Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saban to Bama

Wednesday A.M. Quickie below.

Say this: It's very hard to mock Alabama now as the job no one wants. They've just successfully landed one of the Top 5 CFB coaches in the country. (My Top 5? In no particular order: Pete Carroll, Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer, Greg Schiano, Saban.)

I have to believe that the ego boost of being the highest-paid coach in college football was more than a mere bonus, in addition to the total control of running a college program -- plus Bama's legacy among CFB's "elite" programs.

The SEC is now even MORE ridiculous than it was before. I said this earlier: It's harder to win (big) consistently in the SEC than it is to consistently make the playoffs in the NFL. One of the reasons I think Saban is so good is that he DID win in the SEC. But, ouch: It's r-o-u-g-h.

Then there's the aftermath: Apparently, he let Huizenga know via phone (classy!) and his assistants via conference call (classier!) And now the Dolphins join the Cards and Falcons on the coaching search. Here's a guess: The Fins won't hire a college coach.

What do you think of the move? Of the impact on Bama/CFB? Of the impact on the Dolphins? Of his decision making, overall? Look forward to hearing your comments. -- D.S.


Mikepcfl said...

I have to disagree with Dan that it is harder to win the SEC than the NFL. Saban failed in the NFL, simple as that. He probably has 6 or 7 guaranteed wins next year, just by showing up. You cant do that in the NFL. The NFL is life and death every week and not every coach can do that. Saban hs cast his lot in college and I think he will be successful ala Pete Carroll and Steve Spurrier. They are all good coaches but not successful in the NFL.

Mr. E said...

My call is OC from Pitt takes HC job in Fl. Cower's out. Holgrem goes to the Falcons as HC. Cards take Mora as HC.

Gregg the Obscure said...

Dan said "to win big consistently", on which I'd probably have to agree. Sure 'Bama can get fat on the non-conference schedule and the lower tier of the SEC, but the other upper-tier SEC teams (Florida, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee) are tough to beat every year and even the middle-tier teams (Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia) can come up with a strong year here and there.

More than the strong competition, though, is the level of expectation. Sure he could mail in six wins, Shula got that many this past year. For what the Tide is paying, ten wins will disappoint many fans. Remember Frank Solich's record before he was fired?

Anonymous said...

You see? Saban going back to college is the reason why Culpepper is my Least Valuable Player of 2006.

CMFost said...

Mike, I have to diagree with you in the AFC East Saban did not have 6 or 7 wins guaranteed. With his aging defensive core, no QB and a suspect Running Back he would of been lucky to win 5 games next year against an improving Buffalo and New York and the steady Patriots. Saban I think made the moving knowing he had no chance to be successful at Miami.

Mikepcfl said...

cmfost, I mean Saban has 6 or 7 gauranteed wins in college not the NFL. Sorry for the confusion. I dont think Miami will win 6 games next year with or without Saban because the AFC East is too tough. But he can beat Kentucky and Vanderbilt every season, plus the non-conference cupcakes in college.

Unknown said...

Effect on CFB? Minimal as a whole, though it will jack up coaching salaries.

On Bama? Saban will win a few more games for Bama more consistently. The SEC is cyclical, like most other conferences. Auburn, LSU will drop off at some point, Tenn. and GA. will come back. Florida will win more and Spurrier will turn USC around, so its not like Saban will instantly become big dog.

On the Dolphins? Who cares.

Unknown said...

BTW, this does not make the SEC tougher. The SEC isn't much tougher, if at all, than the other major conferences.
That myth needs to die. Only a couple of teams per conference can be elite in a given a year, the rest are good or middling, or just awful. Just how it is.
Do we really have to point out PSU and Wisky again?

Brian in Oxford said... about Miami hires Mike Shula, and we take bets on who wins more next year!

Anonymous said...

SEC Coaches next year:
Spurrier, Meyer, Richt, Fulmer, Saban, Tuberville, Miles.

No other conference boasts as many top coaches (well Miles is a reach)

I wouldn't exactly call Georgia a middle of the pack SEC team. They've won the conference 2 times in 5 years. UT, not so much.

I can't wait to hear the crowd reaction the first time Saban goes back to Baton Rouge.

marcomarco said...

Got a comment for Page2? Tell em how much AM Jump Sucks:


Christian Thoma said...

Not Saban-related, but Chuck Klosterman FTW

Unknown said...

top coaches as in top 50? then sure, you'd include richt and fulmer. Otherwise? not so much.

Anonymous said...

don't care. can't stop reading about ass-gate.

Mega said...

Vince Young won the ROY.

I agree with the selection. Then again there are like 3 or 4 rookies that could have won it.

Unknown said...

The AP article disagrees about the notification coming through a phone call:
"Miami owner Wayne Huizenga said he was informed of the decision in a meeting Wednesday at Saban's house. Huizenga announced the departure at a news conference that Saban didn't attend. "

Saban is a liar though. He stated he would not leave the Dolphins and that his decision was final. Hah! I can't wait to see Alabama go 7-5 for the next few seasons and Saban getting fired.

Also from the AP article, "Huizenga has said he received repeated assurances from Saban that he would return in 2007, and two weeks ago Saban said: "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." "


Anonymous said...

Klosterman's an idiot for writing this. No one cares as much about these bowls as they would care about actual playoffs.

College football is being held back. I watch more NCAA basketball games with no meaning than college football games. Why? Because they have the tournament.

What about de-valuing the regular season? Puh-leaze. Michigan already played Ohio St. but nearly half of voters thought they should play again. In what sense does the regular season matter if you're rewarding a team for losing a game? If Boise St. goes undefeated but can't be crowned champion, then in what sense did their regular season matter? As it stands now, crappy teams like Michigan and Notre Dame are rewarded merely because their fans are willing to spend more money than Idahoans.

The NCAA bowl system is a crooked system of favoritism and money. It's time college football formed a real league with a system to crown one champion. They have all the money they need to do this.

Christian Thoma said...

Is it just me, or are editors getting stupider?

"Steve Nash has a great shot to accomplish a feat neither Magic nor MJ never could." Blurb for Marty Burns "Inside the NBA" article.

So why is it a big deal if Nash accomplishes something both Magic and MJ did?

Christian Thoma said...

Solomonrex: that could work if it were a level playing field. IT'S NOT. Division I-AA/2/3 can do playoffs because they're all small schools. But Division I-A is too diverse in both student population and department expenditure to believe that a team like Wake Forest or Boise State has a chance in hell to compete for the national championship via playoffs. You'd see 2 of the same 6 teams in the finals every year, and then everyone would be lamenting how boring college football has gotten.

To put it differently: you'd never see Georgia Tech win a national championship again if there was playoffs.

Unknown said...

"don't care. can't stop reading about ass-gate."

Glad to know I'm not the only one. Good god, I hope that doesn't go away anytime soon. I think Dan has the only sports-related blog on the Web that hasn't posted that photo. Thanks to you all.

As far as Saban goes, I think the guy is a great coach, but also somebody that has an I-need-to-have-my-ass-kissed-constantly-type of ego. No problems with it, but I think if the Fins had swooped in and given him some love -- not that he deserved it at 15-17 in two seasons -- he might have stayed.

I know who loves the hire: coaches whose salaries are tied to being one of the top X-paid coaches in college FB. Saban's 4-mil per year probably gives a few guys a little raise.

Christian Thoma said...

Ok, I'm lost ... what's ass-gate?

Kevin said...


Didn't Culpepper suck the joint up before he got hurt? Culpepper getting hurt HELPED Saban win more games, even though Joey Harrington is not much better.

With Miami's obsession with washed-up NFC North QBs, will we see Rex Grossman starting for Miami in 2 years, then being replaced by Tarvaris Jackson when Rex inevitably gets hurt?

CMFost said...

ass-gate big deal

Christian Thoma said...

That's not worthy of a -gate.

Anonymous said...

can't get youtube to work....anyone know where pics are available?

chitown italian said...

$4 MIL per year or so...Hell, I'd coach in Alaska, well maybe not Alaska (not enough women) but Washington or Oregon definitely.

chitown italian said...

Stoops??? You can not be serious. Couldn't win the Big 12 in 04, got blasted by LSU, got blasted by USC, and got beat by Boise State.

How many BCS games has Stoops won???

How many BCS games has Saban won???

I rest my case dumbass.

Jen said...

Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina over Ohio State, Wisconsin, etc...this year, ever!? Oh my gosh, I'd take your bet in a heartbeat if they were playing.

Mikepcfl said...

Sorry, I will substitute Ole Miss and Miss St for Kentucky and Vandy as automatic victories for Saban next year.

Anonymous said...


Wha...? We see the same teams all the time now. Michigan was discussed for the national championship game and Boise St. never was. We need a playoff because it takes subjective alumni voting out of it.

And yes, the Div IA needs to be downsized or tiered. Why anyone would think that Northern Illinois and Ohio St. should ever play a game is beyond me. Why not just play the Washington Generals?

Christian Thoma said...

It's not that the SEC isn't a tough conference. All (rational ones) of us admit that. The problem becomes that some of the SEC coaches (I'm looking at you, Tuberville)/fans etc. act like as an entity the SEC is tougher and better than the rest of the nation, and they make comments like "The winner of the SEC should automatically play in the championship game" or "The SEC should secede and not participate in the BCS".

So when Tennessee loses to Penn State, and Arkansas loses to Wisconsin, you have to forgive us non-SEC backers (although I do wholeheartedly support Vandy) for rubbing their nose in it.

chipp said...

What was the problem with traditional bowl game match-ups followed by voting for the Champs? How many times in the history of college football did that create controversy (either ties [AP vs Coaches] or multiple undefeateds)? With tradition, OSU would have played USC in the Rose Bowl and Florida would have played some team in some bowl. OSU wins and they are the undisputed champ (descent schedule, undefeated). OSU loses and you get a great debate for #1 (USC, UF, UM [if they played a lesser team and won], etc). How is that any different? It's certainly not worse.

starkweather said...

OK, forgoing the SEC/Big 10 (I am very biased pro-SEC) argument - Why would the athletic budgets and student populations ,etc. make such a big difference in football but they are workable in basketball? Do the schools change these variables from sport to sport? If you look at every NCAA sport you will find several commonalities, including playoffs systems and a lot of the same schools at the top almost every year. If you do a best of 16 tournament with automatic berths for big and small conferences and cut the season back to 11 games (leaving room for conference championships) you would in all probability generate more revenue than the basketball tourney. Why can't bowls be tied into this? I don't understand any of the arguments against a playoff for only one level of one sport. Sorry for the lengthy post.

Unknown said...

The differences within conferences are so small, it really shouldn't be debated so much.
If the SEC is rated 97.6522, the B10 is probably 97.4331 or something. There just isn't that much difference.
It goes back to what was said...when folk like Tuberville say 'SEC Champ should always be in', the rest of us will call that bullshit. I do support the B10 (but am really a MAC guy..but since we don't figure into the nat'l title talk, i have to venture out a bit), but I would never say that a B10 (or BE, B12, P10 etc.) team should always be deserving.

Anonymous said...

as opposed to the internet nerds spazzing over nick saban and for the millionth time over if D1 needs a playoff?

so much more interesting.

Unknown said...

Vince Young (Offensive Rookie of the Year by a wide margin) Average Game in 2007:
12/24 Passing, 147 Yards, 1 TD 1 INT, 66.7 Rating, 6 Rushes, 37 Yards.

But the Titans were good...
He does more than stats show...
They were in the playoff hunt (until he took them out of it)...

Really? Tell me what he did exactly. He was the 30th ranked QB. Lienart and Romo were better. He had no help? Seems to me Travis Henry rushed for 1211 yards, 5th in the AFC behind LDT, LJ, Fast Willie, and Rudi, and that was in less games than Vince.


He got 9 votes.
Looking at the numbers, maybe it should've been closer.

Christian Thoma said...


Why would the athletic budgets and student populations ,etc. make such a big difference in football but they are workable in basketball?

Players on a basketball roster: 12-14.
Players on a Div I-A football roster: 80-130.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's no fair calling Arkansas an "upstart" team when they lose to a Big 10 team, and still considering them a tough team on the SEC schedule. They were the 2nd best team (record wise) in the SEC. They can't be a tough opponent during SEC play and upstart when they get beat by a Big 10 team. SO are they representative of how good the SEC is, or are they an upstart? I don't care which, but at least be consistent about it.

dawg gone round the world said...

For those saying Mark Richt of UGA is a "top 50 coach" can I get what you are smoking cause that's some good sh!t.

Mark Richt, even after his "terrible" 9-4 season where he spanked the top rated ACC team in a bowl game, he has the 5th best active winning percentage of something like .762(better than Saban's). He's won the SEC 2 of the last 5 years, played in it 3 of the last 5.

His only knock, and the thing keeping UGA from a title game shot is the fact that he is unable to beat Florida.

Urban's Magical season this year that somehow has him catapulted into one of the top coaches in America is an offensive coach whose offense can't score points. His defense is what got him where he is.

He's done nothing more than Mark Richt, Saban, and a plethora of 1 loss teams over the past 5 years, except get lucky in that his 1 loss year was enough to get to the MNC. UGA in '02 didn't get lucky, USC in 03, AU went undefeated in 04. so he hasnt' done anything that is all that special, unless you consider playing athletes who have failed drug tests as special.

Anonymous said...

Players on a basketball roster: 12-14.
Players on a Div I-A football roster: 80-130.

That's a little misleading, chrth

D-I scholarships for CBB: 12
D-IA scholarships for CFB: 80 (85?)

Anonymous said...

Re: VY as OROY

Even better, the Houston sportsradio stations are leading their updates with VY winning OROY, and then casually mentioning Ryans winning DROY. One even interviewed him and created an audio clip of Tagliabue saying "With the 1st pick in the 2006 Draft, the Houston Texans select Vince Young" for VY to comment on. Thankfully, VY has enough class to give a very politically correct answer to the knuckleheads.

I'm almost wishing VY would pull a Robert Edwards and blow out his knee during Pro Bowl week Beach Football. Then maybe this town will finally realize that the 2006 Draft will never be redone.