Kalen DeBoer wouldn't be fired from Alabama after losing five games in debut season

Kalen DeBoer supposedly has a long leash in Tuscaloosa
Kalen DeBoer supposedly has a long leash in Tuscaloosa / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Kalen DeBoer has mixed expectations for his first season at Alabama, but at least one Crimson Tide beat writer is hedging against a meltdown debut campaign in Tuscaloosa.

Bama Hammer's Ronald Evans shared his belief that up to five losses wouldn't cost DeBoer his job if the 2024 season goes exactly as many Auburn fans are hoping it would; relaying a prediction of up to four seasons being how long DeBoer's leash could be.

"Three 2024 losses would not cost Kalen DeBoer his job," Evans prefaced before saying, "Neither would four or even five. It is so rare for first-season head coaches to be fired, DeBoer, along with Jeff Lebby and Mike Elko will get two or three (maybe four) seasons to prove themselves."

Bama Standard lowering with switch from Nick Saban to Kalen DeBoer

As evidenced by what Evans pointed out a paragraph before his low bar for the DeBoer era, Nick Saban didn't know if he would've survived two straight three-loss seasons. DeBoer being allowed a nearly .500 season is proof that the Bama Standard is lowering in live time.

This is the opening Auburn fans have waited more than a decade for. The state of Alabama could finally feel a power shift.

Of course, the problem in the new SEC is that the top of the conference could see less parity than ever. Georgia has taken Alabama's place as the overlords of the southeast and Texas is beginning to find its footing in the NIL era as the richest school in the country. That Lone Star State oil money is no joke.

Auburn may not be able to have a Saban-like run, but that's not what it's ever been about on the Plains. Under Hugh Freeze, AU is simply trying to get back to being in the conference's upper tier year in and year out again. Given the work Freeze has put in on the recruiting trail, that feels possible, if not inevitable, in the coming years.