— The biggest story upon which I completely whiffed was Wil Muschamp's hiring at Florida, which sent even the normally cynical boys at EDSBS into a tizzy.
Muschamp, like all coaching decisions, is a wager, but damn, Jeremy Foley. That's not the table minimum. That's the ... mortgage right there. We all just ordered the fugu together, and if the chef gets it right you'll taste the faintest hint of the fish's fatal poison on your tongue in a sublime culinary experience unlike any other. If he gets it wrong, we die.
Of course, it's immediately pertinent to Alabama fans because a) Alabama plays in Gainesville this coming October; b) Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a friend of Muschamp's (they're both UGA guys), has reportedly been offered the DC job at UF. As of this blog, Smart hasn't announced any kind of decision on the job, and coach Saban is (predictably) kind of pissy about the whole thing. I'll say only this: I don't really care. Smart does seem like a capable coach and everyone who knows him seems to speak highly of him, but it's not like he's pulling a Gus Malzahn (running his own unit completely independent of the head coach). Saban is the real DC in Tuscaloosa; I don't expect that to change.
— Other things coaching change related: Why exactly did Muschamp flee Austin so readily? Burnt Orange Nation has a poetic answer. Just for fun, let's watch Marcell Dareus do his thing at the Rose Bowl one more time.
Elsewhere, Auburn kept Malzahn from having to go to Vanderbilt by raising his salary (I'm sure this will spark some kind of misguided post about "loyalty" and how much Gus is just in love with the Loveliest Village, etc, etc, etc) and West Virginia is throwing Bill Stewart a very long retirement party. I hope it ends with someone being slapped across the face.
— In actual football things, Capital One Bowl preparation began this week, with a big question about who will play safety in the absence of Mark Barron. Let's just say I'm not optimistic. We're sure Greg McElroy will be there, though — he gave a great interview this week about the game and his career in general. Also, three freshmen earned All-SEC honors, though how Demarcus Milliner was named to an all-anything team is worthy of an investigation.
— Looking towards the future, the program picked up a pair of commitments this week, from JUCO DL Quinton Dial (originally signed two years ago) and Aaron Douglas, a former freshman All-American at Tennessee. Per Chris Low:
Douglas' signing with Alabama won't be a popular decision with Tennessee fans. He was the Vols' most promising offensive lineman when Derek Dooley took over for Lane Kiffin following the 2009 season. What's more, he was a Tennessee legacy. Both of his parents were former Tennessee athletes. His father, David, was an offensive lineman on the Vols' 1985 SEC championship team and later played in the NFL. His mother, Karla Horton Douglas, was the starting center on the Lady Vols' 1987 national championship basketball team.
One more note on the future: Alabama fans (and really, college football fans the world over) will be forced to pay attention to NFL labor negotiations this offseason, specifically as to how they might affect the college football landscape in 2011. OTS actually covered this in pretty spectacular (in other words, standard for him) fashion last week.
Neither the players or the owners can really afford a work stoppage, and despite all of the heated rhetoric to the contrary, an agreement will probably be reached in the coming months and there will be no work stoppage. Having established that point, people who view a lockout as an inevitability are really putting the cart before the horse.
— Two miscellaneous Auburn related things: The NCAA says it will work on closing the loophole that allowed Cam Newton to remain eligible in 2010; and Trooper Taylor is suing Auburn city schools. Or something.
— I tried (actually really tried) to watch Alabama's basketball win over Southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night. But I just couldn't. This is the same team as last year; even the faces haven't changed that much. It's a quality defensive team that will hang with every team it plays, will play hard every night ... and will ultimately lose a number of games by 6-10 points because of a complete inability to score when it matters. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Probably some Andy coming a little later. Roll Tide.