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Why Kalen DeBoer is Not Bryan Harsin 2.0

Longtime observers around the SEC view Kalen DeBoer as a smart hire by Alabama, and not Bryan Harsin 2.0. There’s huge shoes to fill after the retirement of Nick Saban, but sports talk host Thom Abraham told Damon Amendolara told Damon Amendolara on the YouTube show “Watch D.A. Live” DeBoer is going to keep the Alabama train rolling.

“Let me tell ya something. Kalen DeBoer… this is the guy.”

“You look at his team, he averaged 2.5 stars at Washington… he has the most talented group of players he’s ever seen.”

“A lot of people in this part of the country still think about Bryan Harsin… and he was a guy that failed miserably at Auburn. But DeBoer has the #3 recruiting class for next year.”

When Harsin took over the Auburn program there were plenty of doubters. Many around the program felt like he wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure and expectations of the job. While Harsin was an excellent coach for Boise State, the Auburn pressure cooker is a different animal. Sure enough, the critics were right.

Despite a 69-19 record with the Broncos, including a sterling 45-8 record against the Mountain West, sledding was tough on the Plains. The Tigers went just 9-12 in his two seasons at the helm, including a paltry 4-9 in the SEC. That was bad enough to get him canned before the second year was even finished. He was embroiled in off the field speculation and eventually the administration had to just eat the rest of his contract.

There’s other reasons DeBoer is not likely to be Bryan Harsin 2.0. While DeBoer is also coming from the west coast to take over a power program in the SEC, at least one long time Alabama media member thinks it’s a completely different hire. Abraham has been covering college football in Alabama and the SEC for 20 years. He sees a huge difference.

Dynasty Continued: Why Kalen DeBoer is Not Bryan Harsin I Watch D.A. Live

“They’re gonna be fine,” Abraham says. “Alabama is going to be fine. And DeBoer is a great, great guy.”

While DeBoer didn’t have to deal with the scrutiny of the SEC while coaching at Washington, he seems to be assimilating well early on. The margin for error is thin at Alabama, but the same doubt that crept in about Harsin at Auburn is not there for the early stages of DeBoer’s tenure. Kalen DeBoer is not likely to be Bryan Harsin 2.0.

The schedule is brutal for the Tide, as the daunting road trips come fast and furious. There’s a trip to Madison to take on Big Ten contender Wisconsin in September. Then in the SEC there’s games at Knoxville, Baton Rouge, and Norman, Oklahoma, now that the Sooners are members of the conference. Add in a home game against the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Tide have a chance to be beaten in 5 games this season.

But the Tide rarely deal with that many losses, and with DeBoer’s coaching acumen and Bama’s talent, they’re sure to be in the playoff mix. The pressure is always high in Tuscaloosa, now let’s see if the believers are right.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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