Nick Saban’s ruined it for everybody.

In my mind, there’s a difference between being a great coach and being one of the greatest coaches ever.  Bear with me here — the SEC’s had its share of great ones, but there are three I’d elevate above them all, Bear Bryant, Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban.  All three won a lot of games and plenty of titles, sure, but what makes them stand out from the rest is the ripple effect each of them had on the conference they coached in.  They forced their competitors to adapt to what they did.

Saban is fascinating to me in that regard.  Yes, he’s an innovator on the defensive side of the ball, as pattern reading, his trademark contribution to defensive tactics, shows.  Where he’s really left his mark, though, is in program management.  His vision of how to run a college football program is unprecedented and came at a perfect time, when broadcast revenue went from being a steady stream to a torrent.  (Would the Process have succeeded in an earlier time is an interesting question, but one I fortunately don’t need to dwell on for purposes of this post.)

As far as reaction goes, we see it all over the place.  Every coach in Saban’s division makes in excess of $4 million, with the exception of LSU’s Ed Orgeron, who just got promoted.  Les Miles was fired, despite having conference and national titles on his resume.  Georgia went out of its way to fire one of the most successful head coaches in its program’s long history in an attempt to import the Process to Athens by way of Kirby Smart.  Former Saban assistants litter the SEC as head coach hires.

But nobody’s Nick Saban.  Nobody’s matched the run of success he’s had at ‘Bama.  Not that anyone’s stopped trying to keep up with the Joneses.  And therein lies the rub.  The more the conference tries to find the next Nick Saban, or, perhaps more accurately, the coach who can keep up with Nick Saban, the farther behind it seems to get.  The last two years in the SEC have shown the conference after Alabama to be more mediocre than it’s been in ages.

As this post at And The Valley Shook! indicates, a lot of that seems to be due to coaching turnover.

The ACC has now posted a winning record against the SEC in two of the past three seasons. The previous two losing seasons to the ACC were in 2002 and 1999. The ACC has overturned over a decade’s worth of utter dominance by the SEC, and it’s not looking like an accident.

At root of the problem is that Nick Saban has effectively run off all of his coaching peers. There are only four coaches in the conference who have been at their current job for five or more years, and only Saban has lasted at least a decade. Dan Mullen is the only SEC coach other than Saban who has been at his job for more than five years. He’s the sole survivor of the Saban Era.

There is a batch of four coaches with precisely four years of experience at their current job. It’s been a mixed bag. Gus Malzahn has alternated between great seasons and terrible ones, Butch Jones is dodging rumors of his imminent demise, Bret Bielema has yet to post a winning record in conference play at Arkansas, and Mark Stoops warded off the axe this year. This means that the coach with at least a four year tenure with the second-best winning percentage in the SEC is Kevin Sumlin.

Let that sink in. Kevin Sumlin is arguably the most successful coach in the SEC not named Nick Saban. Ask an Aggie fan how happy they are with the job he’s done.

Ugh.  It’s not like the recent influx of new blood is a guarantee of greatness, either.

… For all of the talk that the SEC is the pinnacle of the profession, it is the other conferences with the longest careers and the longest current tenures.

Urban Meyer has Jim Harbaugh (and Dantonio and Chryst). Fisher has Dabo and Petrino. Bob Stoops has Gary Patterson (and Gundy and Snyder). Great coaches tend to have a foil, and Saban no longer has one. Worse yet, there is no young up and comer that seems to be a future threat.

The Pac-12 lacks a current coaching great, but they have younger coaches like David Shaw, Clay Helton, and Mike McIntyre. The Big 12 has Holgo and now Tom Herman. The Big Ten has Franklin, Fitzgerald, Chryst, and maybe Durkin. And the ACC is hotbed of young talent: Dabo of course, but also Narduzzi, Doeren, and Fuente.

What does the SEC have? There’s a lot of short-tenured coaches, but who looks like a potential future great? Kirby Smart? Will Muschamp? Bielema? Jim McElwain is short-tenured but he’s already 54, and is considered a subpar recruiter, which will catch up to a guy eventually. About the only guy you can make a case for is Hugh Freeze, and he’s looking over his shoulder at NCAA investigators.

I know we’re all hoping Smart breaks the mold there, and maybe he will, but even if you look at his future optimistically, you have to admit your hope stems from his applying the lessons he learned at Saban’s knee well, as opposed to him being an innovator.  (I’m not sure the Georgia Way is up to handling an innovator as a head coach, but that, too, we’ll leave as a topic for another day.)

Saban’s affect isn’t just felt in Athens, of course.  Take a look at what Jack Crowe, someone who’s knocked around and coached at several programs in the South, had to say about Auburn.

“Auburn’s leadership cannot get past Pat Dye and allow any coach to have this (Alabama) kind of sovereignty. In his days Pat had it as good as coach Paul Bryant. Donald Watson planted the seed of Pat’s decline. And ever since then Auburn has turned “grey” into “black,” handcuffing and eventually compromising its coach. Gus Malzahn has been compromised. Following his early spectacular success began the erosion of his influence and now the scapegoating has begun to reign instead of leadership. Still Auburn will always have a great tradition and outstanding players. The change to the next coach (with Saban’s exit) may really have a chance to give the Auburn football program sovereignty again. Auburn has to change the culture that gives sovereignty to its coach in year one, followed then by erosion to undermine the early success. Why is that? Your understanding of human nature is as good as mine. Auburn needs to let its marketing mentality on sustaining a head football coach with every authority to win. Or keep explaining why Auburn cannot sustain competitiveness. Check the stats.”

When someone can argue with an apparently straight face that a head coach at Second Chance U, of all places, has been compromised by the school’s administration, that should give you as clear an indication of the degree of Saban’s domination as you’ll see.

In comparison, here’s what Crowe writes about Alabama:

Alabama’s leadership since AD, Mal Moore, has given Coach Nick Saban the responsibility and authority to be bold and turn his “grey” regulatory issues in to “white”. And he has been given every tool and resource to do it with. Change has started this year in the offensive philosophy, and soon the coordinator. It is highly likely however that Nick will be gone to ESPN before the next frosh class graduates; as will Bill Battle. Already exited are the Chancellor and President with BOT powers that gave the UA football program total organizational sovereignty that has accounted for their dominance…

He’s not even sure the Process at Alabama survives Saban.  That’s when you know someone’s King of the Mountain.  Meanwhile, the lesser nobles suffer.

106 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

106 responses to “Nick Saban’s ruined it for everybody.

  1. Biggus Rickus

    I’m not saying there’s absolutely no truth to the idea that Saban’s success has forced out a couple of good coaches, but let’s look at everyone who was coaching when Saban arrived in 2007:

    Auburn: Tommy Tubberville
    Arkansas: Houston Nutt
    Florida: Urban Meyer
    Georgia: Mark Richt
    Kentucky: Rich Brooks
    LSU: Les Miles
    Mississippi State: Sylvester Croom
    Ole Miss: Ed Orgeron
    South Carolina: Steve Spurrier
    Tennessee: Phil Fulmer
    Vanderbilt: Bobby Johnson

    Of those, you could make a solid argument that one was let go in large part because of Saban’s success: Les Miles. You can make arguments that Richt and Meyer are no longer at Georgia and Florida in part because of Saban. Among the rest you have a bunch of guys who were already in trouble when he got there for various reasons, were terrible or retired. Subsequent hires by everyone saw varying levels of success, but I can’t think of any who were fired because of Saban. Muschamp was a failure. Petrino left due to scandal. Tennessee got Kiffined. Joker Philips was terrible. Franklin left for Penn State. Etc.

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    • Tennessee hired SOD. Florida hired Boom. Florida hired McElwain. Georgia hired Kirby. SC hired Boom.

      Looks like a trend to me.

      I’d also argue that Sumlin would already be gone at TAMU if it hadn’t been for him catching lightning in a bottle and notching a couple of wins over Saban early on.

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Tennessee hired SOD mostly because he was the antithesis of Kiffin. Boom was the coach in waiting at Texas and seemed like a coup. Yes, he’s off the Saban tree, but that’s not why he was in demand. As for South Carolina hiring him, I would be stunned if it’s related to Saban. You may just as well say LSU hired Orgeron because he’s off the Pete Carroll tree.

        Sumlin beat him once in his first season. He was competitive in his second and hasn’t been close in his last three. If they’re keeping him around because they think he has some formula to beat Saban, they’re idiots.

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        • Tennessee hired SOD because he was their seventh choice. Being a branch on the Saban coaching tree was a mark in his favor.

          Look, I can see you’re convinced. It must all just be a big coincidence that the rest of the conference is falling by the wayside.

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          • Biggus Rickus

            The conference is currently in a down cycle, and it may very well continue considering LSU just hired Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss seems to be imploding, Butch Jones isn’t that good a coach, and Smart may end up being a mediocrity. I do not think it is all because of Nick Saban.

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          • Sides

            The SEC west over the past 5 years has been as strong top to bottom as it has ever been. This year was a down year but it happens (maybe Bama is historically good). LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas (to a lesser extent) will be back. MSU could trend up and Ole Miss is probably going to struggle with NCAA issues. I have no idea what will happen with A&M but they have a good recruiting base and plenty of money.

            The problem with the SEC all comes from the East. How much is related to Saban? I would say it was a factor in the Richt firing but it had no effect on any other SEC east school. The biggest problem with the East (and the SEC in general) is the weakness at Florida and Tennessee and I don’t see how either have anything to do with Saban.

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            • “The biggest problem with the East (and the SEC in general) is the weakness at Florida and Tennessee and I don’t see how either have anything to do with Saban.” The point is that these schools hired coaches from the Saban coaching tree. How much of a factor that was in the hiring is anyone’s guess, but I’m thinking pretty significant.

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              • Sides

                McElwain was a coach for 3 years under Nick Saban out of a 30+ year career. He was a good coach before Saban hired him and a good coach after he left. I can’t image it was a significant factor in Florida’s decision.

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                • DawgFlan

                  You don’t have much of an imagination then. What’s the old saw about once is chance, twice is coincidence, third time and on it’s a pattern …

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                  • Sides

                    Well then it has to be true…I stand corrected.

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                    • Rocket Dawg

                      You are both foolish if you think that the current state of the SEC is not directly a result of Nick Saban and his tenure at Alabama. The decline of the East started when Saban introduced the West to oversigning and roster management. The year that UGA played LSU in the dome (2011) they had cycled an entire extra recruiting class through Red Stick in the previous 4 years. As a result everyone in the west started to oversign and got better. The powers that be at UF and UGA decided not to allow those programs to oversign along with higher admission standards for student athletes as compared to the West. UT could find it’s ass with both hands during this period and still hasn’t emerged from the desert after firing Fulmer.

                      The “Sabanization” of the SEC has included upgraded facilities, copycat Strength and Conditioning programs, etc. All of these SEC programs are flush with cash and rich with tradition so they all feel like “if Alabama can do it then we can do it” and change coaches hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. What this has done is further dilute the conference as the perpetual revolving door at the HC position causes programs to be in a state of flux and new schemes that may or may not fit the personnel on hand. There is no patience with program building anymore and by the time a coach has his first or second recruiting class through the program he is expected to win a conference championship. When that doesn’t happen then said coach is shown the door and the whole process starts over. The only example of a coach having success over the last 9 years is Mahlzahn at Auburn who needed a once in a generation talent as OC and the flukiest play in college football to beat Alabama as HC.

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  2. paul

    It does seem odd that only one school, Arkansas, chose to bring in a seasoned head coach with a proven track record. Everyone else seems to be going the route of paying a lot of money for a successful coordinator and hoping they’ll eventually develop into something spectacular. Or perhaps they know no one is ever going to be Saban other than Saban. Guys who aren’t proven commodities are easier to jettison in a few years. Perhaps the rest of us are resigned to our current fate and are simply waiting for Saban to retire. In the meantime, why waste a big name hire? Of course, there’s always the possibility that the big names simply don’t want to come to the SEC as long as Saban is around.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Butch Jones was a seasoned head coach with solid success at two smaller stops. McElwain had a successful run at Colorado State before he was hired. Kevin Sumlin was Tom Hermann. Missouri promoted from within after Pinkel had to retire. Auburn hired the brain behind their 2010 national title after he’d had a good year at Arkansas State. Ole Miss hired Hugh Freeze after he’d had success at something called Lambuth and Arkansas State. Georgia’s, LSU’s and South Carolina’s recent hires don’t make much sense, but the bottom-feeder programs aren’t going to land big-name coaches and will generally have to settle for either retreads or promising coordinators.

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      • paul

        All valid points. I guess I should have said a seasoned head coach at a major school. In my mind, while head coaching experience at a smaller school is still head coaching experience, in many ways, as we saw with SOD, it may still be a bit of a crap shoot hiring decision. Personally, I like Tom Hermann. I believe McElwain has been more lucky than good at this point, although I kind of like him too. I don’t expect Freeze, Sumlin or Orgeron to be around much longer. Butch Jones may be in over his head, not as badly as SOD was but I’m not sure he’s the savior many believe him to be. If he gets enough time he could grow into it. Unfortunately, even after a full season of Kirby Smart, I’m not sure we know enough about him to make any sort of reasonable judgment. The product on the field was often atrocious. Inconsistent is about the most generous adjective I can come up with to describe UGA this year.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Of successful hires in the last 20 years, I think Saban and Miles are the only two to leave something like a major school to coach an SEC school. Both hired by LSU oddly enough. Spurrier came from Duke. Meyer came from Utah before they were a major conference program. Fulmer backstabbed his way to the top from within. Richt was a coordinator. Tubberville was an assistant when he went to Ole Miss. I guess he might count as a major hire when Auburn got him if you stretch the definition. And then you have Bielema, who wouldn’t be thought of as a successful hire so far. Then you have Spurrier (again), Saban (again) and Petrino, who returned to college from shitty NFL experiences.

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    • Sanford222view

      “Of course, there’s always the possibility that the big names simply don’t want to come to the SEC as long as Saban is around.”

      I think that definitely plays a factor.

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  3. 3rdandGrantham

    Saban is the greatest CFB coach ever. I really don’t even think its all that debatable at this point. Saban will be talked about glowingly 100 years from now; similar to how we look back to Knute Rockne, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Urban Meyer at 165-28 (.855) and 3 natties is still in the running. Saban has five but his 203–60–1 (.772) record less Rockne-like.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Comparing Meyer’s record with Saban’s is like comparing apples to a sport car. Anyone with a 80+ IQ can easily look back at both coaches previous destinations and factor that in accordingly. I mean, its not even up for any debate.

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        • Bowling Green and Utah vs. Michigan State and LSU. Yep, the intellectually disabled could figure out whose record at his first two jobs is more impressive.

          When Saban got the alabama job, Goff had a slightly better career HC winning percentage.

          He’s younger. He’s got three and a higher win %. You say the debate is over. I’m not so sure.

          A three year old would know to wait before calling this one.

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  4. DawgPhan

    I believe the great and powerful spencer hall said it best when he said something like “The SEC has a vampire problem, but they keep hiring dracula’s butlers when they need to hire van helsing.”

    and that just about sums it up for me. In the SEC east especially AD think they can get what Bama has by gathering items that bama has owned.

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  5. The last 2 times the sec finished back to back seasons with 1 top ten team was 1978-79 and 2015-16.

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  6. There will be a fascinating case study one day about Saban’s early days at Alabama. At this point, it’s a self feeding monster with the talent it collects each year.

    But what was it about the organization and structure he put in place that let them get up to speed so quickly?

    And selfishly, I’d love to know what UGA was doing at the time that made it such an easy mark for Alabama? The blackout debacle was really their jumping off point, but starting in 2007, Saban/Kirby raided Georgia in recruiting. I’d love to know what their pitch was that made it possible for a 7-6 team to out recruit a team coming off a #2 ranking and Sugar Bowl win.

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      • I let that element of it, but I don’t think that explains everything. As the Senator has noted before: money is only part of the solution–you still have to know how to properly deploy it.

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        • MLB2

          I could write you a book. I’ll summarize. After their last probation, low level donors who did not want to acquire tickets were referred to outside “clubs” that aren’t affiliated with the university. I’m not talking about the clubs on the rubber chicken circuit. Every school has their runners but Bama’s setup is on a different level. When the target list for recruits comes out, club members attend games. They get to know the players and families and pass along a little cash(dinner’s on me kind of thing). Further arrangements can be made if necessary. I always thought my dad was bullshitting when I was a student but he attends a high school game in the metro every week of the regular season. He hasn’t had a kid in high school since 1996 and it’s never the same teams. One of his favorite barbs at me is how UGA alums aren’t willing to do what it takes to be great.

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          • So it’s just that they had better bag men?

            Maybe I’m not phrasing my question correctly: did Saban see Georgia, both the state and the UGA football team, as an opportunity he could massively exploit when he arrived at Alabama? And if so, why and why were we so inept at preventing it?

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            • MLB2

              They have a scheme that keeps the NCAA off the school’s back. If you set aside the player money, Bama’s facilities are light years ahead of ours. They are 100% committed to football. We aren’t. Straight and simple. Nothing else matters to them. If you want to blame the former staff, go ahead. He’s gone and Bama will still out recruit us.

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              • Not necessarily placing blame anywhere. I’m just interested in how this perfect storm occurred. No doubt facilities, commitment, organizational skills, etc. all contributed.

                It’s just interesting to me how much Saban seemingly saw Georgia as a place he could exploit. No doubt the state producing more talent than the instate schools can sign was a factor as well.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      From what I’ve read/heard, Saban and co. simply worked that much harder than our staff (and others) in all facets. I’ve told this story once or twice before, but back in summer of ’09 I had an opportunity to tour both Bama’s and UGA’s weight room approx. a month apart, with my visit to Bama coming first.

      During both visits, players were actively working out, so I got a small glimpse into the overall culture of both operations, and simply put, words can’t express the grand canyon sized cultural difference I noticed overall. At Bama, you had myriad S&C coaches (including Cochran) running their lift sessions like a brutal boot camp, and the players were totally committed and engaged. At UGA, there was just a few support staffers present (no DVH) goofing off with the players, with lots of loud music, dancing/cutting up, half-ass sets every 5-7 minutes, and such.

      Honestly, I left UGA borderline sick if not downright sad at what I witnessed, and I knew right then and there that we had absolutely zero chance of competing against Bama short or long term. I also suspected that CMR had reached his peak in Athens and would continue to decline. Soon after I made the mistake of reporting my experience on a popular UGA message board, and I was completely trashed to no end by 90% of the board members, who basically called me an idiot who had no clue what I was talking about — that and being reminded no less than 100 times that DVH was voted S&C coach of the year just a few years prior, so how dare I say anything remotely bad about his operation.

      Though in the grans scheme of things those visits certainly were no big event in my life, I’ll never forget them — especially the hopeless feeling I felt overall, on which there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

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      • I 100% believe every word of this.

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        • Likewise–barring the chance that 3rd visited the UGA weight room on Thanksgiving….

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          • Cousin Eddie

            I have visited the UGA wt room and was not impressed. The equipment is all nice and shiny but was way smaller than I imagined. I have been a steady gym attender for 9 years and wouldn’t join a gym with that few of pieces of equipment. I understand the main difference in what typical gyms requires and “Core” lifting gyms need for equipment but was not impressed with the UGA gym.

            To me if comes back to support from the administration. If Vandy can get the support for an IPF and your school can’t, they really don’t support you.

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            • 3rdandGrantham

              Well, remember, back then in ’09 was before Bama built/opened their insanely beautiful/huge new center (I think Saban went on to win his first MNC at Bama later that year). And from my recollection, at the time both facilities were pretty much equals when it came to size/functionality.

              For me personally, my experience had absolutely nothing to do with the weight room itself, but instead the overall culture and what exactly was being accomplished inside the building — that was the scary if not beyond sad part. And as mentioned the two cultures — from my very small 30-40 minute glace at each location anyway — couldn’t have been any more different.

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              • paul

                I’ve had conversations with former UGA players who went on to the NFL and they said essentially the same thing. One even told me he and several other NFL players went and expressed their concerns about the S&C program to Richt.

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  Right, and that, IMO, was the #1 main problem with CMR — he was far too reactive instead of being proactive. In other words, he would wait for things to get really bad, in which several people had to tell him things were bad in “X” area for him to finally do something about it. And in the case with the S&C, we waited far, far too long before making the necessary changes.

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        • dawgman3000

          Me too gatriguy.

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      • TXBaller

        Did similar 3rd & G in spring 2014….with same takeaway. Family insiders at bith programs allowed such. Got to meet Scott Cochran. He, single handedly, was/is the driving day to day motivational force in T-Town weight room. One family insider at UA gets daily hype videos from Cochran….always be motivating!

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          And just think, in ’14 things were far and away better compared to ’09, so you can only imagine just how bad things were back then.

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  7. Russ

    Solid points all around, except LOL at Jack Crowe. Really? The Auburn administration hamstrings the football program? Yeah, and Hugh Freeze is a fine, upstanding man, too.

    The merry-go-round will continue until Saban retires. Hopefully, we jumped on late enough that Kirby will still be around here to have a chance when Nicky leaves the SEC.

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  8. Bob

    Great piece. One minor point…I think Chris Petersen at Washington probably qualifies as one of those top coaches. But frankly, hard to disagree with this piece.

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    • Russ

      I agree Petersen is probably a top coach, along with Harbaugh, Shaw and maybe a few others. But they aren’t great coaches at the very top. I think only Saban and Meyer occupy that level right now because they’ve won consistently at the very top of the game, with MNCs at multiple schools. The others I mentioned haven’t even won one.

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  9. 69Dawg

    Interesting, Colin Cowherd did a segment yesterday about the same thing. He may have seen the article. His take was that the SEC demise was all about coaching since we had by far the best source of players as shown by the NFL. He felt the SEC mostly hired from within. He noted the few outside coaches but said that we tended to hire Saban guys and the lack of experienced head coaches. Barring a great showing in the bowls the SEC will be labeled a one horse league.

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    • bigdoghunts

      Jake Fromm is Nick Saban’s biggest nightmare. And Kirby knows it. Only one Qb threw for more yards in Georgia than Fromm, Deshaun Watson. And you know how Saban hates hurry up offense and mobile Qb’s? Well guess, here comes the Fromm.

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      • Sanford222view

        Ummm…Fromm is not very similar to Watson. He isn’t considered a run threat like Watson. He is probably a bit more mobile than Eason but probably plays more like him than Watson. Fromm slings it all over the field from the shotgun like Eason did in high school. This year was his best rushing season it was for only 300-400 yards I believe.

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      • Sh3rl0ck

        IMHO, Fromm seems like a Hutson Mason clone with better arm strength. Similar systems, good athletes but not “dual threat” guys, make plays with their brains, etc. For me, that is a compliment.

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    • Wonder if he is basing this on the perspective if his old college roomie.

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    • down island way

      Many active coaches have worked with the u of a hc, only CKS has been really next to the saban bossom for any length of time. Titles are the only way CKS will get the keys to the vault of BM, and be the type of program we all can drink to on saturday 3:30 and 4 oclock kick off times!

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  10. So what you are telling me is that the SEC is slowly becoming the ACC of the 90’s….there was FSU and then after that you couldn’t even name another team in the conference?

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  11. Rebar

    I think it points out how much more important coaching is. The ACC is ascending because of the coaching in their league. Cutcliffe has worked wonders at Duke, Dabo has Clemson rolling, Fedora has folks talking about North Carolina, Jimbo has won a championship at Florida State, and Mark Richt is now at Miami. Everyone will have talent, but the coaching is where a team will reach beyond their grasp.

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  12. bigdoghunts

    Kirby will be better than Saban and lead to Saban’s retirement when he loses to him 3 times in a row in the SEC Championship. How can i say that?
    1- Kirby is a better recruiter than Saban
    2- Kirby is younger and has loads more energy than the old man
    3- Kirby’s age will appeal to the young recruits more
    4- All of Saban’s success at Alabama is tied completed to one person-Kirby Smart, he didn’t win hardly any National Championships before Kirby came along.
    5- Kirby is substantially better than anyone Saban could recruit to try and replace the best defensive mind in college football. Consider how Kirby did vs ranked teams in 2016: improved from Pruitt (Kirby’s replacement) time at Georgia where Pruitt gave up nearly 40 points a game vs ranked teams, down to less than 16 in one year with Kirby. That’s a move from #56 to # 4, yes Virginia, Kirby is 14x better than the guy Saban tried to replace him with.
    6- Once Kirby gets his recruits in here, it’s lights out for Nick Saban. Saban will never win another title starting in 2017.
    7- Kirby has the newest massive facility upgrade in the conference. Attractive to recruits.
    8- Kirby matched Saban’s first year win total at Mich St AND Alabama and he still has one game to go. Just damn.
    9- Of Kirby’s 5 losses so far, 2 were 1 point losses, another was a 3 point loss, no other team in the SEC had 3 closer losses. Enjoy it now guys, Kirby won’t be losing close games once he gets his new guys and 5 stars in here, and these other coaches know it.
    10- Kirby actually played at Georgia, met his future wife at Georgia, and graduated from Georgia, Kirby wants to get Georgia back to the 1980-1982 era worse than anything, an advantage Nick Saban will never have.

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  13. 92 grad

    Spurrier started it all back in the 90’s. funny thing is, it was all him, I don’t remember any of his coordinators cashing in like we see now with Saban staff.

    I agree with your sentiments senator. Saban developed his leadership over several years and destinations and Alabama let him bring it to fruition. I think you’re inferring that everyone else keeps hiring his offspring in the hopes of competing with him only to miss the point entirely. It’s partly coaching but mostly organizational, if one wishes to beat Alabama, they need to change the way they run their entire program, and if that happens, then the coaching will be effective. Sort of a chicken and egg thing..

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    • bigdoghunts

      Spurrier’s Natl title came as a result of Bob Stoops, Dantonio’s run coinciding with his DC, and Bowden’s success coincided with Richt as his OC. I think when the book is written, Saban’s story will end where Kirby’s begins at Georgia. And Kirby is a better defensive mind than Stoops or Dantonio’s Narduzzi.

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      • Cousin Eddie

        using that logic is Chaney or Tucker Kirby’s championship caliber assistant? Kirby leaving might be the down fall of Saban (sure i’ll bite) but that doesn’t mean Kirby will be the next superstar coach.

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    • Spurrier started it all back in the 90’s. funny thing is, it was all him, I don’t remember any of his coordinators cashing in like we see now with Saban staff.

      Stoops did. And so, in his own inimitable way, did the Zooker.

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  14. bigdoghunts

    I think you could see some SEC coaches heading to other teams, like a few weeks from now, they know they are no match for Kirby long term, things are already moving:
    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/florida-coach-jim-mcelwain-responds-to-oregon-coaching-rumors/
    https://www.seccountry.com/alabama/coaching-rumors-oregon-discussing-lane-kiffin-as-head-coaching-candidate

    They are scurrying like coach roaches.

    Like

    • This started out as an interesting thread. Now we’re being trolled. I hope Kirby wins a NC, but someone is going to have to slay Alabama. I idea that they’re slowing going to crumble is t realistic.

      Someone, either LSU or UGA or UF is going to have to equal and then surpass them as a complete organization.

      Like

  15. Macallanlover

    I would say that last year’s decision to make a coaching change at UGA was less than 5% due to Saban. Agree with your three coaches who have impacted the SEC most (it would be silly to put Mumme on that list because of results but his contribution should still be noted.)

    How the heck did he view the PAC12 and not put Peterson at the very top of that list, or just have him as the only one?

    Like

    • I would say that last year’s decision to make a coaching change at UGA was less than 5% due to Saban.

      Based on what?

      Like

      • The saban effect is a “false flag” invented by liberals and media types. You don’t really believe that Saban has won 5 natties do you? So naive. That’s just what they want you to believe. You probably believe the earth is round and spend your time watching CNN.

        Facts are like so 20th century.

        Like

        • Jp

          Like Obama crying about about fake news as he gives his interview to Rolling Stoned magazine . A rag that reports a fake rape story about Uva and now is liable for 7 million. Gonna be a long 8 years Der sit back and enjoy the tax cut bro. The Florida Democratic Party is handing out playdoh if you need some.

          Like

      • Macallanlover

        Based on my assessment, the 5, 10, or even 20% number could have been chosen, no argument from me, but Saban wasn’t the reason CMR was run off, imo. Primary reason was a delusional fan base who felt UGA could be a consistent contender for national titles. Those 15 years (2-3 excepted) were the glory years for UGA football but it wasn’t enough for some. Losses to Florida, the occasional blow-out, flat showing, like SC in 2012 counted far more than what Saban was doing. You will recall that Alabama was just one of four SEC schools that played multiple times in the MNC game. I feel FU and Auburn were more the culprits, not Bama or LSU. You could say that Saban taking some recruits that UGA may have gotten otherwise had an impact, but that is about as far as I would go,

        Several other factors rank higher to me than Nick Saban. We actually competed pretty well with Saban coached teams for the most part, at both LSU and Bama. I don’t assign much to last season’s game in the monsoon as I do to the others. Just an opinion, one where I would say Saban impacted schools in the West that way, but not so much in the East. No school in the East is set up to do what Bama/Saban is currently doing. No one is that committed to do whatever is required to win at football, Kentucky in BB is the closest to that mentality.

        Like

        • Bigshot

          Yeah, we really competed well in that blackout game too.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Richt got canned because he kept getting embarrassed when he ran into teams he couldn’t out talent. The 2014 UF, 2014 Tech, and 2015 UF games did him in. Not to mention getting depantsed by 4 TDs by Bama after trying go to fight them in the tunnel.

          Like

          • Macallanlover

            So the point was, Saban wasn’t a significant factor, and stand by that. Your examples, valid or not, only support that. I don’t consider the 2015 game against Bama because that became a blowout when the monsoon was accurately forecast and hit. In addition to killing the crowd’s impact, there was our little skinny guys trying to play over-sized elephants in ankle deep mud. We probably would have beat them. but the results were exaggerated by the conditions. No worse than CMR’s team beat LSU in Sanford in 2004. It ain’t all about the coaches, you do realize that don’t you? I realize you have an agenda with Richt for some reason but the point was there were several issues besides Saban that led to the decision to make a change. You are a part of group who helped drive that, indeed, still seem obsessed with it, but Saban wasn’t one of the things brought up regularly, if at all.

            Like

            • “We probably would have beat them.” I disagree, considering they win the national title.

              So your position is that we not played them in the rain, we would have beat the national champs last year?

              Like

              • Macallanlover

                Actually, if you read that sentence you will see it was obvious I left out the “n’t” and meant to say “wouldn’t have beat them”.

                Like

  16. Bigshot

    We all know that Saban recruits at a higher level than anyone else. The major cause of this is winning. If I am not mistaken Alabama currently has 5 5* recruits, UGA has one. To some extent Richt’s firing is related to Saban, but Richt was also looking to get fired. You can’t convince me otherwise following the Florida debacle. What kind of coach starts a 3rd string QB and then says, “I just wanted to see if we could keep a secret.” Saban has ruined the SEC because he cherry picks the best players and the other 13 schools have to divide up the leftovers.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Good humor there, I do believe you,and a maybe one other person, actually believe that. Sorry, can’t laugh, you really may believe that.

      Like

  17. 69Dawg

    This whole thing is a joke. If you don’t think everybody in the SEC is trying to hire a coach that can beat Saban (UK & Vandy excluded naturally) your out of touch with reality. We fired Mark, LSU fired Les, Name one coach in the West that is not on the hot seat. I live in Florida Mc has now gotten them to back to back SEC East Championships but they will fire him in another year or two if he keeps getting killed by Saban. Saban has never ever lost a game to one of his former assistants. The SEC has fallen into his well set up trap by hiring as many of his former assistants as they can. He has built his job security for at least the next 5 years. The SEC had better do well in the bowls are the next headline will read “SEC Alabama and the 13 Dwarfs”.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Derek Dooley 2.0

    I’ll say this again.

    No coach from Saban’s tree has been a good HV in the SEC.
    No former Saban Assistant has ever beaten him head to head.

    So. Here we are waiting for Saban to go somewhere. So the rest of us can be relevant again.

    I like to think that Richt is the reason Fulmer got the boot.

    Like

  19. wallydawg

    This blog has convinced me, we have the worst coach and the worst team in the country!! Couldn’t agree more.

    Like

  20. wallydawg

    if Orgeron locks up Aranda as DC, and pulls in Kiffin as OC, LSU will be a force. Ed’s a legendary recruiter.

    Like

  21. rchris

    Kirby’s learning there’s a lot more to it than what Nick let him see. Here’s hoping he’s competitive enough and determined enough to figure out a way to learn the rest of it on his own.

    Like

    • wallydawg

      what possible makes you think Kirby is competitive? The win over Nicholls I suppose? Frankly, he hasn’t looked competitive at all, pretty much blowouts in every loss and barely wins when he does rarely win a game!! We’re screwed for 3 years, face it. Kirby is a huge dissapointment and Nick Saban ruined it for us. Life was good before then, we rarely lost to Georgia Tech or Vanderbilt.

      Like

  22. Pingback: “Now the GAs have GAs.” | Get The Picture

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