Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

You gotta spend money to make money.

Maybe this will make the folks at Butts-Mehre a little calmer about dishing out the money lately:

For Alabama’s athletics department, both expenses and revenues continue to grow. As a result, the school again finished with a surplus in the 2013-14 financial report submitted to the NCAA in January.

According to the documents obtained by AL.com, Alabama’s athletics department made 33,050,145 more than it spent in 2013-13. That’s an increase from the $27.2 it made in 2012-13 and continues the trend of surpluses in recent years. It hasn’t operated at a loss in the last 10 years, according to documents obtained through the public records requests.

And don’t think this tidbit won’t catch a few eyes.

The athletics department transferred $9.1 million back to the university last year after contributing $5.9 million a year earlier.

Yada, yada, yada, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules

Nick Saban’s got his standards, y’all.

“Tyren Jones has been suspended indefinitely for conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program,” head coach Nick Saban said in a statement through Alabama media relations.

“Conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program” – my Gawd, if Jonathan Taylor meets that standard, what in the hell did Jones do?

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

The futility of chasing an absurdity

While they came off as slightly negative though realistic, a poster late yesterday mentioned that, while this certainly is a good class, it doesn’t have quite the oomph as a top 1-2 SEC class. For example, 15 (or roughly half) of our recruits had a 3 star rating, with a few 2 star ones as well. Meanwhile, the top classes typically have very few 3 star recruits, but instead are loaded with almost all 4 star guys with 3-4 5 star ones.

So while the Bama’s of the world load up on 4-5, 5 star talents, with 15 or so 4 star players, again we hauled in our typical 1-2, 5 star guys, with around ten 4 star recruits. Certainly a noticeable yearly difference, especially when combined over a 3-4 year period.

3rdandGrantham

I hate to pick on 3&G here, since that’s a fairly common sentiment I see expressed in the comments section here, but how many of you who believe Alabama’s recruiting performance under Saban is something attainable in Athens think there are other SEC programs managing to do just that?

Because reality disagrees with you.  Strongly disagrees.

The Tide has had the No. 1 overall class in each of the past four years. No other SEC team has even managed to crack the top ten in every one of them. LSU is the only school to even get to second in this span, and it did it once. I’ll go over quality numbers later, and they make Bama look even better if you can believe that.

Over the last four classes, Georgia’s average signee was a four-star kid.  That puts Georgia in the company of LSU, Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M.

But not Alabama.  When it comes to highly ranked recruiting classes, no SEC school is even in the same zip code with the Tide.

Remember how I said the quality numbers make Alabama look even better? Every single class Nick Saban signed had an average rating above 93. The closest anyone else got to that number is Florida’s 91.50 in 2012. No one else can claim an average rating above 90 for the whole four-year span, and Bama is sitting on a 93.41. It’s absurd.

Might I suggest we quit with the ‘Bama recruiting comparisons?  There are no “Bama’s of the world” in the plural sense.  There’s just Alabama. Nobody else in the conference does Saban like Saban does Saban.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

Degrees of scummitude

Just when I think we’ve plumbed the depths of Bobby Petrino’s character, he up and says something about signing Devonte Fields that literally makes my skin crawl:

“I think we have a really good understanding of what went wrong, what happened,” Petrino said. “Talking to the attorneys and really knowing that we felt comfortable that, No. 1, there’s absolutely no gun there, and it’s a misdemeanor charge.”

Well, that’s a relief.  Petrino has standards.

At least you can say Fields is only getting a second chance.  At Alabama, Nick Saban is giving Jonathan Taylor a third one.

“The guy was charged. There’s no question about that,” Saban said. “He was accused. I can’t discuss the circumstances of all that. I’ve said this before: When people are young and they make a mistake — and that is not a mistake that we condone in any way, shape or form, that it’s any disrespect to any person, let alone a female — that there isn’t some occasion to not condemn them for life, but to give them another chance. And it’s up to them to prove that they deserve that chance.”

“Disrespect” – in that Taylor allegedly struck his girlfriend with a closed fist and choked her, that’s one helluva euphemism.  The thing with that approach is why stop at three?  If Taylor screws up again and disrespects somebody else, why condemn him for life at that point, either?

Nick feels your pain, peeps.  To an extent, anyway.

Saban said he understands the “sensitivity” about taking Taylor, who has unspecified behavioral stipulations imposed by Alabama. Taylor’s high school and junior college coaches spoke highly of him, Saban said.

Notice who Saban conveniently doesn’t mention?  That’s because you never want to ask a witness a question to which you don’t want to hear the answer.

What I love with both of these situations is the coaches piously insist they can’t discuss the surrounding circumstances.  That makes the tap dancing so much easier.  Ugh.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban Rules

Don’t cry for me, Tuscaloosa.

I like Andy Staples, but I don’t know where he’s coming from with this observation:

After LSU beat Ole Miss in late October, I wrote it might be dangerous to presume the best team in the SEC West was automatically the best team in college football. The remainder of the season and the bowls proved that to be true. While the division remains fairly stacked, the gap between the West and the rest of the Power Five closed in 2014.

Some of this has to do with the gap between Alabama and everyone else closing. Everything is cyclical, and it was crazy to think the Crimson Tide could continue to stack five-star recruit upon five-star recruit before a few elite high school players began choosing to go elsewhere. When Nick Saban was building his machine in Tuscaloosa, he might have gotten Robert Nkemdiche (from Georgia) and Joey Bosa (from Florida) to sign with Alabama. But once Saban had an entire roster of players with similar recruiting pedigrees, it only became natural for great high school players to begin seeking easier paths into the starting lineup.

Yeah, ol’ Nick’s getting blown up on the recruiting trail this yearFor sure.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Only at Alabama could a former Recruiter of the Year be brought in as an “intern.”

And only at Alabama could you internally promote an intern (at least, someone you call an intern) to take the place of one of the best recruiters in the nation and not miss a beat.

Now that’s depth.  And that’s how Nick Saban stays one step ahead of the game.

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“I guess it’s more about scoring points now than playing defense now.”

We’re living in the time of Nick Saban’s worst nightmare.

Just look at Alabama. This is a team that dominated college football with a very traditional — and successful — offense. But Nick Saban’s defenses have struggled with the spread recently. Johnny Manziel and his high-flying Texas A&M Aggies lit up Alabama for an average of 523 yards and 35.5 points in games in 2012 and 2013. Against Auburn and that uptempo Malzahn spread the last two years, Alabama has surrendered 1,023 yards and 78 points.

Alabama went 2-2 in those four games.

Take it a step further and look at Alabama’s two-game losing streak in the postseason where Oklahoma (spread and tempo) and Ohio State (spread) combined to score 87 points and reeled off 966 yards.

Running quarterbacks, spread and tempo have been weaknesses for Saban’s defenses, so he added all three to his offense this year and watched Alabama set all sorts of offensive records and average 484.5 yards per game (most during his Alabama tenure) and 36.9 points a contest.

“Three or four years ago, Nick Saban was talking about how he didn’t really like [uptempo offense], and the disadvantages to it,” Oregon defensive back Juwaan Williams said. “He’s making the evolution himself.”

Saban doesn’t want to evolve, damn it.  He wants to accumulate more talent than anybody else and then beat the crap out of you with it.  He doesn’t want to win by having to outscore the other guy’s attack.

The problem he’s running into is that he doesn’t have a better angle on defending the spread than anybody else.  And while losing a game or two isn’t a big deal for most college football programs, it’s brutal for an SEC West team expected to make appearances in the CFP annual routines.  That razor-thin margin for error is what’s forcing him to experiment on offense.  Which in turn is an admission of sorts that what Alabama’s been doing on defense isn’t working as consistently as it used to.

It’s a problem across the conference, of course.  It’s just magnified in Tuscaloosa.  And it makes me wonder, if ‘Bama continues to adapt to defending the spread, how Saban defends Georgia’s power running game when his team comes to Athens this season.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics