What the Rest of the BCS Top 5 Can Learn from Nick Saban and Alabama
Nick Saban is building a dynasty at Alabama. In fact, after a 48-6 record over the past five seasons, he already has. Alabama stands as the No. 1 team in the land currently, and there are a few things that the other Top 5 teams could learn from Nick Saban’s Alabama squad.
Alabama is a very steady program, running a balanced offense and precision defense. Alabama executes to perfection and limits penalties, giving very few opportunities for opponents to gain undo advantages in games.
As the second half of the season prepares to kick off, here is a look at the one thing that each Top 5 team could learn from the nation’s No. 1 program.
No. 2 Florida Gators: Balanced Offense
The Florida Gators have not been balanced on offense this season, relying heavily on their rushing attack to carry the offense through the first half of the season.
So far this season, the Gators have run the ball 271 times, having only thrown the football 117 times in the same stretch. Jeff Driskel needs time to grow into the system no doubt, but he will be called upon if Florida continues to lead the country in wins.
The Gators have only earned 870 yards through the air, while they have gained 1400 yards on the ground.
Conversely, Alabama has thrown 138 times and rushed 247 times. The Tide have earned 1,303 yards on the ground, and they have gained 1,235 yards through the air.
The Crimson Tide may have imbalance in the number of play calls, but the yardage breakdown is amazing. Last season, the Tide had 2,797 yards through the air and 2,788 on the ground.
Balanced offense wins football games. Florida, take notes.
No. 3 Oregon Ducks: Defense wins Championships
The Oregon Ducks have picked up their defensive play this year, fielding the most competitive defense in the Chip Kelly era.
Oregon still comes in as the No. 43 total defense in the country. The Ducks are No. 70 against the pass and No. 37 against the run. Last season, they finished No. 67 in total defense. In 2010, they were No. 34 in the same category.
The Ducks have been close to a BCS title, but they have not been able to close the deal just yet. Oregon has to find a way to get better defensive results, or it will stay looking in from the outside.
Alabama has consistently fielded a Top 5 defense, holding the No. 1 position so far this season.
No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats: Find a Second Running Back
Through the first six games, the Wildcats have seen their starting quarterback and running back split carries evenly at 98 carries a piece. That is the Wildcats' offensive system. The eyebrows rise when looking at the remaining rushing stats.
Daniel Sams is the Wildcats' third-leading rusher, and he is the Kansas State second-string quarterback. Fourth on the stat sheet is senior running back Angelo Pease. There are no other players with significant carries.
The Wildcats must find a second and third option for the backfield quickly. Establishing depth behind Collin Klein and John Hubert is a must if the Wildcats want to run the table and contend for a BCS title.
No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: One Quarterback Breeds Positive Results
The Fighting Irish have been very impressive defensively this season. Notre Dame has been the surprise of the season, landing in the No. 5 position for the first BCS poll release.
One issue that is facing the Irish is the quarterback quandary that is following this offense. Only once have the Crimson Tide pushed a quarterback battle into the season, and it was last season with Philip Simms and A.J. McCarron.
It was clear before the season that McCarron was the starter, but the “competition” had to play out.
Right now, the Irish are creating issues by using two quarterbacks. It hurts continuity on offense and has led to hiccups in games already. If Notre Dame wants to seriously pursue a national title, it must pick a quarterback and stick with them.
The Saban Blueprint Begins with Discipline
Nick Saban is a relentless recruiter and detail-oriented coach. Every move that he makes as a coach is calculated and well-planned.
When you look at the discipline level that Saban’s teams play with, it shows that his mentality as a detail-oriented guy rubs off on his players. Saban does not believe in allowing failure or success to linger, quickly returning to the task left ahead.
Saban is putting together one of the more impressive coaching dynasties in college football history at Alabama. The least others can do is take notes.