Alabama Football: Nick Saban on the Hot Seat?

Nic GulasSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2008

In general terms, the claim is nothing new: the head coach at Alabama is on the hot seat.

But for people to say that Nick Saban is on the hot seat at Alabama is down right ridiculous.

According to, Nick Saban is ranked No. 4 among college coaches who need to watch out for their job security. 

And it's not only there.  Many members of this site, as well as other national message boards, have mentioned the Crimson Tide's head man to have a fire cooking under him. 

When I hear something like this, two answers come to mind, and they are completely different.

Plain and simple, they are, "Are you kidding me?!?!" and "Of course he is!!!"

Starting with the first answer, what would put this man on the hot seat?

He has one season under his belt and has just recruited the number one class in America. 

Sure he went 7-6 and lost to Auburn and LSU, but with what he had, was more really expected in year one?  What was put on the field was the best product available to him at the time, so no one can blame him for that.

I can kind of see where this could possibly come from, given the way Alabama's recent history with coaches has been spun in the media, but this was the Tide's number one choice in 2007-08 during the latest coaching search. 

 No other name was mentioned more in the connection with this job than Nick Saban.  Sure, Rich Rodriguez had his day in the sun, but Saban's name was thrown around for a month before he signed on to coach Alabama.

And as far as next season goes, Saban could easily lead another 6-6 team on to the field in late December.  Games against Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, and Clemson are all toss ups, or even losses, by most accounts. 

 Then there is that Mississippi State team with a two game winning streak over the Tide, a game in  Arkansas where Alabama traditionally plays poorly, and an Ole Miss team with a Texas transfer, hot shot freshman running back, and a two game losing streak by a total of six points. 

The shocker, even after going through all those games, is that Bama could come out 10-2 or even better in them as well. 

 Who wants to fire a guy who can possibly take you through that schedule and to the SEC Championship Game?  There is no way you could find some one who wants to can Saban now.

Now, on to the second answer.

Of course Nick Saban is on the hot seat.  He is at Alabama.  No other fan base in America demands more of their team or coach than Crimson Tide fans do. 

Its why Bill Curry left.  Its why Ray Perkins wasn't offered an extension. Its why Mike Shula was fired. 

In all truth, Alabama fans have been spoiled.  When you have won almost one out of every three SEC titles, a drought of ten years is haunting and depressing. 

It also doesn't help Saban that he has a national championship in his coaching background.  National championships are what many, if not all, Bama fans pride themselves on.  Sixteen years without one of those just adds fuel to this fire. 

There is also a not-so-small houndstooth shadow that still looms over the program for much of the older generations of fans.

But, in all actuality, Saban demands this from himself.  This is the same man who said, "I want to win every game we play," when introduced in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 4, 2007. 

Saban doesn't need a fan base to put the pressure on him, he does it to himself. 

So sure, say that Nick Saban is on the hot seat.  Say its because of his rabid fan base.  You can even say that the idea is ludicrous, as I stated above.

The fact of the matter is Nick Saban is on the hot seat...but it's because Nick Saban says he belongs there.