First among equals

Regardless of how much of a truth bomb you think Nick Saban was throwing yesterday, you have to admit some of what he said was nothing but blowing smoke.  Andy Staples ($$) neatly skewered perhaps the most eye-rolling comment of Saban’s day with this:

But now in recruiting, we have players in our state that grew up wanting to come to Alabama, that they won’t commit to us unless we say we’re going to give them what somebody else is going to give them. And my theory on that is everything that we’ve done in college athletics has always been equal. Your scholarship is equal. They get equal Alston money. They get equal cost of attendance. They get equal academic support. They get equal medical attention. Everything has always been equal.

Nothing has ever been equal in college football. Troy has never been able to compete with Alabama, even though they are both in the same NCAA subdivision. Louisiana-Monroe did that one time, but essentially these programs are in different universes. Yet Saban claims that the rules promoted equality. What they actually did was create the most lopsided playing field in any major American sport…

Meanwhile, Saban built Alabama into the program most likely to compete for championships by taking advantage of every opportunity for inequality.

Of course he did.  That’s been the secret sauce for his unprecedented success.  It’s what he sells to keep the talent pipeline to Tuscaloosa flowing.

Much of Saban’s recruiting pitch — as well as the pitches of coaches at other national title-caliber programs — is that everything at Alabama is inherently better than everything those recruits will find at other schools. The nutrition. The academic support. The strength and conditioning program. The entire pitch is about how other schools aren’t equal to Alabama. So the sentiment that the goal is equality is completely disingenuous. The goal is to ensure the other programs don’t find an edge so Alabama can keep being better.  [Emphasis added.]

Damn straight, Skippy.  And if Nick believes that’s being threatened, either somebody takes steps to rein that in, or Saban will try to find a next level way at Alabama to neutralize the threat.

Parity doesn’t mean what you and I think it means.  Don’t say we haven’t been warned.



Filed under Nick Saban Rules

26 responses to “First among equals

  1. Reminds me of the quote “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” Saban has gotten so used to dominance that when something like NIL comes along and levels the playing field even slightly, he gets all up in his feels about how unfair it is.

    Honestly, I never figured him for this much of a whiner. This kind of pissing and moaning always seemed much more in Dabo’s wheelhouse.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. mddawg

    Whenever I see comments as out of touch with reality as Saban’s, I always wonder if that person actually believes the crap they’re shoveling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The way it is headed college football will be a dumpster fire before it is all over.


  4. I know he is a Gator, but Staples more often than not has good view points on college football topics.

    Okay, I need another shower. I feel gross after saying something nice about a Gator.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Saban can no longer privately outbid other programs for top talent so he had a sad and throws a tantrum. then he got on the phone with G. Sankey – who told him to shut the F up and made sure nicky knows that he, not nicky, is the god of this soon to be billion dollar conference and his apology better be quick and humbling.

    If he wants to have the upperhand again, He is going to need coach at a richer state like Texas or USC(which is why overhyped Riley left OU) as the rec can’t touch the oilmen of tejas or billionaires of « Fight On! ». Or go to Notre Dame if they decided to lower standards then they’d be unstoppable with their endless $$$£££€€€.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      Sooooo, you’re saying Layla’s tire, pawn, massage and nail salon can’t compete with the big boys….Dayam!


  6. classiccitycanine

    Nick’s just mad that one of his best advantages–Bama bagmen–is being eroded by the newly legal competition.


    • classiccitycanine

      Either that or this is a 3-D chess move to get the NCAA to shine a light on TAMU recruiting. I’m betting it’s just Nick being cranky though.


  7. “Parity doesn’t mean what you and I think it means. Don’t say we haven’t been warned.”

    This is so true, and what I think has been so jarring to me is when I see Bama’s “coaches, players, and fans” reactions as of late. On its face you wouldn’t expect a football program who has soooooo many national championship trophies to react so ungraciously in defeat. Also, a program that has dominated football so much, normally would not be so fragile when criticized or scrutinized. But Saban and the rest of the Bama faithful see the paradigm shifting…and it scares the holy hell out of them. As a result, they lash out…apparently in all directions. Normally, I’d say Saban is smarter than this…but seeing him actually lose control is eyeopening…my gut tells me Saban retires in a couple years…like another post related…coaching is apparently a young man’s niche…and burnout is driving the more seasoned coaches to their lake houses.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. uga97

    Waiting for someone, anyone to askSaban if things are still equal without Metchie & Williams?

    Liked by 1 person


    Saban is a whiney bitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sundiatagaines

    The ironic thing is that if Saban really wants equality, he never had it before but he’s about to get it good and hard.

    The NFL has shown how to create a popular behemoth. Rules that force parity are part of that. When the top 32 CFB teams break off, they’ll copy the NFL blueprint. The wheel is already invented. Scheduling parity for fantasy football money, some sort of draft and collective bargaining, it’s all on the horizon.


  11. Didn’t Nicky once coach in a world of enforced parity? How’d that work out? He helped build this Frankenstein monster and now that it’s out of control burning down the village he’s crying for help. Contrast that to Kirby’s attitude of adapt and keep chopping wood and you see the beginning of the end for an old man having to choose between living in a world he no longer controls or getting the largest paycheck in CFB history for the broadcast booth. Place your bets now.

    Q: Could / would Saban and Notre Dame get together? Nah…not enough money and he can’t win there.

    Q: Would Bama consider Corch? Hmmmmmm…..

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ozam

    I’ll take the contrarian view here. Saban may have built a program that gives him every advantage, but he did it and he sustained it. He designed the blueprint which all other programs seek to copy. It is not so easy. Just ask all the ex coaches at Southern Cal, Miami, and Texas. You can have every advantage in the world, money, talent, etc and still fail.

    Saban is way too smart to spout off like he did yesterday without an end game. We just don’t know what it is yet.

    Liked by 4 people

    • miltondawg

      Hell, just ask Jimbo. While he didn’t have the money and administration support for facilities, he burned down what Bowden built in Tallahassee and left it in shambles. I get that he won a natty, but FSU hasn’t been right since Crab Legs Winston got them the ring.

      I agree with you about Saban, though. I think that there is an end game and it very may well be to get the SEC to take action and do what the NCAA won’t – have a hard line on tampering and collectives enticing players to come to a school with promises of NIL riches before they’ve ever been signed. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that he made comments directed at A&M shortly before Texas joins after this past recruiting cycle the Texas non-profit booster said they’d pay every scholarship offensive lineman $50,000 per year for coming to Austin for their NIL.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. whb209

    Why did all of this fall apart now. We get Kirby, he builds a program based on the AL model and it works. Then all hell breaks loose before we can get a run of N. Championships. This does not seem fair. To hell with equality. I want to be top Dawg for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I honestly believe Saban is angry because he didn’t get a #1 class using NIL before anyone else did. He appears to think he was going to hold some moral high ground and or a still-superior recruiting advantage without milking NIL for all it was worth to recruits. And he was a fool for thinking that. And he realizes it, and now he’s acting like a baby about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      That’s what I hope. I hope he’s lost his edge. He’s 70 and it should be expected.
      Hell, I’m 61 and would lose my package if it wasn’t growing from my pelvic girdle. Edge? Dull.


  15. chucktowndawg

    The way I read his quote I took it to “equal” within his own program. Players get equal scholarships, nutrition, medical care etc. I think he is lamenting that in the new world that won’t be the case


  16. godawgs1701

    Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, Florida State, Miami and Clemson are the programs that realistically put together a team that could compete for a national championship in the next 10 to 15 years. There are 130 teams in the D-1 FBS. That isn’t an NIL development. It isn’t a playoff development. It’s the way it’s also been for the previous 20 years. Maybe there are one or three teams I didn’t mention, but there aren’t many, and that ain’t parity, Nick.


  17. Nil Butron is a Pud

    Nick has always shown he can adapt and survive, be it running a program, changing offense styles, etc. I imagine he knows what needs to be done. My guess is that his comments were not so much a complaint about aTm, as they were a message to the REC and UA AD: “If you boys want to keep the party going, you’re going to have to step it up, big-time…”.