For years, many people in the sports world thought that Nick Saban would never retire. After losing in the College Football Semifinals to Michigan in overtime, Saban has decided to retire. For Wisconsin Badgers fans everywhere, there was a collective sigh of relief knowing that the greatest coach of all-time will be prowling the visiting sideline when Alabama visits Camp Randall in September 14.
Instead, Nick Saban will be at home, sitting on the couch while his successor while be coaching his now former team. In less than 48 hours, the Crimson Tide chose Kalen DeBoer, the coach of the Washington Huskies, who are coming off an appearance in the National Championship against the eventual champions Michigan Wolverines.
Coach DeBoer has been magical for not just the Huskies. His overall record as a head coach is 104-12 while coaching Sioux Falls (2005-2009), Fresno State (2020-2021) and Washington (2022-present).
The Wisconsin Badgers May Not Be Facing Nick Saban, But Kalen DeBoer Really Isn’t Any Better With Him Going To The Alabama Crimson Tide.
Coach Luke Fickell will certainly have his hands full against a new-look Alabama. He can’t really scheme against somebody who will be just in game 2 of their tenure at a job where it forces you to draw up different, new plays. Kalen DeBoer might be able to use that to his advantage. On top of that, he will have his top-level coaches at Alabama and the name recognition that comes with coaching and recruiting at Alabama.
Of course, he will also hire other coaches and try to continue the recruitment monopolies Saban had all across the conference as well as the country. DeBoer has been good in both recruiting and the transfer portal. Michael Penix Jr. was a transfer from Indiana. However, at the same time, Rome Odunze, Penix Jr. favorite target, spent his entire college career at Washington.
It seems that DoBoer was one of Alabama’s top three choices, per Joel Klatt. Klatt goes on to say it should be between three people; Texas Head Coach Steve Sarkisian, Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning and Kalen DeBoer of Washington. Dan Lanning came out and said he would be staying at Oregon regardless of what job offers came his way. There was nothing from Sarkisian.
So how will Luke Fickell counter the Alabama Crimson Tide?
So far he has brought in transfer quarterback Tyler Van Dyke from Miami (FL) University, an edge rusher John Pius from William and Mary, a long snapper Carson Pfeiffer from Cincinnati, an outside linebacker from Syracuse named Leon Lowery, tight End Jackson McGowan from Louisiana State, a wide receiver from Michigan State named Tyrell Henry, an inside linebacker from Northern Iowa named Jahsiah Galvan, a linebacker named Sebastian Cheeks from North Carolina, a running back named Tawee Walker from Oklahoma, a linebacker named Jaheim Thomas from Arkansas, a cornerback named Ronald Delancy III from Toledo, a linebacker named Tackett Curtis from USC and lastly, defensive linemen Elijah Hills from Albany.
The best part is that is just through the transfers. When the recruits from class of 2024 arrive, you can expect even more names to make a difference a potentially even start. In the list above, it is clear that Fickell wants to focus on defense for 2024. With Bama, USC, and Oregon all on the schedule, these new players could certainly help the Badgers stay afloat in a very tough Big Ten Conference.