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Alabama is currently preparing for the playoffs with a quickly ticking stopwatch on the wrist of one of its coordinators.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was officially announced as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers earlier today, but will stick around to help Alabama prepare for it’s game against No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.
Yes, it’s definitely a frustration for Nick Saban, but it’s a problem hundreds of teams across the country would love to have. If anyone is up for the challenge, it’s Saban. He’s dealt with this before.
Great news for Tide fans is that in two previous times Nick Saban had to prepare for the postseason while simultaneously handling coaching changes, Alabama took home the national championship.
Last year, however, proved different with Lane Kiffin being dismissed after a disappointing offensive performance by Alabama in its win over Washington. Steve Sarkisian had to step in for the championship game which Bama lost.
So what does the Pruitt situation mean for Alabama?
Pruitt, it seems, clearly understands that between now and New Year’s Day, it’s all about Alabama. His recruiting and signing efforts for the Vols will have to wait until 2018. He’s focused completely on preparing for Clemson.
Tennessee should be the concerned party here, considering that it’s signing period lasts from December 20-22.
Still, there’s no telling exactly how things will play out. If the Kiffin ordeal taught Nick Saban anything, it’s that he has to handle such situations on a case by case basis. Some people can handle the diversity and breadth of responsibility while others can’t.
For the time being, Saban is trusting Pruitt to take care of the job most pressing.