Alabama's $32 Million Blunder
Forgive the negativity of the title, but if you think of Nick Saban's new contract with Alabama objectively, it is doomed from the get go.
Not through any fault of Saban's mind you. He is a smart guy. He has had success at both Michigan State and at LSU. Although he had two losing seasons with the Dolphins, his quarterbacks have left a lot to be desired, essential to winning in the NFL.
As Brian said earlier, Saban's heart lies on the Saturday game. No one has really made the transition between the games, except for John McKay and John Robinson. You have so much mor control in college along with much more talent as your rosters are so much bigger. (talent as people, not athletic talent) hey opened the vaut and signed it over to him, and he took it. Saban better not sniff another job while under contract.
The fault lies, hook, line, and sinker, with the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide have become the UCLA of college football. They are waiting for Bear Bryant, well, Nick Saban is no Bear Bryant. For Alabama and their uneasy boosters to expect Saban to be is vastly unfair to both men.
Yet, as anyone does after their glory days have passed, Alabama is trying to purchase a new legacy. You can argue on whether Mike Shula was or was not a good coach and worthy of being fired, but the search for his replacement has been a joke. Alabama thinks of itself as the cream of the crop, yet they couldn't find anyone who agreed with that assessment, including WVU's Rich Rodriguez or Saban for that matter, until they raised the price so high that you'd be foolish not to take the money.
Alabama seems to be forgetting reality here for two reasons. First, they think it's 1965 and winning the SEC is a God-given right like apple pie and taxes. Um, have you seen the SEC lately? There are four powerhouses in the conference that compete for national championships now, and the school that is based in Alabama that s in the mix doesn't play their home games in Tuscaloosa. Throw in Georgia and Arkansas in the mix and, at least for the next couple years, you will be lucky to get a 5th place bowl invite, let alone a BCS bid. Teams, good teams, barely survive in the SEC. No matter the quality of the band-aid, it still doesn't beat Florida in October.
The other gaffe is the money. Do these schools forget they are academic institutions first and formost? Couldn't you spend half that money better elsewhere and start grooming your coaches from the inside? Couldn't you have poached Tide Alum Sylvester Croom and rebuilt? No, you suffer from Notre Dame-itis, along with Dyan Cannon. You look in the mirror, see what you want to see and ignore that the way you do business passed you by 25 years ago.
If, and that's a big if, the problem was the coaching before and the talent to run the table was already there, then I understand this hiring, but it's not. I'd be stunned if Alabama was a BCS contender next season, or the year after that. The Southeastern Conference is tat good and surviving a two loss year is an accomplishment.
Alabama is trying for the home run, yet it doesn't realize that Sandy Koufax is the pitcher.
When Saban leaves in two years after 16 wins and a Peach Bowl, maybe they will understand that the problem lies from within.