He said, he said, in Tuscaloosa

So, don’t know if you saw it, but this story about Scott Cochran’s end days at Alabama popped yesterday.  Some people saw it as a big deal (hello, PAWWWLLL!!! and listeners), but I read it and it lacks a certain internal logic to me.

At one point, there’s this:

It was part of growing friction between Saban and Cochran that seemed to come to a head around that point. Cochran was mentally ready to leave after the Ole Miss situation. Saban, meanwhile, had concerns about numbers and results from a strength and conditioning standpoint and wanted tweaks made to the program. Sources said Saban began “riding Cochran mercilessly in front of staff.”

At this point, Cochran was even more determined to find an on-field opportunity elsewhere.

Yeah, that sounds exactly like the guy who famously proclaims he doesn’t have time for shit.  If he wanted Cochran gone, why go through the high school stuff?

Which that brings us to this contradictory take:

Once he had Smart on board with the hire, Cochran met with Saban to inform him of his intention to leave Alabama last Monday. Saban quickly became resigned to the fact he couldn’t do anything to keep his trusted lieutenant when he realized Cochran had already made up his mind. Contrary to a narrative that’s begun to emerge in light of Cochran taking a pay cut to go to Georgia, Saban didn’t force Cochran out.

“Saban really wanting him out is so not true,” one source said. “At all.”

There you have it, dueling narratives which really sound like a couple of camps trying to spin their way out of what happened.  Or maybe some of the Tide faithful trying to rationalize Cochran’s departure as a net plus for the program.

For what it’s worth, it’s hard for me to believe that Saban wanted to run Cochran’s ass out of town.  I don’t think that’s a contradictory position to also believing that Saban wanted Cochran to remain in the position where he had the greatest value for the program.

Even Roll ‘Bama Roll appears to have a similar opinion.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

17 responses to “He said, he said, in Tuscaloosa

  1. dawgtired

    So, just for the sake of argument…let’s say it is true that Cochran had begun to stagnate a little in his efforts, that doesn’t mean he is now worthless. How many times have you witnessed co-workers that just needed a little life from new responsibilities?
    No doubt Cochran’s S&C knowledge is valuable but the people skills you mentioned the other day may be even more valuable. Being surrounded by wise and knowledgeable coaches can only be a positive for our team.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Saban wanted him to stay on as S&C coach/director. Cochran wants to work his way up the coaching tree. Saban may not have been willing to entice him to stay with money or off-field responsibility. Cochran was willing to accept a risk discount cut in compensation.

    Little Nicky couldn’t win that battle. Smart gets his guy who can provide Sinclair another sounding board in addition to everything else. If Cochran is successful, he eventually gets that money back and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cynical Dawg

    This kind of story happens all the time. A subordinate gets too big for his britches and begins to talk too much both inside and outside the organization about how important he is and desires greater responsibilities. Coach Bryant would have quietly found Cochran a job with one of his coaching or business friends in a place that could do Alabama no harm and had it presented to him as “an offer”.


  4. spur21

    I really don’t care about any back story I’m just optimistic when it comes to what Cochran brings to the table.


  5. Bright Idea

    With the way coaches routinely come and go this story sure got a lot of splash. One side is butt hurt, one side is glad the other side is butt hurt. More chapters to come for sure.


  6. DawgPhan

    The only sure winner here is Alabama. They got rid of a guy who did not see himself fitting into the process anymore. Regardless of if the next guy is better at yelling or push ups or not, they probably got a guy that is, at least for now, all in on the process.

    Georgia got potential. Which is great. It could be huge. We dont really know. I do hope that they really support him as a first time on the field coach and make sure he is setup for success. Right now Cochran is all in on Cochran, hopefully UGA can direct that energy towards our goals.


  7. Mick Jagger

    I’m thinking Cochran wants on the field so he can one day get a big paying head coaching job. That simple.

    As for Kirby, he knows Cochran is one hell of a motivator and an all around great asset to have.

    As for Nick and the Bama faithful, who cares?


  8. The real question here is was it Nick S that squashed the job for Cochran at Ole Miss? Who shut that down? Because if it was Saban, thats messed up.

    Is it just me or are Bama fans the most paranoid , eat your own fans out there?


    • Dawg151

      Considering the little jab that Kiffin Tweeted after the move was announced, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there was a good chance that Saban had his fingerprints all over the Cochran-Ole Miss discussions and ultimate collapse of said discussions.

      I seriously doubt that Kiffin would feel a need to Tweet out congrats to both Cochran and Smart/UGA if it was just a case of Kiffin taking a pass on Cochran at Ole Miss.


      • I have no idea what happened, but why would Saban be able to shut Cochran down at Ole Miss, and not UGA?


        • 69Dawg

          Easy answer They don’t play us every year usually.


          • I’m not getting it. Why is that significant? “If you hire him, we’ll beat the crap out of you every year” — is that something that would intimidate Lane Kiffin? (And isn’t that what Alabama tries to do every year?)

            Not being snarky. I just don’t see that as something Saban would come up with.


        • Macallanlover

          Saban would be unable to intervene with Junior, imo, who would absolutely love to be shown in that kind of light with recruits. That kind of street cred and swagger cannot be bought on social media. Cochran may have been pushing for a job Saban didn’t want him to have but this story is BS, Cochran played a big role and that staff and he was a big loss, and will hurt. That doesn’t mean UGA got that much of a gain, I hope so, but he will not be easily placed.

          Junior and Nick weren’t ever tight, but Kiffin did sincerely appreciate the chance he was given at Bama and seems to have made the most of it. Junior may have shared Saban’s opinion that Cochran wasn’t ready to hold a position on his field staff, or not have felt Cochran was the personality he wanted in Oxford. I can’t see the two of them being all that close in Tusky.

          Has to be the off-season, this isn’t as big a story as it is being made out to be by the media, or Tide whiners.


  9. duronimo

    Maybe Saban pulled Cochran into his office and got real with him over exactly who Kiffiin is … poisoning the well. But with Kirby, that wasn’t possible. I believe Cochran paid his dues and wanted to be a position coach. Perhaps Saban strung him along because he didn’t want to lose what he was already providing the program.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 123fakest

    Something tells me people are getting tired of Nick’s shtick.


  11. Go Dawgs!

    Just ask the Bammer in your life to tell you about a time when Nick Saban wanted someone out of his program but was afraid to fire him. Make sure you’ve got something read while they try to come up with an answer. Saban’s loyalty extends only so long as you’re producing for him. He doesn’t keep dead weight around. If Scott Cochran wasn’t fired at Alabama, it’s because Saban wanted to keep him. He’s at Georgia because Saban didn’t want to give him an on-field opportunity and Georgia did. It’s that simple. And if you believe the rumors that Alabama interfered somehow with him leaving to go to Ole Miss, then it becomes even more readily apparent that Alabama wanted to keep him. And the story that Saban was riding Cochran hard? Who ISN’T Saban riding hard? It’s why most assistants don’t stay more than three or four years!

    Liked by 3 people