama gig was considered the premiere job in college football. Take a look at Louisville, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Boise State, etc. You can win at these schools now. And, although the money is not as ridiculous as what Saban was offered, it's still pretty damn good at those schools.
There's not much else to say about Saban other than he's a quitter, a liar, and a self-absorbed ego-maniac. This preseason, he turned down an offer to lunch with the President. No matter what you think of our President, you should still take the opportunity to meet the man if given the opportunity, at least in my mind. Instead, he said he was too busy preparing his team. Yeah, good job preparing your team to be one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL.