Bama bids a fond farewell to Steve Sarkisian 

Sark’s trick to upping Bama’s offense? Passing the ball.

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Alabama Athletics

Alabama football used to be known for running the football relentlessly. Under the leadership of head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide already has a strong history of dominating games with running backs like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Derrick Henry. 

But offensive coordinator and soon-to-be head coach of the Texas Longhorns has changed the program forever. 

Alabama’s passing revolution has taken off to new heights in the last five years. Before, it was thought to be impossible for an Alabama quarterback to score more than 30 touchdowns. Now, it’s expected. 

Sarkisian’s presence as Alabama’s offensive coordinator has transformed the way that even Saban looks at how college football is played. Saban said in a press conference earlier in the 2020 season that defenses can’t be graded the same as years past because offenses like Alabama’s score at such a rapid pace. 

The University of Texas announced Jan. 2 that Sarkisian would become the next head coach of the Longhorn’s football program. But both Saban and Sarkisian said that he would remain with Alabama until after the College Football Playoff National Championship. 

Senior wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith said the team learned of Sarkisian’s departure shortly before the media in a meeting with Saban. 

“Everyone is happy for Coach Sark,” Smith said. “That’s part of the business. But he’s going to be here with us throughout this last game, and we’re trying to finish things the right way.” 

According to Saban, Sarkisian is a great planner and does his best to make sure that Alabama is always ready to take care of business.

“I think the players have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing,” Saban said. “And I think they have confidence in the fact that they’re well prepared for every game so they don’t go in with a lot of question marks or apprehensions in terms of how we’re going to handle certain things and what adjustments we need to make in the game to be able to continue to have success.”

Sarkisian released a statement shortly after the news broke that he would be taking the job. He said that he was a coach on the USC team that played against Texas in the infamous BCS National Championship game in the 2005-06 season. He never thought that 15 years later he would become the head coach of Texas. 

“This is a unique and compelling opportunity to lead this storied program to the next level, competing once again amongst the best in college football,” Sarkisian said in a release. 

With Sarkisian at the helm of the offense, Alabama has become a back-to-back top-five rated offense in college football. Players like Smith, Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and junior quarterback Mac Jones have excelled in his pass-first offense. Sarkisian has kept Alabama up with the times and pushed the team to the forefront of modern college football. 

Although this is not the Alabama of old, fans and critics of the Crimson Tide can’t complain too much about the way that the team is performing, thanks to Sarkisian’s high-powered prowess. He will now take his talents to Austin, Texas and look to challenge his former boss in College Football Playoffs to come.