Kalen DeBoer not beating 'Husky Harsin' allegations after losing OC as ex-Auburn football HC did

Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach
Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

Kalen DeBoer isn't beating the "Husky Harsin" allegations -- the idea that his journey from the Pacific Northwest to the southeast to replace the retired Nick Saban as Alabama's head coach will go just as poorly as Bryan Harsin's did when he took over the Auburn football program in 2020 -- after losing offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb to the Seattle Seahawks to serve in the same role in similar fashion Harsin lost Austin Davis in 2022.

Davis, too, never got to start his OC job at AU. he even came from the Seahawks himself.

Grubb's departure is arguably worse for Alabama than Davis's was for Auburn, though. Grubb was supposed to bring Washington's brand of high-powered offense from Seattle to Tuscaloosa. For a Crimson Tide squad that is looking to establish a new identity, Grubb's departure is a major blow. Especially since it will lead to an extra exit from Alabama, per ESPN's Brady Henderson.

"Grubb is expected to bring Alabama offensive line coach Scott Huff with him to the Seahawks, sources told ESPN," Henderson wrote. "Huff coached Washington's offensive line for the past seven years, including the last two with Grubb. Last season, the Huskies' offensive line won the Joe Moore Award as the top line in college football."

Kalen DeBoer could take cue from Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze

When it comes to replacing Grubb at Alabama, DeBoer may not even try to. AL.com's Matt Stahl believes the last Pac-12 championship coach in history could call on his own number for play-calling in 2024; taking a page out of Hugh Freeze's book from his debut season on the Plains.

"DeBoer is an offensive coach," Stahl prefaced before saying, "Alabama’s system is his, and if he wanted to call his own plays, the head coach is certainly capable. In that situation, he’d likely have someone else with the offensive coordinator title. An internal candidate would make the most sense, perhaps some combination of Shephard, Sheridan or Huff.

"But DeBoer holding onto more of the power would make sense. After all, he’ll be the one getting the lion’s share of the blame as Nick Saban’s replacement should the Crimson Tide struggle in 2024."

DeBoer would be putting himself squarely in the fire by taking on that responsibility and it could cause the Crimson Tide to suffer on the recruiting trail. But there may not be many better options at this point in the offseason.