Louisiana coach and former Alabama assistant Billy Napier appeared to be Mississippi State’s first choice to replace Joe Moorhead. A Crimson Tide insider suggests MSU may now be focusing a current UA assistant.

According to Aaron Suttles, “There is some real interest on both sides between Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and Mississippi State.”

Sarkisian was previously a head coach at Washington (2009-13) and USC (2014-15). With the Huskies, Sarkisian was 34-29 overall, posting winning records in the last four seasons after going 5-7 in Year 1. Washington was 8-4 in 2013 at the time Sarkisian left for USC.

The Trojans went 9-4 in Sarkisian’s first season (2014). Sarkisian’s second season was marked by his leave of absence and later termination due to issues related to apparent alcoholism.

Sarkisian joined the Alabama staff in September 2016 as an analyst. After Lane Kiffin’s departure from UA, Sarkisian stepped in as the team’s offensive coordinator for the national championship game against Clemson on Jan. 2, 2017. On Feb. 7, 2017, Sarkisian was hired as the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator. He returned to Alabama in January 2019 as the Crimson Tide’s new offensive coordinator.

Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is also reported to be a candidate for the Mississippi State head coaching job. A Tuesday report stated Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz has also expressed interest in the job.