Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 1/18/12

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02: Kick returner Javier Arenas #28 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with head coach Nick Saban after Arenas scored on a 73-yard punt return in the second quarter against the Utah Utes during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Nick Saban is no stranger to having his staff picked through in the offseason as he's lost guys like Major Applewhite to Texas and Kevin Steele to Clemson in recent seasons. This year is no different as Sal Sunseri heads to Tennessee to take on their defensive coordinator duties and Jim McElwaine heads to Colorado State to become the head coach of the Rams.

It seems that Saban has finally made his mind up on the next leader of his offense; Doug Nussmeier the offensive coordinator of the resurgent Washington Huskies. Nussmeier comes from the great pacific northwest and this is his second time replacing Jim McElwaine, he did the same at Fresno State when Saban grabbed McElwaine upon the departure of Applewhite.

Nussmeier has worked with some exciting offenses that were predicated on balance and attacking the defenses. Under Pat Hill the Bulldogs were largely run first using quarterback Tom Brandstater to balance the three headed rushing attack of Anthony Harding, Lonyae Miller and Ryan Mathews. While at Washington Nussmeier worked with Jake Locker to help develop the young, unpolished quarterback, ultimately seeing Locker get drafted in the first round by the Tennessee Titans.

To go along with Locker, the more resounding success is that of Chris Polk, the Huskies running back. While folks look to Locker's development Polk put up three straight 1,000 yard seasons and became one of the nation's better running backs. This season the Huskies, even finishing 7-6, were a sight to see on offense as Polk teamed with sophomore quarterback Keith Price to put up fantastic numbers.

Looking forward at how Nussmeier fits with Bama we see an offense that comes back loaded up on the interior with a solid offensive line, a quarterback with a national title under his belt and some running backs that have been biding their time, waiting for more carriers. No true "weapons" have emerged at the wide receiver position but as Nussmeier showed this year an offense can be effective by just hitting the open man.

Don't expect Alabama to become a truly dynamic unit overnight though; as we've seen with Saban throughout his coaching career, the Nicktator is a control freak. Regardless of the coordinator his offenses have all looked eerily similar; run first, pass some and beat the heck out of the opponent.

The biggest question mark for Nussmeier will be how he handles this talented offensive machine. Sure we know he can teach the positions and work with concepts, even help construct a solid gameplan but in-game is where we'll see what he's made of at Bama. At Washington Steve Sarkisian did the play calling so while Nussmeier worked with gameplanning and personnel decisions it was the head coach pulling the trigger. How this translates to his work in the SEC will be interesting.

Nussmeier did call plays at Fresno State so this isn't his first rodeo, just his first rodeo with a high powered offense at his disposal.

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