The Alabama Crimson Tide completed an impressive regular season on Saturday with a huge win over bitter in-state rival Auburn. The Tide are now on their way to the SEC championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs in what has become a play-in game for the BCS National Championship.
Nick Saban and Mark Richt have led their squads through the toughest conference in the country while tallying only one loss a piece through the year. Although both coaches have been very successful in their careers, Saban is a cut above Richt.
In the 12 years that Richt has been with Georgia, there has been only one losing season. The Bulldogs have won more than 10 games eight times since his tenure began. The Bulldogs have also won two SEC titles and two BCS bowl games under his leadership.
The one win that is missing from Richt’s resume is the national title. Georgia has not been able to make it to the national title game under Richt despite its consistent elite-level success.
Keeping things in perspective, national titles aren’t the only measuring stick—just look at Gene Chizik and Larry Coker—but they do help provide the seal of excellence to a coach's record.
Titles are also the first visible separator between Saban and Richt. Saban has three to Richt’s zero. Saban has also never coached a team with a losing record in 17 years.
Now that’s impressive.
Saban goes about his business in a very process-oriented way. He constantly talks “process” in interviews, displaying how methodical he is on and off the field.
When a Nick Saban team takes the field, execution is never a concern. His players know where they need to be to make plays and they find their positions on the field with authority.
Every coach has a process, but none have displayed the efficiency of Saban. Richt can win football games, but he showed in 2010 that even when his teams are loaded with talent, there can still be hiccups under his leadership.
There are no hiccups with Saban. Sure, there have been upset losses down through the years, but he has taken an Alabama team on the verge of collapse and turned them into the 1960s era Crimson Tide.
This team strikes fear into the competition before the foot of the kicker touches the football.
The SEC title game is right around the corner and these two coaches will have the chance to show each other up with a win on the national college football stage. Even with an upset victory by the Bulldogs, Richt will still fall short when compared to Saban.
Honestly, what coach in football today doesn’t pale in comparison to the Tide head man?
Mark Richt is an elite coach in the SEC, but Saban has become the emperor of the conference.