Here's where it gets interesting.
Coach Saban had a game-plan. Coach's plan won the game, but could have done more. We all know he's one of the best, so I will not call out all the things he did right. Report cards are about constructive criticism.
First, the run game had opportunities to be effective, but the hole was closing fast. Playcaller's solution: run a delay, which was less effective because the hole was already closed before the delay count was over. Result: fewer yards overall on the delayed runs than on the normal ones.
I was begging the T.V. screen to "please run the wildcat, so Richardson/Lacy can hit that hole hard!!!"
They didn't until coach stumbled upon the correct game-plan when he started running the clock at 6:00 left in the game. That drive's success had less to do with Mississippi being tired than it did the fact that the opportunity had been there the whole game.
Another aspect of the game that lost him points in my book was his response to the question about his kickers. When asked about his solution to the lack of kicking game, his response was, "I'm going to keep putting them out there, and they're going to start making them."*
I appreciate trying to give the kickers confidence, but going for it on 4th-and-2 and coming up short carries the same consequences as a missed field goal. At what point do you say, "We need to punt/go for it until we are in these kickers' ranges."?
I'm a huge Nick Saban fan. Saban is an A+ coach in my book, and he has brought life to this program that hasn't been seen for a long time.
However, coaching like you can't see what's happening on the field isn't going to do anyone any good in the long run. When we have a kicker, use him. When we don't, don't. When the game-plan is working, stick to it. When it isn't, change plans. Please, Saban, don't just keep calling the same plays while the ship goes down.
Coaching: C (The lowest grade I feel I can give a coach who won by 17)