Is Nick Saban Overrated?

Christopher Williams@@111Chris777Correspondent IOctober 15, 2008

If you are a LSU Tiger fan, more than likely you appreciate the fact that Nick Saban came to Baton Rouge and turned LSU’s football program around. On the other hand, you are probably bitter about the way he handled his departure.

If that was not bad enough, he then left the job he left LSU for to accept a job at a school that is in the same conference division as LSU.

By now that is old news, but it appears there is still a huge love fest for Nick Saban. Yes, he did win a National Championship at LSU, but if you look past this one good season, Nick Saban is not as good as advertised.

Let’s take a look at Nick Saban’s record from the year 2000 until now.

2000: 8-4

Beat Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl.

Lost to UAB.

Lost to Florida 41-9.

2001: 10-3

Beat Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.

Beat Illinois in the Sugar Bowl.

2002: 8-5

Lost to Texas in the Cotton Bowl.

Lost to Alabama 31-0 at home.

Would have been 7-6 if it wasn’t for the Bluegrass miracle.

2003: 13-1

Beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

Beat Oklahoma in the National Championship game.

2004: 9-3

Lost to Iowa in the Capital One Bowl.

Beat Oregon State in overtime 22-21 at home.

Saban then left LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins for two years. After saying he was not going to leave the organization, weeks later he was announced Alabama’s head coach. In 2007, the Clemson Tide finished 7-6 and beat Colorado in the Independence Bowl.

This year, Nick Saban is 6-0. It is as if he has won the National Championship, but what he has done this year is not at all impressive. Let's take a look.

Game 1

Alabama beat Clemson 34-10. At the time Clemson was ranked No. 9, but as of today they are 3-3, and their head coach stepped down this week.

Game 2

Alabama beat Tulane 20-6. Bama struggled through the first three quarters but was able to beat Tulane.

Game 3

Alabama beat Western Kentucky 41-7.

Game 4

Alabama beat Arkansas 49-14. Florida held Arkansas to fewer points than Bama but only scored 38.

Game 5

Alabama beat No. 3-ranked Georgia in Georgia, 41-30. Georgia did not score in the first half, so most people turned this game off at halftime and did not watch Georgia come out and beat Bama in the second half.

Game 6

Alabama beat Kentucky 17-14 at home, but it was close.

Right now the Crimson Tide is ranked No. 2, and I am still trying to figure out why. Is it because they beat an overrated Clemson team? Maryland and Wake Forest also beat Clemson, so they should lose credit for that win.

Is it because they struggled against Tulane through three quarters? Was it because they beat Georgia? Although this was a big win, do note that many people voted based on how Bama played in the first quarter of this game (or the lack of effort Georgia showed). Maybe it is because they almost lost to Kentucky at home.

Either way, Nick Saban has not proved anything other than he is a little better than an average coach. Then again, so is Les Miles. At least Les Miles can beat the UL-Monroes. Oh, and remember, Les Miles and his Fighting Tigers did beat Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide last year in Bama.

This is my message to you, Bama fans: Please brace yourself for several disappointing moments during Nick Saban’s era. He will do some good things, but he is like the stock market—one season the program will be at its high, the next it could hit rock bottom.

He is a psychologist, not a football coach.


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