According to CBS's Bruce Feldman, Michigan has hired Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier away for the same job. It was a rapid day of change in Ann Arbor, as Brady Hoke fired former OC Al Borges earlier today.
Nussmeier came to Alabama for the 2012 season after Jim McElwain left the job for the head coaching job at Colorado State. Bama posted the best offensive F/+ rating of Nick Saban's Alabama tenure in Nussmeier's first year, but it came back down a little to a still-excellent rating this year. Saban assistants frequently leave to take other jobs, but generally it's only when they're title upgrades. It's odd seeing Nussmeier leave Bama for the same job at another school.
The key towards the move is probably Feldman's reported detail that UM plans to make Nussmeier one of the five highest paid assistants in college football. If true, it means he'll be around the range of $1 million or more per year. While Alabama is certainly not hurting for money, it doesn't need to break the bank to keep Nussmeier around. Being Saban's offensive coordinator certainly has a great appeal, and between McElwain and now Nussmeier, it's a job that can be a springboard for greater things.
Then again, SI's Stewart Mandel thinks Saban wasn't a fan of this year's offense, and Nussmeier reportedly was interested in the currently vacant OC job at Notre Dame. Apparently Paul Finebaum was insinuating that Nussmeier wasn't long for the job yesterday, though I didn't hear that myself. The fact that UM swiped him mere hours after announcing Borges's firing would make it seem like this was prearranged. I don't think this was a, "leave so we don't have to fire you" deal, but it doesn't seem like Bama wanted to fight for him
As for replacements, it's still early yet. The one name that has frequently come up tonight is—and this is not a joke—Lane Kiffin. Kiffin visited with Alabama during bowl practice last month, and Saban had nothing but good things to say about him. I'm not sure I believe that'll come to pass, but stranger things have happened. Today, even.
I can't imagine Alabama will take long to fill the vacancy, as I suspect it's probably already received a couple of resumés. It's a premier job, and plenty of good people will want it. I don't expect the spot to fill within a few hours like with Michigan's did, but with Signing Day drawing ever closer, there's no time to lose.