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Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules
When it comes to football, nobody is more obsessed with sweating the small stuff than Alabama’s head coach. So, I’m fascinated with the attention he’s paid to Junior’s decision to speed up the Tide’s offense last season and the rather broad hints Saban’s making that some of that may have played into the defense’s collapse at the end of the year.
“If we’re going to be a no-huddle team like we were last year, I think we have to manage the season better with our team,” Saban said, “because I think at the end of the season last year, we ran out of gas a little bit.”
Now understand, while the pace may have been breakneck by Saban’s standards, it was middle of the pack by FBS ones – Alabama ranked 72nd nationally last season in plays run per game. But that’s enough for Saban to draw his own conclusions.
“Which is like a couple, three more games,” Saban said. “And our players showed it. So we’re going to have to do a better job of keeping our team where they need to be so that we can finish strong.”
What’s really interesting about this, when you parse his remarks, is that he’s more concerned about muddying his team’s identity than the energy level. Read this and see what you think:
“It’s interesting that we set records last year on offense, passing, our total offense, points,” Saban said. “I’m talking about records all time. But yet, there was something that we lost in doing that. Before we would just line up and physically dominate the line of scrimmage and the other team knew what we were going to do. It really wasn’t a secret but they couldn’t stop us.
“So, even though we had much more balance, much more diversity, I think we lost a little bit of that. And I think it’s important that we sort of gain that back so that we are a physical, relentless, competitive-type team that nobody wants to play. But we play with that kind of toughness because that’s been the trademark. That’s help us have the sort of success that we’ve had. So I’m a little apprehensive about giving up that quality and not having that identity as a team, especially in a league that is sort of built on those kind of intangibles.”
The irony here, at least for me, is you can make a valid argument Georgia’s 2014 offense had the identity that Saban believes last year’s Alabama’s squad lacked. Despite running more than five fewer plays per game than did ‘Bama, Georgia managed the best average yards per offensive play in the conference, and led the conference in scoring. Even though it played one less game, Georgia outrushed Alabama by about 450 total yards, and almost by a yard per carry.
The big question now is what Saban does to counter what he perceives as the flaws in Alabama’s game last season. Does he instruct Kiffin to rein it in? Does he stick with Alabama’s version of the no-huddle and try to adapt better on defense? You know he’s going to chew on it until he comes up with something.
In any event, it could be a story line to keep an eye on in the weeks leading up to October 3rd.
You will be shocked, shocked to learn that Alabama has just adjusted its COA figures.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban has called cost of attendance a “nightmare” because of varying numbers by schools and concerns the figures could be fudged. He even suggested the NFL’s salary cap could be a model to cap stipends for college players, missing the point that the Ed O’Bannon ruling won’t allow such collusion and the NFL salary cap gets negotiated by a players union that doesn’t exist in college sports.
Don’t feel too bad for Saban, though. As it turns out, Alabama’s cost of attendance stipends will rank among the leaders nationally at $5,386 for out-of-state players and $4,172 for in-state players, according to information the university provided to CBSSports.com.
This represents a 34-percent increase in Alabama’s cost of attendance figure for out-of-state students from two years ago and a 14-percent increase for in-state students.
Man, Alabama must be one expensive state to pursue a higher education. I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence that the costs rose so dramatically just in time to pay student-athletes a stipend.
Another day, another second chance in the SEC. (Okay, technically, it’s a first chance, but you get the drift.)
Clowney claims Nick Saban put him to sleep during his recruiting visit.
Also, Nick Saban is short.
You know what makes Nick Saban such a good coach? He doesn’t let ego get in the way of figuring out what went wrong.
To better understand how Ohio State attacked the typically stout Alabama defense, Nick Saban brought in Houston head coach and former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to breakdown how he approached attacking the Tide’s defense.
“I’ll tell you the best thing we did, and I give Coach (Nick) Saban a lot credit, we went directly to (Herman). We flew him in. We said “Hey, look, we want to meet with you. You know us better than anybody. You spent four weeks getting ready for us. What’s our tendencies? What do we do wrong? What do you think?’ And he was honest with us, he just told us what he thought. It was very valuable for us.”
I can think of more than a few who would never be willing to do something like that.
You can tell he’s getting his condescension ready for the next ESPN talking head who dares raise the subject, can’t you?