Nick Saban is a great college football coach. He has proven over and over again that he knows what it takes to win the big ones.
But if you are looking for a coach who is changing the face of college football while you are sleeping, that man is Oregon's Chip Kelly. Kelly, by his own admission, did not invent the no-huddle, spread-option offense, but he did invent doing it at warp speed.
And Kelly's teams have been getting progressively more lethal at it as Oregon has become, not a no-huddle offense, but a no-huddle program. Yes, Oregon lost to LSU's powerful defense in 2011, but 2013 is a new day, folks, as all of the Ducks buy into Kelly's vision completely.
The innovation of what Kelly is doing to goof up traditional gap-control defenses is what sets Oregon apart.
If you load up the box to stop the run up the middle, Kelly will burn you deep. It's part athletes executing brilliantly, and part unequaled speed. So far, there are imitators—the New England Patriots, for one—but no one does it better than the Ducks.
Nick Saban knows this. Saban is afraid of Kelly, witnessed by his 2012 midseason thinly disguised preemptive strike at the Ducks' style of play. When speaking of the no-huddle offense, Saban whined: "Is this what we want football to be?"
Whether you want it or not, Nick, it's coming after you this year.