Category Archives: Nick Saban Rules

Maybe things are closer than we think.

A one-paragraph summary of what every college program aspires to:

Alabama has become the model by which all programs strive to emulate. Unfortunately for the rest of the country, they lack the resources that Nick Saban has at his disposal. Couple that with the ideal recruiting footprint, and you get back-to-back trips to the College Football Playoff. The pro personnel model, including an emphasis on four key areas (QB, OL, DL, secondary), has created a finely tuned machine for evaluation, player development and ultimately production.

That might explain why Alabama leads all schools in the number of former players named to this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, with five.  The funny thing is that Georgia, non-Process Georgia, is second on the list, with four.

Imagine the possibilities if Smart is successful in transferring what he’s learned in Tuscaloosa to Athens.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, The NFL Is Your Friend.

PAWWWLLL, Kirby’s bitin’ the hand that fed him!

Really, this is a pretty obvious recruiting pitch.

Still, Smart made clear that even though he, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Florida’s Jim McElwain are branches of the Saban coaching tree who must recruit against their former boss, the former coordinators can differentiate themselves even though their programs are structured similarly to Saban’s. In Smart’s case, his pitch is simple. “Do you want to play? Because if you want to play, let’s go,” Smart said. “We need you to come play. If you want to play, come on.” Translation: Do you want to sit behind all the five-stars stacked like cordwood in Tuscaloosa or see the field quickly in Athens? Of course, Smart isn’t going to say it like that.

We’ve been focused on our own butt hurt over Smart staying in Tuscaloosa to coach in the CFP, but come February, if Alabama loses a couple of top recruits to Smart, the reaction from some parts of Tide Nation should be fun to watch.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting

Kirby Smart and second chances

Well, now.  Suddenly the Internet’s abloom with all sorts of chatter about Tosh Lupoi joining Kirby Smart’s staff in Athens, possibly as defensive coordinator.

That would be an interesting development, to say the least.  Lupoi is highly regarded as both a position coach and a recruiter, but it’s worth remembering how he first showed up at Alabama, and why.

Who is Tosh Lupoi? He’s the latest in a line of eventual assistant coaches who started their respective careers at the Capstone as graduate assistants or “analysts.”

In Lupoi’s case, it was the latter, as he joined the Crimson Tide defensive staff as an analyst for the 2014 season after serving in various defensive coaching capacities primarily in the PAC12. On January 26, Lupoi became the youngest member of the Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff with his promotion from analyst to outside linebackers coach…

After an unfortunate end to his career at the University of Washington in 2013, Lupoi was snapped up by Saban for an Alabama defense in need of a return to its previous level of dominance…

Er, “unfortunate end”, you say?  What’s that all about?

A week before Christmas, Tosh Lupoi was eating dinner with his girlfriend at a Seattle restaurant. It was an exciting time for the 32-year-old Washington D-line coach. The Huskies were preparing to play BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl.

Lupoi also knew an interesting decision loomed on the horizon. Steve Sarkisian, his former boss at UW, had just taken the head coaching job at USC. Lupoi was well aware that several of his colleagues were headed to join the Trojans staff after the bowl, and that USC’s former D-line coach was paid a reported $1 million a year. Lupoi, though, loved Washington and loved living in Seattle. He was intrigued by the prospect of working with the Huskies’ new head coach Chris Petersen, who was coming from Boise State, where he had a 92-12 record. He knew he had some very good options in front of him.

Then, Lupoi glanced down at his phone and got an alert regarding a story on Twitter about himself. It was a Los Angeles Times report about a man alleging Lupoi had paid him $4,500 for tutoring services and online classes for a former Washington signee (who had never qualified.)

Lupoi was forthright in his defense and was ultimately cleared by the NCAA.  But the incident left his reputation toxic enough that he wasn’t retained by Petersen at Washington and wasn’t hired by Sarkisian, his boss at UW, when he moved to Southern Cal.  Which is how he wound up at Alabama as a highly-paid analyst.  Can you say second chance?  I thought you could.

He’s clean and he’s good.  But he’s got “abundance of caution” written all over him as a potential Georgia hire.  If Smart’s allowed to bring on Lupoi, that will tell us much about the authority Smart’s managed to negotiate for himself as the head coach.  Stay tuned for further developments.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

Kirby’s tight window

Only six more years?  Too soon?

(I keed, I keed.  I think.)



Filed under Nick Saban Rules

“When I first saw the Wizard, I was like ‘Who the hell is this guy?'”


You’ll never guess, either.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Lucky for Georgia, Nick Saban’s got good intentions.

I was going to do a little smack in response to this comment

Nick Saban thinks Kirby Smart finishing the season at Alabama will actually benefit him at his new gig in Athens.

Smart was officially announced as Georgia’s head coach last week but will split his time between Athens and Tuscaloosa until Alabama finishes its season. That decision has ruffled feathers but Saban thinks Smart will receive positive attention for his work leading the Crimson Tide’s defense.

“I also think that it will be a tremendous benefit to him,” Saban said. “He’ll get lots of recognition coaching in this game. There will be a lot of people out there watching this game and I’m sure it’ll get mentioned a few times that he’s going to be a head coach of an SEC school, and I know he wants to do a good job because of that.”

… until I looked down the page and saw this:

Saban has personal experience juggling two jobs — he accepted the Michigan State job while still with the Cleveland Browns — and vowed to help Smart in his transition. Saban and Smart are only in the second week of their new situation but Saban thinks everything is going as planned.

“We’re trying to help him manage his time, so that he can do a good job for us and he can still do what he needs to do for them,” Saban said. “So far I think that’s working out okay.”

You know what?  Saban most likely is sincere about that, which makes sense if you think about it, as Smart didn’t have to come back to Tuscaloosa.  So there’s that.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so we’ll have to see how things play out over the next couple of months before rendering final judgment.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

“What’s no-brainer mean to you?”

More shit Nick Saban doesn’t have time for:  doing any vetting on hiring Jeremy Pruitt.

Didn’t interview anybody. Didn’t talk to anybody. Just hired the guy. He worked here for six years. Maybe I should have called some people to find out how good he was, what he could do well and get some kind of recommendation on him, but (I didn’t need to).”

Makes you wonder how much thought he put into signing Jonathan Taylor.

As a side note, even Saban knows what Kirby Smart’s decision to coach ‘Bama in the playoffs means for his new gig.

“It speaks volumes for Kirby, the character he has to want to come back and finish, when it may not be the most advantageous thing for him and his future, to do right by the players and finish for the guys who have done well for him,” Saban said.  [Emphasis added.]

That’s nice.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules