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As Golding interest cools down, Grinch interest heats up

Ask Alabama co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding if he’s been contacted by Oklahoma.

Go ahead. Ask him.

“I have not,” Golding said. “I have not. I’ve had no communication with Oklahoma. So I’m excited about playing those guys,” he said. “They’ve got a great football team, and we’re focused on the task at hand, trying to get our kids prepared for Saturday.”

Ask Golding if he’s even interested in the job at OU, and he’ll probably make like Austin Seibert and punt again. I don’t blame him, and neither should you.

While Golding said he hasn’t been contacted by Oklahoma, OUInsider has reported there have been conversations about his potentially becoming the next defensive coordinator at OU.

However, OUInsider can also report it looks like Pete Golding bought a house near the University of Alabama. That’s as clear a message as you can get that he’s serious about staying in Tuscaloosa for the long haul.

Then there’s Football Scoop’s report: “When we first wrote about [Lincoln] Riley’s defensive coordinator search earlier this month, the focus was centered on two candidates in Alabama co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding and Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Since then, sources have indicated that Golding will not be the hire, turning the focus toward Grinch.”

So there we are. And there Golding is.

He’s got a really great gig working under one of the best head coaches—in any sport, at any level—of his generation in Tide coach Nick Saban. Golding knows he’s in the best spot in America as a position coach and helping draw up the game plan for what many believe is one of the best defenses in the country.

“You know, I’m working for the best guy to ever do it,” he said, “so it’s something that I’m very excited about. I’m fortunate enough to be there learning stuff every day, and so I’m happy for that.”

For man who played ball not too far away Tuscaloosa at Delta State and worked his way to Tusculum—find that on a map—this is as close as he’s come to the dream most coaches had when they got started in the profession as grad assistants.

You watch tape. You run coffee. You make copies. You ask your family to be patient and believe in you as you move them across the country chasing the dream of running your own big-time college football program.

And Golding is just a couple steps away from that dream. He knows about the position coaches and coordinators who have served underneath Saban and gone on to exactly that. You do too—Lane Kiffin, Mario Cristobal, Mike Locksley and we could go on.

But we won’t. You get the point.

Now Oklahoma will have to find out how serious Grinch is about becoming the next defensive coordinator in Norman. He has the expertise and experience to become a big-time defensive coordinator with stops at Missouri, Washington State and now as the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

One of the reasons he’s a good pick is his experience working with and for Cougar head coach Mike Leach, who runs an offense similar to the one Oklahoma runs under Lincoln Riley.But first the Sooners need to focus for the biggest game of the season.

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