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Rumor: Doug Nussmeier top candidate to be Miami Hurricanes new OC

The former Fresno State, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, and Florida OC has some smoke that he’s heading to Coral Gables. That would be an all-time disaster of a hire by Mario Cristobal.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 01 Florida at Vanderbilt Photo by Jamie Gilliam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to The Football Scoop, Doug Nussmeier is a leading target to land the Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator job in 2023. No, not in 2013, yes, in 2023. Over the past five seasons, Nussmeier has been an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys.

Nuss has been a coach that’s always seemed to ‘fall upwards’ throughout his career that’s spanned over two decades on the sidelines as a coach. After a disastrous 3-13 season as the QB coach of the St. Louis Rams, Nussmeier landed as the OC for Pat Hill at Fresno State. The Bulldogs offense was 31st in SP+ before his arrival, 42nd with him, and 28th after his departure after a single season.

For his one season at Fresno, Nuss had a fourth year starter in Tom Brandstater, who saw his yards per attempt dip while throwing three more TD’s but with seven more interceptions.

Nussmeier then signed on with Steve Sarkisian and the Washington Huskies. Their time in Washington earned Sark the nickname “Seven win Steve” as the Huskies finished the 2009-2011 seasons with five, seven and seven wins. Over those three seasons, Nuss was the OC over Jake Locker and Keith Price. In all fairness, it was Price’s best year in Seattle with Nussmeier as his OC.

The Washington offense did see improvement under Nussmeier and Sark. The Huskies offense was 105th in SP+ in 2008. Once the duo took over they improved to 49th, then 59th, before 20th in 2011. Sark still won only seven games after Nuss headed to Alabama, and the Washington offense slipped to 66th in SP+.

The Washington offense’s improvement in ‘11, earned Nussmeier a shot with Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide machine in 2012. Bama had been 13th in SP+ during their run in 2011. They returned AJ McCarron to go with a running back trio of Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon and Kenyon Drake. They dismantled Notre Dame on their way to the BCS National Championship.

In 2013, Bama was cruising until dropping back to back games to Auburn and Oklahoma to end the season. The Tide offense was 6th in SP+ in ‘13 with McCarron, Yeldon, Drake and a young Derrick Henry. In a strange twist of fate, Nuss headed to Michigan and was replaced at Alabama by Lane Kiffin.

The Bama offense was 5th in SP+ in Lane’s first season while changing the Bama offense forever during his three seasons in Tuscaloosa. The Tide won the College Football Playoff in 2014, but lost in 2015 with none other than Sarkisian as the stand-in OC for Kiffin in the title game.

Meanwhile in Ann Arbor, Nussmeier took Michigan’s 53rd ranked offense per the SP+, and slumped it down to 76th. Michigan was 112th in points per game that season, too. Devin Gardner threw 10 TD’s and 15 INT’s in Nussmeier’s one season at Michigan. The UM offense bounced back without him in 2015 to 34th.

Nussmeier, like a Dr. Kevorkian of offenses after leaving Saban’s machine, came to Florida in 2015. Nuss teamed up with another former Saban assistant in Jim McElwain. The Gators had the 62nd offense per SP+ before his arrival and then just fell apart.

Under Nuss the UF offenses were 81st, 84th and 51st in SP+. Their points per game were 100th, 107th and 109th in the nation. Oh, and after Nuss left Gainesville- the Gators offense jumped to 15th in the country per SP+.

Since Florida, the 52-year-old former NFL and CFL QB and coach has been with the Dallas Cowboys as an assistant coach. He survived the firing of Jason Garrett to be moved from tight ends coach to QB’s coach under Mike McCarthy. Just recently, Nussmeier was let go along with Kellen Moore after the Cowboys playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Pros and Cons of Nuss

Is there a pro to bringing in a washed up OC who hasn’t coached a good offense since before the College Football Playoff began? This is a guy that’s last shine on him was in the BCS Era, and it’s not like he’s been in exile at Duke and Vanderbilt. Nussmeier had been at Michigan and Florida after this two years with Coach Saban at Bama.

The “Saban Rub” hasn’t worked well for anyone in the wins department outside of Kirby Smart, anyway. Nuss is also attached to McElwain and Sark- two more guys that haven’t done much when they aren’t under Saban’s thumb.

The Wrap

I would much rather have Marcus Arroyo as the OC and QB coach at Miami than Nussmeier. Guys like Nuss feel way too far removed from modern football to win at Miami. He hasn’t called a play since his horrible run at Florida from 15-17. I’m not that fond of hiring Arroyo, but compared to Nussmeier it would be a godsend.

At least Arroyo is a relevant name from anyone besides his agent pumping him up for the Baltimore Ravens job. I can’t see Baltimore, nor Miami wanting Nuss. But, he has a familiarity with Mario Cristobal. The Saban “rub” seems important to Cristobal, see: Gattis, Josh. Or even Aaron Feld and Kevin Steele.

Prediction: It’s still Marcus Arroyo and this was a cruel rumor.