Where Alabama and Atlanta were losers in their respective title games, Steve Sarkisian was a winner.
© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
As the devious pimp Littlefinger said in Game of Thrones, chaos can be a ladder. The football world has certainly seen the truth in that statement Tuesday, as the chaos surrounding the University of Alabama's stunning upset in the National Championship Game and the Atlanta Falcons unbelievable loss in the Super Bowl has revealed an unlikely winner in Steve Sarkisian, new offensive coordinator of the reigning NFC champs.
Sarkisian will fill the void created by Kyle Shanahan, who departed to coach the San Francisco 49ers. It is a quick turnaround for the coach, who was fired from USC in October 2015 after showing up "in no condition to work" amid rumors of repeated alcohol abuse. Sarkisian took one season off before catching on at Alabama and replacing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin before the National Championship Game.
Alabama lost, but the offense looked good enough to convince the Falcons brass to put him in charge of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and one of the best offenses in NFL history. It's a fortunate turn of events for Sarkisian, who was likely done at Bama, according to a report from SB Nation:
"Multiple sources have confirmed to SB Nation that after meetings with Alabama head coach Nick Saban following the Championship, the relationship between Saban and Sarkisian deteriorated amid disagreements in "system philosophy," per one source. Both parties planned to move on following Signing Day last Wednesday, and Saban was aware of Sarkisian's contact with the Falcons.
One source described the problems between Sarkisian and Saban as "too similar" to the relationship between Saban and former coordinator Kiffin."