This time last year, Tommy Rees was still a member of the Notre Dame football program. There was all kinds of talk that Rees could run a much flashier offense with a transfer quarterback under head coach Marcus Freeman.
Then Tommy Rees ran to Tuscaloosa in February and took the offensive coordinator job with Alabama. Is it possible one of the reasons he did it was he knew he would be a top contender to replace Nick Saban in the very near future?
Notre Dame football fans might be more than a little surprised to learn that Rees is now considered a "serious contender" to succeed Nick Saban by more than one college football insider. Including one man who has made a career out of beating others to news just like this.
John Brice of FootballScoop was among the first to say that Rees is being looked at as the in-house option to replace Saban. Not long after that report surfaced, The Athletic reported that Rees is among the Top 3 candidates. And that the new hire could be announced as soon as Friday.
The other two Top Candidates are said to be Washington Huskies head coach Kalen Deboer and Florida State's Mike Norvell. Of the three names, Rees' certainly seems to be the one that doesn't exactly fit like a puzzle piece.
Ex-Notre Dame football coach could be getting a big promotion
Tommy Rees would especially be a surprising name because he's not exactly a fan favorite among Crimson Tide supporters these days. The 31-year-old coach took a ton of heat for his play calling in Alabama's overtime playoff loss to Michigan.
He was also the butt of many jokes just a few hours after Saban announced his retirement, with plenty of football fans joking Saban couldn't stand working with the former Notre Dame football OC anymore.
Of course, it's entirely possible that Rees left South Bend for the SEC because he was told that the head job would be his after Saban called it a career. In fact, that would seem to be the only theory that makes sense as to why 'Bama would pick him over two successful, established head coaches.
It's safe to say that if that is the way the Crimson Tide decides to go, there will be plenty of Notre Dame football laughing fans quite mystified.