Hey, mea culpa. I made the mistake of thinking Nick Saban wasn't a liar when he said, "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." Bad on me, but I promise, it won't happen again.
So, what to make of it? Eh, not all that much. Once you get beyond the nadir of ridiculousness from delusional UAT fans and the in-state media in Alabama (please forgive the redundancy), you've got a decent college coach taking a job with a team that isn't all that good. The Turds have had one winning season out of the last five, and a quick glance at the depth chart, which drops off a good chunk of the defense to graduation, will tell you that they aren't liable to be much better in 2007 than they were in 2006.
Even given Saban's one magical season at LSU--when he still lost at home, and badly, to a weak Florida team--his overall record is a fairly pedestrian 91-42-1. Saban's LSU record of 48-16 is nearly identical to Terry Bowden's 47-17-1 at Auburn, and, of course, Saban comes in with a 2-3 mark against the Tigers. There's no doubt that he's a better coach than Mike Shula, but then again, my sister's dog is probably a better coach than Mike Shula. When you add in the fact that even lousy coaches like Shula, Bill Curry, and Mike DuBose all had at least one big year in Tuscaloosa, you have to expect that Saban will have one or two of his own somewhere down the line.
And if today is any indication, Saban will also have an in-state honeymoon to die for. While the national press is tearing Saban to shreds over the last duplicitous six weeks of denials (to say nothing of the gutless speakerphone call to his former assistants), the legions of desperate UAT fans and in-state media crowd (again, forgive the redundancy) are quite literally falling over themselves to lay hosannahs at the feet of the latest Savior. I'm not exaggerating at all when I tell you that these yahoos are treating Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa as the Second Coming.
And you know, they're right about that. Just not in the way they think.
Nick Saban is the second coming--of Ray Perkins.
Both were NFL failures who got bailed out of losing jobs by an unexpected offer from UAT, but more importantly, both are arrogant, thin-skinned jerks whom nobody can stand to work with for very long. Both lied early and often about pursuing other jobs (Perkins blasted ESPN as "unprofessional" for reporting he was leaving UAT for Tampa, only a week before he did just that). Like Perkins, Saban will probably recruit well (if all those spoiled trust fund babies on the UAT board are willing to pony up $32 million to bribe in a coach, just think what they're paying for recruits by now), he'll probably have at least a couple of solid years.
He'll also alienate everybody around him, eventually including the Alabama press yahoos who're doing a fine Monica Lewinsky impression today. Last but certainly not least, he'll become increasingly frustrated with a disfunctional athletic program that neither he nor anyone else can actually control, and he'll probably be gone much sooner than anybody expects today.
But hey, he'll be the toast of the town for about another 11 months. Enjoy it, Nicky. The honeymoon ends on November 24, in a stadium where you've never won a football game. We call it Jordan-Hare. You already know it as Hell.