Alabama's run of success under Nick Saban has been nothing short of remarkable. Also remarkable is the fact that he hasn't lost his coordinators in the process. Typically a team cannot sustain that high level of success for more than a couple of years before the assistants begin spreading their own head coaching wings, but Bama has won 11+ games in three of the past four seasons with both OC Jim McElwain and DC Kirby Smart in place.
That could be changing very soon. McElwain reportedly is very interested in becoming a head coach, and he's a top candidate for the vacancy in Memphis according to al.com sources. Memphis is looking for a new coach after two disastrous seasons under former LSU running backs coach Larry Porter. The program is in distress, as it will be paying three different head coaches next year, but there's room for growth as some of the top CUSA schools are set to join the Big East.
If McElwain does take a head coaching job, it won't necessarily result in an ill effect on the Crimson Tide as it prepares for the BCS National Championship Game. Dan Mullen took the Mississippi State job in December of 2008 and coached in Florida's national championship win over Oklahoma the next month.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News is reporting that Smart has interviewed for the vacant Texas A&M job. This comes after apparently unfounded rumors that Smart was in the mix for the Ole Miss job. He would be a powerfully symbolic hire for A&M, that as it enters the SEC it wants a piece of the formula of one of the conference's best programs of the past half decade.
Saban's top assistants leaving for head coaching jobs would make it challenging to sustain the immense recent success in Tuscaloosa, but you have to figure plenty of well qualified candidates would drop everything and take those jobs (if they come open) in an instant.
McElwain and Memphis hit a snag in their negotiations, so he's out of the running there. He's now looking at Fresno State, where he has coached before, and Colorado State.