Despite interviewing for the Colorado head coaching job last week, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian ultimately decided to return to Tuscaloosa. Whether or not he made the right choice is something we can analyze for months. But SEC analyst Paul Finebaum believes the move will have major implications in the national title picture.
During a radio spot on WJOX in Birmingham, Finebaum declared that Sarkisian's return to Alabama is "a really big plus for Nick Saban." He explained that Sarkisian offers Saban some of the first real stability that he's had in a while.
Finebaum further stated that Sarkisian could be key to Saban's goal of winning at least one more national title. Saban has given Sarkisian many chances to prove himself.
“Right now, I think it’s a really big plus for Nick Saban. Whether you like Steve Sarkisian or not, this is the first sign of stability that we’ve seen on that staff in a while and I think that’s critical. We’ve gone from a new narrative, excuse me, an old narrative of Saban winning a couple more national championships to get him one more before he moves on, and I think the key to that is Sarkisian being there," Finebaum said.
“Forget all his problems, which I think he’s overcome, give him credit for that. He’s been there, he understands the system, clearly Saban took a chance a couple of years ago bringing somebody back in that had literally walked out on him after one game, as the offensive coordinator, but it looks like it turned out to be a good move.”
Sarkisian has had an unusual path to stardom in the football coaching ranks. His success as head coach of Washington from 2009 to 2013 paved the way for his hiring at USC in 2014.
But personal issues resulted in him leaving the Trojans in the middle of the 2015 season.
He joined Alabama as an analyst in 2016, and was promoted to offensive coordinator for the national title game against Clemson.
Sarkisian then left Alabama to join the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator, where he served two years until he was welcomed back to Alabama.