COACHING SEARCH: Jim McElwain

Reports began surfacing Tuesday that Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is close to agreeing to terms with the University of Memphis to take over as its next football coach.

Reports began surfacing Tuesday that Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is close to agreeing to terms with the University of Memphis to take over as its next football coach.

McElwain did interview for the job and the committee came away impressed. However, no final decision has been made, according to sources. As of tonight, Memphis still plans to go through with more interviews.

A quick glance at McElwain's resume shows his offensive prowess. As offensive coordinator at Fresno State in 2007, the Bulldogs averaged 419.7 yards per game, good for 38th in the country. A year before he took over as offensive coordinator, the Bulldogs averaged just 338.2 yards per game.

The fact that he's also the offensive coordinator of a national title contender would do wonders for Memphis in the public relations department. It lends credence to the fact that indeed, Memphis isn't as bad a job as it's perceived nationally.

He was hired in 2008 to succeed Major Applewhite at Alabama. He helped lead the Crimson Tide to a national title in 2010 behind a pro-style offense, most of which was built around Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Alabama is set to play in the national championship game next month against No. 1 LSU.

Why McElwain would be a good hire: He's won a national championship and coached several pros. He's a recognizable name and Memphis would get national press for the hire. His offense at Fresno State was among the most potent in the nation and he would likely bring those same philosophies to Memphis. He‘s also said to have a funny personality, something Memphis needs desperately.

Why McElwain doesn't make sense: Memphis is not Alabama. It's much easier to run an offense successfully with behemoths on the offensive line. He won't have a lot of size at Memphis. The challenge of offense is much greater in Memphis than it is in Tuscaloosa.


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