Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

Always be complainin’.

Nick Saban’s working the refs.  Again.

However, amid the SEC’s internal debate over a future scheduling format, Saban wants more balance and equity than what has been proposed by league administrators in a nine-game model.

“I’ve always been an advocate for playing more [conference] games,” Saban says. “But if you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed [opponents] right. They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that [decision].”

Here’s how, boss.

“They said they did a 10-year whatever,” the coach says. “Well, some of those years, Tennessee wasn’t as good as they’ve been in the previous 10 years, but now they are as good as they used to be before those 10 years.

“We got three teams and two of them are in the Top 10 and the other is in the Top 10 a lot,” Saban adds. “Look historically over a 25-year history, and the three best teams in the East are Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. You look historically at 25 years, Alabama, LSU and Auburn are the three best teams in the West. So we’re playing them all.”

The SEC’s exact 10-year metric is unclear. But using league records from 2013–’22, the top half-finishers in winning percentage are Alabama (88.8), Georgia (79), Oklahoma (78.2), LSU (63.4), Florida (57.3), Texas (54.3), Auburn (53.6) and Texas A&M (53). The bottom half is Missouri (47.5), Mississippi State (46.3), Ole Miss (44.4), Tennessee and South Carolina (both 41.4), Kentucky (39), Arkansas (25.6) and Vanderbilt (19.7). Big 12 records were used for Oklahoma and Texas. Presumably, those in the top half of the conference over the past decade will play two other teams in the top half and one in the bottom half. Those in the bottom half will play two in the bottom and one in the top half.

Remember, all he’s bitching about here is having to play one team every season instead of every other season.  But Nick Saban didn’t get to be the GOAT without sweating the small stuff.



Filed under Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

Blown away

So, here’s today’s question.

Alabama is hiring Liberty linebackers coach Robert Bala as its new inside linebackers coach, program sources confirmed to The Athletic on Saturday…

Bala, who came to Liberty after being the defensive coordinator at Southern Utah, had blown Hugh Freeze away in the interview process with his knowledge and demeanor. Bala obviously did something similar when he met with Saban earlier this week.

So, this guy blew Freeze away so strongly… that Freeze didn’t bring him to Auburn, but Saban’s grabbing him now?  I know he’s the GOAT and all, but that seems like I’m missing something.


Filed under Alabama, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Freeze!, Nick Saban Rules

Rookie mistake?

Sure, there are valid reasons one could point to in making a projection that ‘Bama climbs back ahead of Georgia this season.  I’m just not sure this one qualifies.

Georgia, in January, became the sport’s first back-to-back champion since Alabama’s 2011-12 teams achieved the feat. A historic three-peat would cement Saban’s Crimson Tide as a fading object in Smart’s rearview mirror.

But beware the pothole that looms in front of Georgia, a snare created by the twin exits of its star quarterback and offensive architect.

Evidently, that same situation isn’t a pothole in Tuscaloosa, ’cause of all the experience Saban has replacing coaches.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

“Possible retirement: Nick Saban, Alabama”

Hey, I’m not the one saying it.  ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg is the one saying it ($$).

Alabama: Saban turns 72 on Halloween. Although he still has great energy to compete, his protégé, Georgia coach Kirby Smart, has pulled ahead. If Saban can win one more national title — and beat Georgia in the process — he might be tempted to exit.

It’s the opposite of rat poison!  And if you don’t think that’s gonna get trotted out on the recruiting trail (“did you know ESPN says Saban’s gonna retire?”), bless your heart.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Nick Saban Rules

Fresh faces in Tuscaloosa

Steele and Rees.  Rees and Steele.  Look, there’s nothing particularly egregious about either hire; both have done competent work.  And Alabama is loaded with talent, so it’s not like they’re going to lead to a four-loss season.  It’s just that I share Bill Connelly’s take on the two hires.

Okay, but not elite, isn’t the way to go after Kirby Smart and Georgia’s run, so we’ll see if Saban’s drive is enough to push the ‘Bama program back to where the fan base wants to be.

That being said, I think this offseason has put the stake through the “Saban can hire anybody he wants, ’cause Saban” narrative. We’ve already heard reports that Rees was his third choice, and it’s likely that a similar story applies to Steele (although in that case, I’m guessing that Saban was told by the conference he couldn’t hire his first choice without serious repercussions).  Like I said, these two may work out fine, but it feels like a little glamour has fallen from the program.

On a related note, here are the 2022 stats for Alabama’s receivers and Notre Dame’s receivers.  Does anybody want to tell Jermaine Burton?


Filed under Alabama, Nick Saban Rules

There’s a fine line between hypocrisy and re-invention

How it started.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban provided harsh criticism of recruiting efforts by Texas A&M and coach Jimbo Fisher versus those of the Crimson Tide. While speaking at an event celebrating the 50-day countdown to the World Games in Birmingham, Saban reportedly claimed that Texas A&M “bought every player on their team” with NIL deals.

“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said via “You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.

How it’s going.

Yea Alabama has launched as the NIL collective for Crimson Tide athletics, with the backing of football coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne.

… Yea Alabama will have a three-pronged approach. Individuals who want to make tax-deductible contributions can contribute to Walk of Champions, a registered 501(c)3.

Fans will be able to join as subscribers, ranging from $18 to $150 monthly options. On the entity’s website it states 100% of Yea Alabama subscriptions will go to the athletes.

Tuscaloosa businesses will also be given the opportunity to join the cause, as Yea Alabama plans to help facilitate endorsement deals with athletes.

“I have always believed that our players should have the chance to benefit from their name, image and likeness,” Saban said in a statement. “Yea Alabama is an exciting new resource to help Crimson Tide student-athletes create value for themselves through a variety of NIL opportunities.

“The Alabama brand is one of the most powerful in sports, and our partnership with Yea Alabama provides exposure for our athletes that is unmatched in college athletics.”

To quote a head coach who once railed similarly about no-huddle offenses, “I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?”

I guess Saban just answered his own question.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Tommy Rees? Really?

Wasn’t expecting this…

Notre Dame’s offense last season was kinda underwhelming — 45th nationally in offensive yards per play, 37th in offensive SP+, 41st in points per game.  Needless to say, Alabama’s offense was considerably better in all regards.

Nick Saban’s the GOAT and I’m certainly not, so it’s not for me to question what he thinks he’s got here.  Yet GOATs don’t usually settle like this.


UPDATE:  Seems to be going over well…

Thought you guys trusted Saban.


UPDATE #2:  Apparently, Rees is Saban’s third option.

Saban reportedly met with Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb on Tuesday but he opted to remain with the Huskies. also learned former Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead was also contacted by Alabama early this week but the current Akron head coach was not interested in leaving his position for the job.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Keep hope alive!

So you’re saying there’s a chance…

The bonus here is that Saban is having trouble getting his preferred candidate over the finish line.  Third and Grantham would make a terrific consolation prize if he can’t, don’t you think?


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“It’s crazy what some kids are asking for.”

Honestly, I’m trying to picture this scene and I’m having a hard time doing it, because I’m laughing so hard.

When asked about the portal, Curtis confirmed that Saban said this: “We lost 10 players and one starter to the portal this year. One of them wanted $500,000 and for us to get his girlfriend into law school at Alabama and pay for it. I showed him the door.”

Can you imagine having the stones to stroll into Saban’s office and demand that he get your girlfriend into law school?  I mean, Bryce Young, maybe.  But someone off of that offensive line?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules

Keeping up with Kirby?

Dan Wolken’s piece illustrates something I expect we’ll see a lot more of this offseason if Georgia actually manages to pull off back-to-back nattys, namely, an evaluation of Kirby Smart’s career trajectory in the context of Nick Saban’s.  Now, Saban’s the GOAT, so it’s not like we’re gonna see the world swoon and proclaim that the pupil has surpassed the master in the grand scheme of things.

But I also read quotes like this and wonder if this is no longer Saban’s time.

“We probably have to do a much better job of making sure you have great relationships with all your players,” Saban said of what he learned this season. “I think it’s more difficult in the landscape of college football to be able to keep people focused because there’s a lot of external factors that can affect them. You want them to be able to stay focused on the task at hand. That’s what they control, and that’s what really builds value for them and their future. I think that’s the No. 1 thing we would like to do a better job of in the future.”

If there’s one thing (besides recruiting, that is) that’s brought Kirby Smart to the pinnacle of the college football mountain, it’s his ability to navigate things like NIL and the transfer portal to build a winning culture in Athens.  If I’m reading that quote correctly, Nick Saban admits he’s got work to do in that area.  Now, this is still Nick Saban, so I wouldn’t discount the possibility that he figures out a way to get that done, but it’s still somewhat remarkable that Mr. Process admits he’s got work to do in an area that ‘Bama stood head and shoulders above everyone else in college football for so long.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules