With Les Miles’ firing, Nick Saban is now the senior SEC coach, in terms of years at the current job. While it’s tempting to react merely by saying what took things so long, the actual data is eye-opening.
Not counting interim guys like Ed Orgeron, who’ll pilot the ship at LSU for the rest of this season, whoever follows Miles full time will be the 22nd SEC head coach introduced since Saban landed in Tuscaloosa.
Now every other current SEC member has changed coaches at least once since Alabama hired Saban in 2007, though Texas A&M did it while still in the Big 12.
Here’s the sobering and staggering part. New doesn’t always equal better. Of all the SEC coaching changes in the Saban era, only two have landed men who went on to win a conference championship.
Both happened at Auburn.
The Tigers won the SEC and BCS titles two years after Gene Chizik replaced Tommy Tuberville, and they won the SEC title and played for the BCS championship the year after Gus Malzahn followed Chizik.
That’s it. That’s the sum total of SEC coaching changes in the Saban era that have led to a conference championship. Two for 21. You can’t fire string-pulling boosters, but that .095 batting average makes you wonder why more ADs and school presidents don’t get whacked.
C’mon, man. Get real.
That is why you change coaches, right? To win more games and better compete for championships? It hasn’t really turned out that way except at Auburn.
That doesn’t stop ADs, presidents and string-pulling boosters from cutting loose coaches as accomplished as Miles and Mark Richt.
If Saban has changed the equation in the SEC, it’s to make winning itself insufficient at certain programs and put all the emphasis on winning championships. Trouble is, the record shows changing coaches doesn’t mean you’re going to win championships.
Everyone’s gonna look smarter the day after Saban retires.