Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

Today in the annals of derpitude

Tell us you’re not a college football fan without saying you’re not a college football fan.

Imagine being a Southern male, publicly offering that as a devastating insult.  I’m not a ‘Bama fan and I’m still insulted by the stupidity.  What a dope.

[Ed. note:  This is not — repeat NOT — a political post about voting rights and shouldn’t be interpreted or responded to as if it were.  Anyone who assumes otherwise does so at their own posting risk.]

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Filed under General Idiocy, Nick Saban Rules

We wanted ‘Bama.

Pretty good piece from Jane Coaston at the NY Times reminding us that beating any Alabama team during the Saban era is an accomplishment.

On Monday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide lost to the Georgia Bulldogs for the national championship in college football. Which was different from four years ago, when Alabama defeated Georgia for the title. Since 2010, Alabama has appeared in the title game nine times and won six of them. Since the College Football Playoff system was instituted in the 2014-2015 season, in part to produce a more competitive environment that would let the non-Alabamas of the world aim for a title, Alabama has competed in six title games and won three.

How good is this team? On Monday night, Georgia beat Alabama for its first national title since 1980. Georgia was fantastic — way better than my Michigan Wolverines, which Georgia crushed in the national semifinal game on New Year’s Eve — and has every chance of being extremely good next season, too. But that very same night, ESPN senior writer Mark Schlabach released his top 25 rankings for the upcoming season and put Georgia third. In first place? Alabama. Because, in general, if there is a college football season taking place, Alabama is going to be either the best team competing, or it’ll be playing the team that is in the national championship. The Tide is as certain as, well, the tide.

She goes on to call Alabama a “behemoth”, which is an apt description:  “And Alabama, like any good villain, is fully sentient, always learning, always improving, always finding new and even more terrifying ways to decimate its opponents.”

And this is particularly telling:

I need to be clear here for those of you who do not follow college football: For the last decade, Alabama has been so good that it has become almost more of a concept than a team. There’s a habit some fans of other college football teams have of chanting, “We want Bama!” or wielding signs bearing the same words at games where their team is winning, because the truest sign of superiority wouldn’t be to beat the team you’re already beating — it would be to beat Alabama.

You can beat Nick Saban, but you can’t hope to contain him.

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Filed under Alabama, Nick Saban Rules

TFW your coaching tree bears fruit

Say what you will, Nick Saban was gracious in defeat.

“But I love Kirby. I think Kirby has a lot of respect for us. He did a great job for us for a long time. If we had to lose a national championship, I’d rather lose one to one of the former assistants who certainly did a great job for us and has done a great job for his program and his team.

“If any team deserves — they deserve it. They played great all year. We were the only team to beat them in the SEC Championship game. And we just couldn’t finish the game tonight like we wanted to.

“But I think Kirby has done a really really good job there. I congratulated him on the win. I’m really proud of him. And I’m proud of the way he’s been able to coach his team and the consistency that they’ve played with all year.”

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Aaron Murray knew the job was difficult when he took it.

Man, talk about your bad first date

Aaron Murray had already committed to Georgia in 2008, but he’d never been to a game at Sanford Stadium before the Bulldogs’ regular-season showdown with Alabama that year.

Murray was among the top recruits in the country, and his No. 1 priority that Saturday was convincing a few other big names to join him as part of the 2009 signing class. This game figured to be the perfect opportunity to close the deal. Georgia had entered the 2008 season ranked No. 1 in the nation, led by Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno and A.J. Green, and was off to a 4-0 start. It was a prime-time game, national TV. ESPN’s College GameDay was on campus that morning, and the Bulldogs had already announced they’d be wearing their famed all-black jerseys, which they’d worn to much fanfare during wins over Auburn and Hawai’i the year before. The environment was electric, well, until about 20 minutes after kickoff.

By halftime, Alabama led 31-0. The Nick Saban era had officially begun, and Georgia’s hopes for a national championship in 2008 were all but over.

“I just remember at halftime, they’re getting their butts spanked,” Murray said. “And all these recruits were saying, ‘I thought Georgia was good. What’s the deal?’ I just said it must’ve been an off night but, ‘Hey, those jerseys look sweet.'”

Fast forward to the scars of 2012…

Murray knows the feeling.

In the 2012 SEC championship, with the Tide leading 32-28, he led Georgia on a potential game-winning drive. The Dawgs had the ball, first-and-goal at the Alabama 8 with just 15 seconds to play and the clock running.

“People say we should’ve clocked the ball,” former Georgia coach Mark Richt explained in a measured, matter-of-fact tone that suggested he’s told this story a million times before. “But if you throw into the end zone, you’re going to get three plays. If you clock it, you’re going to get two. Strategically, it was not a bad thing.”

Problem is, the strategy backfired. Murray’s first-down pass was tipped and caught by Conley, who couldn’t get out of bounds before the clock expired, sending Alabama on to the BCS national championship game, where the Tide annihilated Notre Dame.

“I’d love to put it behind me, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Murray said. “I still have nightmares about that drive.”

And you thought you had it bad.

“The media is going to continue to talk about how you haven’t beaten Alabama and look at recent history and look at what happened four weeks ago,” Murray said. “You can look at the film and say Georgia is more talented, but every single day all you hear is Georgia can’t get over the hump, Georgia can’t get over the hump. You want to walk into the stadium with the confidence of knowing you can win the game, but that’s in the back of your head. That’s part of the reason Alabama has had so much success the past 15 years. When a team looks across the field they see Nick Saban, and the trophies. And the success. And the first-rounders. And the Heisman Trophy winner. And you say, ‘Man, how can we get through this?'”

Good question.  We find out tomorrow if they do.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

How yummy is the rat poison this time?

Look, he’s the GOAT and I’m just some random fan with a blog, but I really wonder how much mileage Nick Saban can get out of the Vegas spread this go ’round.

“We’re still going to be underdogs in the game,” Saban said. “I can see why people would think that. It’s a challenge.”

The thing is, there’s a big difference between now and the week leading up to the SECCG.

Davis also pointed out that Bama’s underdog advantage isn’t emotional; it’s technical. It’s that Saban, perhaps more so than any other coach, can correct the shortcomings that made his team underdogs in the first place. “That’s where the real money lies,” Davis said.

It’s also why some former players questioned whether Monday’s rematch fits the Underdog Bama mold. In this case, it’s Georgia — led by a Saban disciple, Kirby Smart — who must make corrections, and respond to last month’s thumping. Some Tide alums wondered whether Bama’s 41-24 SEC title game victory would lure players into a false sense of security, and make a repeat tough.

That last sentence is complete bullshit — there’s no way a Saban-coached team heads into a national championship game with a false sense of security — but if anybody’s got to worry about correcting shortcomings, it’s Kirby Smart.

Or, to put it another way

Neither Johnson nor Jones bought into the idea beating a team twice adds difficulty to this dynamic for Alabama.

“Especially when you beat a team by 17,” Jones said. “I mean, it’s not like you just beat up by one point or on a last-second field goal. Alabama beat them pretty soundly there that first time and I do think that will give them some confidence going into this game.”

Of course it does.

I’m not being snarky here, but genuinely curious.  Betting line aside, there’s no general perception that Alabama comes in at some disadvantage Monday night, so how convincing is the rat poison going to be?

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Nick Saban isn’t into participation trophies.

There’s a lot of the usual blah-blah-blah from Saban’s first pre-natty presser, but there’s also this:

Q. I’m curious about the semifinal games, they were both blowouts. Do you feel like going to an expansion with 12 teams would maybe help that and create more competitive games, or do you think that would diminish the regular season too much?

COACH SABAN: Well, I don’t necessarily agree with your assessment of our game. I can’t speak to the other game. But it was a really hard-fought game for us, I think. And we have a tremendous amount of respect for the team that we played.

I don’t know that expanding — if this is the best four teams and they played each other, I don’t see the logic in it if we had more teams there would be better games. I don’t know how that adds up.

It’s not supposed to!

But the more we expand the playoffs, the more we minimize bowl games, the importance of bowl games, which I said when we went to four. So I don’t think that’s changed. And I think it’s also come to fruition.

You’d almost think the man understands why some players opt-out.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Nick Saban Rules

If Georgia loses to ‘Bama again…

here’s why.

“Yeah, I was wanting to get a real shower, not a Gatorade bath, because I want to get focused on Alabama,” Smart said. “They got a five, six-hour head start. To be honest with you guys, I’m not interested in celebrating that. We’ll look back on that win and that’ll be great, but we’re focused on the task ahead and that’s the objective and that’s what our guys — they worked their tail off for three to four weeks to get this opportunity, and it was a one-game season, and now it’s another one-game season. I’m not focused on Gatorade baths.”  [Emphasis added.]

The GOAT with a six-hour head start?  That ain’t fair, PAWWWLLL!!!  They should play both semis at the same time!

Okay, I keed, I keed… I think.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

The GOAT trap

Don’t fall for this.  It’s a trap.

The reason I say this is because none of it will matter in the heat of action when you look up in the third quarter of the SECCG and see Georgia with a respectable lead if your automatic response is to say “OMG, we’re beating Saban, we can’t let this slip away”.

Nick Saban’s history at Alabama tries to make you play not to lose.  And that’s how you get a win probability chart that looks like this:

You simply cannot coach the way Harsin did yesterday against Saban.  Well, you can, but you’ll likely get what you deserve for doing so.

Kirby has been there before — twice.  Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson.  Being the better team against your common opponents won’t mean shit on Saturday.  Being the better team for a full sixty minutes on Saturday is the only thing that will.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

Pity the poor Sabanator

Nick has a Thanksgiving message for the Tide fanbase.

Uh, fellas?  I think you misspelled “whine” there.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“Nick Saban is frustrated.”

Last night, if the announcers using the words “Saban” and “frustrated” in the same sentence had been a drinking game, I would have been shit faced by the middle of the third quarter.

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