Paul Finebaum envisions scenario in which Nick Saban hires Hugh Freeze to run Alabama's offense next season
We may be in the middle of the SEC basketball season but that’s not going to stop Paul Finebaum from weighing on the moves that should be made on the gridiron this offseason.
During his most recent Monday morning appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM program “The Roundtable,” the SEC Network host was asked to share his thoughts on the speculation that Charlie Strong is close to landing an analyst job on Nick Saban’s Alabama coaching staff.
If you missed it last week, the former USF and Texas head coach was spotted in Tuscaloosa after previously being rumored to be joining Dan Mullen’s Florida staff as an analyst.
“What I think is interesting about this is that Charlie Strong, the day he arrives on campus whenever he is hired, is the best defensive coach on that staff other than Nick Saban,” Finebaum said during his appearance on the program. “I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Nick Saban can continue to talk about – privately, he’s certainly not talking publicly about his current defensive coordinator, but I think I would find a way to get Charlie Strong calling the plays as fast as I could.”
That’s an interesting thought considering all the reports connecting Strong to Alabama suggest the former head coach would be an analyst and not the program’s defensive coordinator but there’s no doubt many Crimson Tide fans would support that move given how Pete Goulding’s defense did not live up to the Alabama standard at times last season.
While making Strong Alabama’s defensive playcaller would be something, Finebaum was then asked to share his opinion on what Saban should do if his offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian left the program to become Colorado’s head coach.
Would Saban consider calling Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze to be his next offensive coordinator?
“I think it’s possible and that’s exact– I don’t mean to, look, it’s Monday, mid-February and I’m about to fire, I’m about to make another coaching change here, but I would call Hugh Freeze in three seconds,” Finebaum answered. “It’s my opinion, knowing Hugh Freeze, that he would take the job and he would be in better shape as the offensive coordinator getting shown on national television 12, 13, 14, maybe 15 times a year making calls in critical games than the kind of games that Liberty plays. Liberty plays two to three relevant games all year.
“I thought Hugh did a fantastic job there, in spite of starting the season off having his wisdom teeth pulled in the first two games in whatever chair he was in. I think that would be something that I would do.”
Finebaum then took it a step further and noted that adding Freeze and Strong to the Alabama staff would be enough to make the Crimson Tide his favorite to win it all next season.
“If you added Hugh Freeze and Charlie Strong as your two coordinators, I would pick Alabama right now to win the national championship in 2020 without blinking an eye,” Finebaum added.
You can listen to Finebaum’s latest segment on “The Roundtable” in its entirety here.