Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

The last cry of the control freak

LOL.

Yes, totally not a Saban-worshiping cult.  Totally.

If you aren’t fellating the Sabanator and take the time to actually read the interview here, you’ll find that Nick ain’t warning so much as complaining.

“We now have an NFL model with no contracts, but everybody has free agency,” said Saban, echoing a comparison Kiffin has made.

“It’s fine for players to get money. I’m all for that. I’m not against that. But there also has to be some responsibility on both ends, which you could call a contract. So that you have an opportunity to develop people in a way that’s going to help them be successful,” Saban said.

Saban, the highest-paid coach in college football with a salary of nearly $10 million last season, said the balance of power in the sport could tip toward the schools with the wealthiest collectives.

“So there’s going to have to be some changes implemented, some kind of way to still create a level playing field,” he said. “And there is no salary cap. So whatever school decides they want to pay the most, they have the best chance to have the best team. And that’s never been college football, either.”

Saban would prefer Alabama guarantee a set amount of money for every player who plays football for the Crimson Tide.

“We give everybody the same medical care, academic support, food service. Same scholarship. So if we’re going to do this, then everybody is going to benefit equally. I’m not going to create a caste system on our team,” Saban said.

Except he’s already been doing that!  Or did he forget about bragging about how much NIL money was rolling in for Bryce Young the minute he set foot on campus?

Let’s not be stupid here.  ‘Bama under Saban is always going to get its (more than) fair share of talent.  But don’t kid yourself that he didn’t notice Jimbo’s monster class, or the rumors about the $8 million dollar recruit.  That, plus the threat of the transfer portal, is just shit Nick Saban doesn’t have time for.  His solution isn’t significant because it purports to spread the wealth.  It is because it’s a way to use NIL money, or direct school payments, to reassert a level of control over players by means of a contract.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as it’s fairly entered into.  It sure as hell beats the take it or leave it approach NCAA amateurism offered.  I’ll be curious to see if this develops any legs.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules

Combine recruiting

While I’m sure the just-concluded NFL Combine will make for great sales fodder on the recruiting trail for Smart and Company, I’m not sure I’m ready to go this far:

2.  This NFL Combine will allow Georgia to surpass Alabama in recruiting.

Farrell’s Take: FACT. Maybe Georgia already has surpassed Alabama in recruiting as Kirby Smart has had three No. 1 recruiting classes in the last four cycles and after the amazing performance of his former players at the NFL Combine, more No. 1 finishes are in store.

But wait, Alabama has produced so many more first-rounders and has dominated the combine before as well so isn’t this an overreaction? Nope. There is more talent in Georgia than there is in Alabama and Smart has recruited as well nationally as Nick Saban, so this could be the first sign of someone separating from Alabama.

Maybe I’m wrong, but “could be the first sign” appears to be doing some heavy lifting there.  Shit, I’m happy if Smart’s merely keeping even with Saban in the recruiting department.

On the other hand, count me in the group who believes the “Georgia can’t develop players” narrative is something that was put to death for good this past weekend.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Imitation, flattery, etc.

Marc Weiszer ($$) points out a recent similarity between two national championship-winning programs:

When offensive line coach Matt Luke stepped down earlier this week, he became the fourth departure of an assistant off the Bulldogs’ national championship team.

Georgia averaged just 1.8 coaches leaving in the first five offseasons under Smart.

It still doesn’t reach the level of the last two Alabama national championship teams under Nick Saban who lost five coaches after the 2020 title and five after 2017.

How much of that can be chalked up to the price of success and how much to demanding head coaches?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

Inevitable

Of course this is happening…

The only surprise is that it’s taken this long to come to fruition.  One question:  does an analyst need a towel boy?

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Not going anywhere

For Nick Saban, age is just another number, I guess.

“Everybody asks me when I wanna retire. Retire from what?” said Saban to a crowd of coaches in Montgomery, Ala., last month. “I’m gonna jump into an empty abyss, aight, of what am I going to do? Because the very challenges that I talk about and the things in our profession that concern me – for you and for me both, in your game and our game – that’s what keeps me going. That’s why I get up every day. That’s why I can’t sleep at night sometimes.

“So why would you quit doing that? I haven’t figured that one out yet.”

It’s the “aight” that sells it.  Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he had several analysts working on exactly how long he has to maintain that front to avoid having any negative recruiting shade thrown his way.

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There’s a fine line between a teaching moment and excuse making.

And, to be honest, I’m not sure which side of the line Nick Saban’s positioned himself with this:

I mean, this is Nick Saban, right?  He’s about the last guy who needs to make any excuses.  But, “We lost the national championship game, basically because we had 3 corners out, both starters and the best backup,”?

Maybe he needs to recruit better.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  The video may be down, but transcripts live forever.

“We lost the national championship game, basically because we had 3 corners out, both starters and the best backup,” Saban said. “So we’re playing with some guys that didn’t have a lot of experience. It eventually got us in the fourth quarter. We had the kind of team where we had a really good quarterback and we wanted to have skill guys that they couldn’t guard. So we had 2 who were really, really good — (John Metchie III and Jameson Williams). They both got hurt.

“Now, we were playing with guys that typically didn’t have to play at those positions. The lesson to be learned is there were 3 guys, and I’m not calling out any names, that basically didn’t do the things they needed to do throughout the season because they were frustrated with their circumstance. … They’re frustrated with their circumstance because they’re not playing as much as they want to. They’re outcome oriented, they want to worry about how many balls they catch or how much playing time they get or whatever it is. So they don’t focus every day on being a complete player at their position, and they don’t work in practice and prepare for the games because they say to themselves, ‘Why should I do this? I’m not gonna play anyway.’

“So, we had 3 guys, they all had a significant role in the national championship game, and not 1 of them, not 1, could take advantage of the opportunity that they had, because they never ground through it. They never made themselves the best player they could be. When they got the opportunity, they couldn’t do it. That’s a lesson for everybody. What comes first? Playing time? Or making sure that you’re ready to play and create value for yourself when you get the opportunity?”

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Proof that the football gods still like me

He’s back, babee!

Another former head coach is joining Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama.

Former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, who was the New York Giants’ tight ends coach this past season, has been hired to serve as offensive analyst for the Crimson Tide, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Kneel before SOD, bitchez.

I’ve only got two questions now:  (1) does Barbara Dooley start wearing crimson? and (2) will a year of rehab under Saban clean up Derek sufficiently in time to take the Auburn job when Harsin gets canned?

Stay tuned.

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When you have two former quarterbacks…

Nick Saban’s always taken an eclectic approach to his staff hirings and it’s never blown up in his face, so I’ll defer to the master, but, still, watching him hire four members of Boom’s staff in Columbia had me doing some head scratching.  And, now, this:

So, between Mettenberger and Joe Cox, Saban’s collecting former Georgia quarterbacks now?  Makes me wonder what Logan Gray is doing these days.  He’d make an excellent addition as a special teams analyst.

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Light on his feet

I see this got a mention in yesterday’s comments, but it’s too good not to make it into a post.

Shot.

Chaser.

If Dancing With The Stars doesn’t pick these two up for a season together, it’ll be missing a real opportunity.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, SEC Football

The great equalizer

I don’t think it’s any big secret how Jimbo Fisher’s school has leapfrogged the rest of the country when it comes to the quality of this year’s signing class.  It’s a studly group coming to College Station, and that’s putting it mildly.  For a price, evidently.

It’s also creating some serious butthurt in the SEC West.  Junior’s bemoaning it, for one.

“We are just trying to do it better than anybody else,” Kiffin said. “We now have a sport that has completely different salary caps. Some of these schools (have) five, 10 times more than everybody else (with) what they can pay the players. I know no one uses these phrases, but that is what it is. I joked the other day if Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class.”

“We now have a sport that has completely different salary caps.”  That’s rich, coming from the school that made “email compliance@olemiss.edu” a national punch line.

But it’s the king who’s most grievously offended.

“When we start using name, image and likeness for a kid to come to our school, that’s where I draw the line,” he said. “Because that’s not why we did this.”

Saban said it has become such that players are weighing prospective NIL earnings among schools and “we all gotta make a deal.”

“I hear these crazy people on TV who say now you’re doing it above board,” he said. “We never did it. We never did it. We never cheated to get a player. We never paid players to come to our school.

“And now that’s actually happening. People are making deals with high school players to go to their school.”

Saban said it’s simple: The schools with the most money — whether through alumni backing or other means — “have the best chance to have the best team.”

“It’s not about coaching and developing as much as it is, what kind of money can you make?” he said.

It’s funny how he never felt that way when ‘Bama was enticing players with a facilities arms race and spiraling coaches’ salaries.

You don’t have to like the path NIL has begun to chart to want to sneer a little at the change in attitude.  And I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts if things don’t change soon enough on the NIL front to Saban’s suiting, ‘Bama will be right there in the money chase.

By the way, speaking of Saban, kudos to Scarborough for noting this:

Saban also took issue with the way the transfer portal discourages players from dealing with adversity, as he put it.

“It’s great that players have the freedom to do what they can do, but I also don’t think we should create circumstances where they don’t have the make the commitment and see things through,” he said.

While Alabama hasn’t been as active as some schools in terms of the transfer market, Saban hasn’t shied away from bringing in top talent.

Former Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams became Alabama’s leading receiver this season.

This offseason, Alabama has added former LSU All-American defensive back Eli Ricks and former Georgia Tech All-ACC running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Alabama also gained the commitment of former Georgia receiver Jermaine Burton, who went head to head with the Tide during the national championship.

You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty impressive that Saban’s grasp of the human condition is so deep that he’s able to ascertain which kids have that sense of commitment and seeing things through and which don’t.

I guess that explains why Jameson Williams was a one-and-done at Alabama.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football