SEC Football Q&A: How Long Will Nick Saban Be Alabama's Head Coach?
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Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email. Q&A got pushed back to Friday this week due to national signing day.
You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. And if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.
And we're off:
@barrettsallee how many more years do CFB pundits expect saban to stay at bama?— Birdhair (@stachemoney22) February 8, 2013
Well, considering he has built and is currently sustaining the first college football dynasty in the BCS era—something that seemed impossible just three years ago, could you blame him if he walked away?
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After all, it's not like he has much left to prove at this level.
With that said, I would guess that Saban has four or five good years left before he decides to hang up the straw hat and take his talents to Lake Burton (yes 'Bama fans, I know the 10,000 square foot monster he's selling is a spec house).
That puts him at 65 or 66 years old at the time he retires. If he stays the course through his contract and retires in 2020, he'd be 69. While football is his life; at some point, that is going to change before the end of his contract.
But between now and then there could be a few more crystal footballs that go up on his book shelf.
Well, I guess that depends on who is hired as his replacement if he bolts.
There aren't many options out there at this time of year, so I would assume that head coach Mark Richt would promote current linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti to the defensive coordinator position.
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Because of that, it'd be a stretch to say that anything good will come of it.
But with that said, losing Grantham wouldn't be as big of a loss for the Bulldogs as some seem to think. Assuming Georgia promotes from within, it's difficult to imagine that the scheme would change all that much.
Georgia's defense was awful last season against the run, giving up 182.14 yards per game on the ground—the third-worst mark in the SEC. Grantham is a good coach, and that was probably more the exception than the rule, but the Bulldogs still managed to get within five yards of playing for the BCS National Championship.
If Grantham bolts, the sky wouldn't fall.
@barrettsallee what's your prediction for Ole Miss this yr?— Matthew Fox (@Fox_Matt) February 8, 2013
Head coach Hugh Freeze certainly put the pressure on himself with the nation's No. 6 recruiting class according to the 247Sports.com team composite index.
While many of the players in that class—specifically defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, safety Tony Conner, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and defensive tackle Lavon Hooks—will all make an immediate impact; it's still the SEC West, and Ole Miss is still facing an uphill climb.
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Alabama and Texas A&M will undoubtedly be the two top picks in the SEC West in the preseason media poll at SEC Media Days, and while LSU is going through a rebuilding year, it is still rebuilding with 4-star talent across the board.
You can't count on Auburn and Arkansas being down forever, which means that there are plenty of landmines standing in the way between Ole Miss and its first ever SEC West title.
The Rebels get Vandy and Missouri out of the East, and play LSU and Texas A&M in Oxford in 2013. Not an incredibly treacherous path, but it's not like Ole Miss has as stocked of a roster as some of its SEC West brethren.
I'll say 8-4 overall with a 5-3 record in the SEC. Even if that's off and the Rebs finish 7-5 or worse, the future still looks very bright in Oxford.
Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at email@example.com.
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