Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

Opening act

Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and the story of a flashy, neutral-site opener:

“It started as a recruiting strategy by Nick,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who served on Saban’s defensive staff for the past nine seasons, “which paid unbelievable dividends, because we go into (Atlanta in 2008 to play) Clemson, and just smash them that one game (34-10), and it kind of started the program, and it set a trademark. … You go outside your footprint and have a great game. In recruiting, it helps and the national exposure you get you can’t replace.”

Smart starts his head-coaching career with the Bulldogs in a neutral-site opener against the ACC Coastal champion Tar Heels. He has adapted Saban’s offseason methods because he has seen them work.

“If you ask a strength coach, any strength coach in the country, they will hard-sell that opening game,” Smart said. “The trend is, you go in reverse, so the first week of summer workouts, they’re going to (show video of) the game they have last. At Alabama, we would start with Auburn. … You show clips of that game, whether you won or lost, you show motivating clips of that game, so they’re thinking about that opponent. A kid’s squatting, he’s looking at a picture of the guy he’s going to line up across.”

By the end of summer workouts, when the team is lifting the most, the players are watching clips of their first opponent. “It’s a hell of a lot better when that first game is Clemson, North Carolina or Wisconsin than it is when it’s App State or Western Michigan or somebody,” Smart said.

I’d say it’s something we’d better get used to, Dawg fans.  The question is, would you rather have that splashy opener in, say, Dallas, or another cupcake game in Athens?  The money’s about the same, so McGarity won’t object (though, tough luck, local businesses).

Recruiting sells, you know?

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“He develops coaches like he develops players.”

As far as head coaching goes, Kirby is selling the “apple doesn’t fall from the tree” here.

Not sure how that explains Boom’s head coaching career to date, though.

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After midnight, Saban’s not gonna let it all hang down.

Words to live by:

“One thing I always tell players is that there are three bad things: Nothing good happens after midnight, nothing good happens when you’re around guns unless you’re going hunting, and you don’t want to mess around with women that you don’t know because a lot of times bad things happen…”

It’s hard to argue with any of that.  Although I wish he would have added something about never starting a land war in Asia.

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Nick Saban has to make time for this shit.

Boy, is this begrudging, or what?

Alabama’s Nick Saban has criticized these camps in the past and was vocal about Harbaugh’s excursion through the South last summer. Just last month he said he wasn’t sure if the camps  had “much value.” But Thursday, Saban said his staff will participate “on a limited basis.” He also said he was “not allowed” to say where Alabama is going when asked where the Crimson Tide would be traveling outside of the state…

Yeah, he ain’t thrilled.  Although I can’t tell if it’s due more to the inconvenience or that Harbaugh got his way with the NCAA.

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The curious case of Bo Davis’ departure

I made the assumption from the initial whispering that Davis was shown the door because of some serious violation on the recruiting front.  I assumed serious because Davis was a coach that Saban liked enough to bring back to Alabama a second time and you don’t give the boot to someone you obviously value without some real justification.  I also assumed serious because, as Barrett Sallee mentioned, when Trooper Taylor and Curtis Luper became the subjects of a NCAA probe, they were merely pulled off the recruiting trail as a starter.

Sounds bad, right?  However, Kevin Scarbinsky suggests another possibility.

The departure of Davis would be curious enough if it weren’t preceded by a Thursday evening report from TideSports.com that Davis was headed out the door “over an inquiry into possible recruiting violations.”

A person familiar with the situation told AL.com it did concern a potential recruiting violation, which may not have been serious in nature, but Davis was not cooperative with the school when questioned about it. It appears that lack of cooperation led to his departure.

You don’t suggest to Nick Saban that you don’t have time for his shit and live to tell about it, in other words.

Now, sure, the possibility exists that the two aren’t mutually exclusive events, but as Scarbinsky hints that whatever recruiting faux pas Davis committed wasn’t a capital offense, it’s hard to say that’s the case.

I only mention this because it’s only natural to think Smart thinks highly of Davis, and if there isn’t any baggage coming along, well…

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Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, son.

As farewells go, this is pretty much the textbook definition of perfunctory.

Translation:  of all the assistant coaches I’ve known, he’s certainly one of them… although ask me in a couple of years, and I may not even be able to say I really knew him.

Now if you’ll excuse Nick, he has to go wash his hands of the whole thing.  May be a while.

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“I know where he’s coming at. I know it’s a set up.”

Dial this clip up to the 1:30 mark and listen to Kirby’s great response to Saban’s and Spurrier’s suggestion that Georgia is the best coaching job in the SEC.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, The Evil Genius