Concede ain’t played ‘Bama, PAWWWLLL.

One thing I’ve found amusing in the comments lately is the idea floated by some that, with Georgia’s season culminating in a last second loss to the Tide in the national title game combined with Kirby Smart’s recruiting prowess, Nick Saban has stared into some sort of abyss and conceded there’s a new sheriff in SEC Town and his run is over.

The only problem with that is… well…

Alabama is adding Penn State receivers coach and passing game coordinator Josh Gattis as the Tide’s new WR coach and co-offensive coordinator, a source told SI.

In the past seven seasons, the 34-year-old Gattis has produced seven all-conference receivers and three All-Americans. Gattis will take over the Tide’s receivers from Mike Locksley, who is being promoted to offensive coordinator after Brian Daboll returned to the NFL.

In 2015 Gattis was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year, as he was instrumental in Penn State signing a Top 15 recruiting class in 2015.


Earlier this week, sources had reported that Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receiver coach, Mike Locksley, had been tabbed by Nick Saban to lead the offense…

We were high on the decision for several reasons: He was the player’s choice, he was instrumental in implementing the midline zone scheme to Brian Daboll’s pro spread, there is offensive continuity that now stretches from Lane Kiffin’s tenure until the present, and, perhaps most importantly, Coach Locksley has deep recruiting ties to the fertile DMV/NOVA region[Emphasis added.]

Notice a common theme there?  I’m not sensing the proverbial towel being thrown in.

None of which is to say gaps aren’t being closed or Georgia is doomed.  Quite the contrary, as Kirby’s doing what he needs to do in that department.  But the idea that Saban’s resigned to his fate is a real stretch.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

35 responses to “Concede ain’t played ‘Bama, PAWWWLLL.

  1. “[Locksley] was the players’ choice.”

    That seems very odd for Saban to take his players’ advice and promote from within.

    I am starting to think Saban may know his talent pipeline from Atlanta may be drying up due to Kirby, and he’s going to have to go elsewhere.


    • Reverend Whitewall

      Yeah, I understand continuity and all that, but if Locksley wasn’t good enough to be your guy a year ago, why is he all of a sudden good enough now? This isn’t a young coach who just needed a little more seasoning.


  2. Jim

    I’m sure Saban won’t go down without a fight. But let’s be clear – he is going down


    • Is this like one of those “in the long run, we’re all dead” arguments? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim

        No. What I’m saying is that we will knock Saban off his perch. He won’t retire or go to the NFL on top. The University of Georgia Bulldogs will take him down


        • Russ

          I agree, Jim. I think we take him down.


        • Derek

          Since the 2008 beatdown, we we’re non-competive once because we showed up with a stiff at QB. In other games, they had better players, luck and most recently the refs. They did not in any respect outcoach us in 2012 or 2018. I’d say it was quite the opposite.

          As that talent gap narrows, those intangible factors will lose their ability to affect outcomes.

          They’re going down and we’re gonna be the ones who do it.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. dawgman3000

    I’m not saying that Saban is cowering in a corner somewhere agonizing over what Kirby is doing. I will say this though, it took overtime for his vaunted squad to knock off the least talented team Kirby will field. He knows he’s not the biggest and the baddest on the block anymore.


  4. The Quincy Carter of Accountants

    ….fertile DMV/NOVA region.

    Pardon my geographical shortcomings but where the heck is this?


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    I wonder how long Saban can plug and play new coaches without disruption? But that question answers itself in a way: as long as said new coaches can keep recruiting 5 star players.


  6. It will be difficult for two teams from the same conference making the final 4 again. With that being said, our path to the Big Dance will continue to be through Alabama for the next few years at least. Saban’s been in the “Reloading Business” for quite some time, and that isn’t changing as long as he’s there.


  7. Anonymous

    That would be me who used the ill-fated word “concede.” Just to clarify, I don’t see Saban giving up, just conceding that the model of Bama 1.0 — dominate Southeast recruiting, use talent advantage to suffocate opponents — can’t be relied on anymore, at least not in key games. Typical Saban, he’s already building Bama 2.0, which is focusing on an offensive edge and seeing if it can establish recruiting fiefdoms elsewhere. Conceding these points doesn’t mean Sabans throwing in a towel, just trying to keep his edge in novel ways. As always, my hope is that we are just as proactive and agile.


  8. Russ

    I never thought Saban showed any signs of conceding, but I do think losing Kirby really hurt his recruiting. It’s going to be a real battle between them for the foreseeable future. Given the age discrepancy though, I like where we are with Kirby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. And I know a lot of folks say it doesn’t matter, but being the flagship school in Georgia has its advantages. I believe Kirby is in the process of making it very tough for any coach outside Georgia to land one of the state’s top recruits.


  9. 3rdandGrantham

    I’m still holding to my prediction that Saban retires at the end of next season; ’19 at latest.


  10. ASEF

    Saban recruits coaches about as well as he recruits players. Coaches know they will get good opportunities post-Saban. And he has a remarkable talent, which gets largely overlooked, to take all that turnover and all those analysts and turn it into something coherent. Schools can throw money at personnel all day long – if someone isn’t doing a really good job of coordinating all those efforts, the organization dissolves into one big noise machine.

    Kirby did a remarkable job, and I would say the worst case for him is being to pick up where Saban leaves off after Saban leaves. Best case is Kirby supplants him in 2019.

    But out-Alabama-ing Bama isn’t just up to Kirby. Does BM see 2017 and think, “OK, Kirby knows what he’s doing, let’s give him a blank check?” Or does BM think, “OK, we’re good, let’s get back to making that profit line as efficient as it can be?”

    That’s my question moving forward.


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      That’s been my worry as well. I will admit that it looks like Kirby can recruit heads up against Saban. But Saban can bring in head coaches, coordinators, and NFL coaches as assistants and support staff and use them to recruit as well. Is The Georgia Way ready for that level of commitment?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We’re certainly getting close to Bama, but Saban is still king. The only thing I worry about is that Saban builds his teams to beat teams like us. LSU was very close to Bama in talent for several years and look what happened to them.


    • Otto

      I think UGA and Bama are both moving to dual threat QBs which is a change from what Bama has been built to defend.

      Bama is very talented and very well coached. LSU was not as well coached as Bama. It will be interesting to see how Bama UGA plays out. Saban isn’t going anywhere and will continue to evolve. Can he keep getting assistants as the tenured coaches get jobs outside of Bama and can Smart coach as well as Saban?

      The 1st match up gives us reason the think 2 heavy weights will face oFf often.


  12. Jt (the other one)

    I don’t think that Saban has lost his zeal or appetite for dominating the SEC and nation. I DO think that Kirby is building a program that is going to rival Saban’s EVERY year. We will win our fair share and here’s the thing, WHEN that starts happening…who is younger and has more energy?
    Which coach resonates with the kids more?
    As pointed out in another blog comment…its a very SLIM gap at this point and we are closing quickly.


  13. No Axe To Grind

    Saban will not retire until he wins a 7th National Championship, if his health permits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 69Dawg

      I agree, it’s all about the Bear. He may not go until he has 7 at Bama for that reason. We were a bit lucky that Auburn beat UA in the regular season. I think our SEC Championship was a lot easier beating Auburn than it would have been beating Bama.


  14. Uglydawg

    Here’s my peek into the crystal ball…right now Alabama’s hope is in their shiny new QB. He may or may not be as good as he looked against a tired Georgia defense, late in a game after a short week with west coast jetlag and playing the best offense in college football. Tua did show he possesses a lucky rabbit’s foot when he threw the ball for grabs in the endzone and one of his players got it. Saban…having been beaten soundly by Auburn after playing mighty Mercer in the preceeding week, looked kind of un-sabanish to me.
    Alabama, while looking strong in the fourth against Georgia, was fortunate to win that NC game. Alabama (some of them) people can see all of this. If Saban begins to falter..even a little, maybe losing to AU again..and fails to win the West…look for an extension of his contract to keep recruits from wondering. Yep, I think Alabama will actually extend a weaking (whenever that day comes) Saban just to keep up appearances. But if the downtrend becomes much bigger..the natives will get restless and the end will be in sight.
    Such is the mindset of the crimson base..two losses in a row to AU and seeing AU in the playoffs would constitute grounds for throwing a brick through a great coaches office window..esp. with UGA and LSU on the rise.
    As great as he’s been, some of them are capable of that.
    But mind you..we’re discussing, contemplating, the faltering of a man who has been the best of the best and who won the NC just a few weeks ago.
    Sooner or later he goes..but it ain’t going to be easy.

    Liked by 1 person