Posts Tagged ‘Nick Saban’

Scholarship guarantees, early signing would curb oversigning

An early-signing period would've prevented Justin Taylor's disappearing scholarship. (AP photo)

An early signing period would've prevented Justin Taylor's disappearing scholarship. (AP photo)

One week after leading Alabama to its second BCS title in three seasons, Nick Saban reaffirmed that his commitment to winning isn’t necessarily rooted in a commitment to doing things the right way.

Saban informed Justin Taylor,  a North Atlanta High School running back, that he was yanking his scholarship offer from 11 months ago. Eleven months ago. Never mind that Taylor was the seventh oral commitment for Alabama’s 2012 class. Nor that he was a good kid, a terrific player and hadn’t once screamed, “War Eagle!” This is the ugly side of college football that coaches hide between the disingenuous, “Don’t worry, momma, I’ll take care of your boy,” speeches.

The substance of a coach’s word morphs from oak to oatmeal when he finds a faster, stronger player.

This is a form of “oversigning” (or in this case overcommitting) in recruiting, a reprehensible practice we’ve banged on several …

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After Alabama’s domination, when do Dogs get turn at BCS?

Nick Saban led Alabama to its second BCS title in last three years. When is Georiga's turn?

Nick Saban led Alabama to its second BCS title in last three years. So when is Georgia's turn?

NEW ORLEANS – If Georgia played in the ACC, or the Big Ten, or some safe little sandbox like the Sun Belt, what happened Monday night – and actually over the past six BCS championship games – wouldn’t sting nearly as much. Another season would have ended with a national title being won by some school off in the distance, far from campus — not one that the Bulldogs could see by looking out their backdoor.

But there was Alabama late Monday in New Orleans, extending the SEC’s streak of national championships. It’s like a conga line that just keeps growing: Florida-LSU-Florida-Alabama-Auburn-Alabama. Next?

The Crimson Tide buried LSU 21-0, and it will be a wonder if one of those two don’t win it again next season.

Which leads to this question: Can Georgia get there?

This is a mental stretch that Dogs fans, who can be as blinded by faith, loyalty and recruiting rankings as anybody, …

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Alabama, Saban win BCS title and rule college football again

Nick Saban hugs quarterback A.J McCarron after Alabama's second BCS championship in the last three seasons. (AP photo)

Nick Saban hugs quarterback A.J McCarron after Alabama's second BCS championship in the last three seasons. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 1 a.m.)

NEW ORLEANS – Far removed from probation, far removed from the cartoon that Alabama football had mutated into during the Mike DuBose-Dennis Franchione-Mike Price (“Roll Tide!” quoth he to the stripper)-Mike Shula eras, far removed from the humbling of Nick Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide rule college football once again.

It was painful for LSU Monday night. For the rest of us, it was just convincing.

Alabama smacked LSU 21-0 in the BCS championship game at the Superdome, the first shutout in 14 BCS title matches. This makes two national titles in three seasons for the Tide. It’s three BCS titles for Saban (the first coming at LSU in 2003).

That puts him halfway to Bear Bryant. If he doesn’t retire or decide to give the NFL another try, he may get there.

When somebody suggested to Saban the other day that this was a …

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LIVE BLOG: LSU, Alabama meet for legit (yes, legit) BCS title

Nick Saban: Practicing his secret play?

Nick Saban: Practicing his secret play?

Les Miles: Something's up his sleeve.

Les Miles: Something's up his sleeve.

NEW ORLEANS — The Falcons need to fire everybody. (Not really. But I’ve felt left out in the last 24 hours of venting since I’m covering the BCS title game. I promise to weigh in on the Falcons later this week, which still will be long before the flames on Arthur Blank’s head are extinguished.)

Now,  back to the BCS. It’s LSU vs. Alabama. Please, no more whining. It SHOULD be LSU vs. Alabama. These aren’t just the two best teams in the SEC, they’re the two best teams in the country.

I’ve heard and read complaints from fans and media in every time zone. Some say  this match-up completely devalues the regular season and makes LSU’s win in Tuscaloosa back in November meaningless. OK. That’s a a legitimate argument.

tiger

Some say that two teams from the same conference shouldn’t be allowed into the title game. I get that viewpoint.

Some say only conference champions should be eligible for the BCS title …

Continue reading LIVE BLOG: LSU, Alabama meet for legit (yes, legit) BCS title »

LSU-Alabama BCS title game is another win for SEC

One of these coaches will hold the BCS trophy. But the SEC already has won it. (AP photo)

One of these coaches will hold the BCS trophy. But the SEC already has won it. (AP photo)

NEW ORLEANS – If it is true, as Socrates once said, that, “Envy is the ulcer of the soul,” every other college football conference in America has been speed-eating Tums for the past six years.

LSU and Alabama play in the BCS championship game on Monday night in the Superdome. But this is sort of like two gladiators battling for the right to be viewed as the favorite son of the emperor. The emperor already has won.

This will make six consecutive BCS titles won by SEC schools. It will make eight championships in the 13 years the game has been played, far exceeding the closest member of the lower class (the Big 12 with two).

One would have to go back to the early 1900s of Ivy League domination to find a conference with such a run. But to wax on about the greatness of Princeton, Yale and Harvard football is sort of like referencing the Tyrannosaurus rex ruling over the animal kingdom. Ivy …

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Kirby Smart says he’s ready to make jump to head coach

Kirby Smart used to be sought after as a defensive coordinator, but he seems ready now to be a head coach. (AP photo)

Kirby Smart was sought after as a defensive coordinator, but now he seems ready for top job. (AP photo)

NEW ORLEANS — Two years after saying no to his alma mater, Kirby Smart can take comfort in one thing: The next time somebody picks up the phone to offer him a job, it won’t be for a lateral move.

Georgia wanted Smart back as their defensive coordinator, a position he already held at Alabama. But there was a thought by some in Athens, including Mark Richt, that the promise of a more-than-doubled salary – and the option of an attractive escape route from under Nick Saban’s thumb – could lure Smart back to the Bulldogs.

It didn’t happen — and that was the wisest decision Smart ever made.

When Alabama faces LSU on Monday night, Smart will have a chance to win his second BCS championship in three seasons. He no longer is viewed as merely a hot young assistant ready to jump at any head coaching job. He sounds more head coach-ready than ever before, and, to a large degree, he can …

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Weekend Predictions: Number align for Dogs, Falcons

scoreboard 002

Hello, and welcome back to another adventure of, “Yeah, I knew that would happen.”

Before getting to this week’s episode, “My Three Ideas To Fix Government: Um, uh … oops,” by Rick Perry, I have great financial news.

This is Weekend Predictions No. 11 for the season. And Friday’s date is 11/11/11. Ooh. Scary.

According to Chinese feng shui — OK, according to a story I saw about a chain letter going around that referenced the date being Chinese feng shui-friendly — calendar dates with repeating “1’s” in it are called “moneybags.” Word is that you need only refer this news to eight friends, assuming none work in State College, to assure yourself of riches, so sayeth, the proverb.

In gambling, this is what we like to refer to as, “A system.” Also bankruptcy.

We need to start Rick Perry with something slow, like the Three Stooges.

Rick Perry should start with something easy: The Three Stooges.

My last system blew up. When Georgia started the season 0-2, I applied the, “They’re Toast” system and it didn’t work.  Two months later, the Bulldogs are going …

Continue reading Weekend Predictions: Number align for Dogs, Falcons »

Miles and LSU beat Saban at his own game (UPDATED)

Les Miles deserved to be in middle of the celebration after a 9-6 win over Alabama.

Les Miles deserved to be in middle of the celebration after a 9-6 win over Alabama.

(UPDATED)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Notwithstanding that college football’s projected game of the century had the distinct look of a Liverpool-Chelsea soccer game, this night belonged to Les Miles.

Miles replaced Nick Saban, who had won a national championship at LSU in 2003. Miles won a BCS title himself four years later. But it seemed he never was fully embrace in Baton Rouge. Then came last November. A Miles-esque fake field goal in the fourth quarter led to a touchdown and a 24-21 comeback win over Alabama at LSU. And he just did it again.

Miles and the Tigers found themselves in the unusual position as the BCS’s No. 1 ranked team but a five-point underdog to No. 2 Saban and Alabama Saturday. Safe to say it will be the last time this season they will be an underdog — and the last time Miles has to hear, “He’s good, but he’s not Nick.”

In a meeting of two 8-0 teams, the Tigers won in overtime 9-6. …

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LIVE: Alabama vs. LSU for division… and SEC, and BCS

Time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

It's time to weigh in with your predictions. Here's mine: Alabama 20, LSU 16.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

Nick Saban looks a lot shorter on TV.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — I’m quite certain there’s drinking going on here.

I heard something crazy like 30,000 LSU fans made the five-hour-plus drive from Baton Rouge to Tuscaloosa for the LSU-Alabama game, even though most of them don’t have tickets. Given the number of people I saw out there tailgating, I’m guessing a lot of Bama fans are here just for the scene — and the beverages — as well.

Welcome to the game of the week, the month, the season, the millennium — whatever you want to call it. It won’t get any better than Alabama vs. LSU or Nick Saban vs. Les Miles the rest of the season, nor probably even at bowl time. It’s difficult to imagine even the BCS title game living up to the buildup or the match-up.

These are the two best teams in the nation. By the end of the night, we might still believe they’re the two best teams in the nation (notwithstanding the fact …

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Alabama, LSU have what everyone else wants: great coach

(AP photo)

Nick Saban and Les Miles again find themselves the centers of attention. (AP photo)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Nick Saban turned 60 on Halloween, and his players – tempting fate and possibly their scholarships — turned off the lights in a meeting room and yelled, “Surprise!” when their coach walked in. As it turned out, even in the week of the Alabama-LSU game, the little curmudgeon showed a humorous side.

After acknowledging, “It’s hard to think about birthdays,” Saban referenced the No. 60 jersey that was presented to him and cracked, “I wasn’t thinking about age. I was thinking I’m a skill player. There’s no way I can sport this 60. I’ve got to have a lower-than-50 number of some sort.”

Might as well give Saban and Les Miles jersey Nos. 1 and 2. They coach the two best teams in the nation. They’re probably the two best coaches.

Maybe we think of them differently: Saban as cold, evil, I-hate-him-I-hate-him-can-I-get-him-on-my-team brilliant. Miles as goofy, grass-eating, …

Continue reading Alabama, LSU have what everyone else wants: great coach »