Found January 04, 2013 on
Crystal Ball Run:
There's a school of thought that once the whistle blows and the first kick is in the air head coaches don't matter much, but come Monday in the BCS National Championship is that really the case? We say no, both coaches have a major roll in their respective teams, so perhaps the better question is which coach will actually have the bigger effect on the outcome of the game? Yes, the easy answer would be Brian Kelly because he calls the offensive plays - it's hard to top that for having a bigger effect on the game. But, Nick Saban has proven that his preparation, game planning, and game day management can have just as big an effect on the outcome of a game as someone that is directly involved with every single play call on one side of the ball or the other. Of course, there's the experience factor involved here as well, with Saban and Alabama racking up BCS National Championship frequent flyer miles like they are going out of style... (They better cash them in next season or they'll lose them, at least that's what the fine print says) and that can play a factor in some of the off the field stuff. Hell, Saban even decided to buck the trend and plant his team at the most trendy hotel right on South Beach - flying in the face of conventional wisdom that says it's best to keep your players away from trouble and potential distraction. After two national championships at Alabama and experience last year in New Orleans I think I'll trust his judgment a little bit in this regard. I mean it has been three BCS National Championship games in four years for the Tide. But, don't get it twisted, Brian Kelly isn't a stranger to a BCS game atmosphere either and it's not like he hasn't reached out to coaches with national championship game experience to help him in the logistical side of this one. We're not in the 1990's any more in terms of communication, that's for sure. Let's also remember he took the previously unheard of Cincinnati Bearcats to the 2009 Orange Bowl and the 2010 Sugar Bowl. Unfortunately they weren't exactly winning experiences, but this is Notre Dame he's coaching now, not Cincinnati - where everything had to align exactly right for major BCS upsets to happen. With all of that out of the way, let's get right down to it, you know, the reason we are even talking about all of this stuff - the actual game played on Monday. Does Nick Saban's experience as a head coach in this game really matter all that much? Not to me and here's why - He's never played Notre Dame or a Brian Kelly coached football team before. Both of these teams are unfamiliar with each other at least in terms of being on the same field so to me that negates any "experience" you have in a game like this. It's a level playing field in that regard. Once the whistle blows to start the game and the first hits are laid out, all that other crap goes out the window. Does Brian Kelly's role as a play caller really matter that much? To me it does because he actually can effect things like tempo and making adjustments faster than what Saban can on the other side of the field. It's just a natural truth of someone that's got the headset on because he's calling plays vs. someone who's got the headset on to communicate with those making the original calls on both sides of the ball. It's one less layer of communication to go through. Now, the question to me is how big of an advantage is that for Kelly over Saban on Monday? Put it on a scale of 1 to 10 and I'd have to call it a 7. It's very important, but it's not the complete game changer some may think it is either. Yes, you can watch the tape, gameplan towards and away from tendencies and all of that in the lead up to it, but ultimately it's going to come down to who can execute the gameplan and make the adjustments to what the other person is doing and in that regard you could argue Saban has a bigger effect as he is know to be one of the best in game adjustment-makers in the modern game. The one area that Nick Saban I think has a big advantage in is that he's got a better staff surrounding him. Make no mistake about it, Doug Nussmeir and Kirby Smart are two of the best coordinators in the country (they should be with the money they are making) and they are also two of the best at game day adjustments. So, you have to give Saban credit for hiring these two as coordinators and allowing them to do their job. Don't forget part of being a great head coach is also about being smart enough to allow those around you to assist you in a fashion that brings success. At the end of the day it's hard to convince me that Kelly, one way or the other, won't have a bigger effect on the game on Monday. Either his gameplan and game day play calling on offense leads his team to victory or it leads them to epic defeat and it's hard to say that Saban can match that during Monday's game. For all of Andy's thoughts on the world of college football and more follow him on Twitter @andycoppens and make sure you don't miss our BCS National Championship coverage by following our staff @CrystalBallRun either.
BEST OF MAXIM
There were some dark days at Notre Dame and Alabama, dark years really, during which two college football's proudest programs flailed and foundered.
As the 21st century dawned, the Fighting Irish and the Crimson Tide were old news, stodgy remnants of a glorious past, not moving fast enough to keep up with the times, and searching for someone to lead them back to the top.
Freshman cornerback Geno Smith knows that when Nick Saban yells at him, screams at him, throws his straw hat in the air because of him, it's because the coach sees potential. Though hard to take at times, Smith says it's a blessing to play for the Alabama head coach.
English: Nick Saban after the Alabama vs. Arkansas game, thanking the Alabama student section. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The SEC may be considered the strongest conference in college football, but so far the 2012/13 bowl season hasn’t shown it.
Through Thursday’s games, in fact, the SEC is batting a mere .500 (a 3-3 record), with surprising losses for Florida (to Louisville...
Alabama coach Nick Saban has sent home two backup players from the BCS championship game for violating curfew.
A person with knowledge of the decision identified the players as freshman linebackers Dillon Lee and Ryan Anderson. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school didn't release the names.
A statement from Saban announced the disciplinary action. Alabama...
As he sat at a podium on his old turf at Sun Life Stadium, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was badgered some more about a potential return to the NFL. He says it's not happening.
Nick Saban is being targeted by some NFL teams looking to fill head coaching vacancies, but he reportedly is telling those suitors that he will be staying at Alabama.
CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman says Saban has been telling NFL teams interested in hiring him “thanks but no thanks” thus far. Freeman says Saban has told inquiring teams he’s not coming back to the NFL.
For the first time since Christmas 2006, Nick Saban is back working on the field at Sun Life Stadium.
Saban spent two years coaching in that stadium, the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins. He went 9-7 in his home games there with the Dolphins and will lead second-ranked Alabama onto that field Monday night against No. 1 Notre Dame in this season's BCS national title game...
Alabama coach Nick Saban says he and his team ''honor the opportunity'' to play for a national title.
Speaking on Sunday morning, a day before the second-ranked Crimson Tide faces No. 1 Notre Dame, Saban said that means getting players to stay focused on the moment and what they can control. Saban says ''great preparation gives you the confidence to do that...
It is no longer news that Nick Saban is an SOB.
People have known it for years, even before the Miami Dolphins sent around a memo warning employees not to make smalltalk with him. It is part of his charm. From the outside, we never even see the man smile.
"Neither do we,'' Alabama running back Eddie Lacy said Thursday. "He smiles randomly. I'm not going to...
His bronze statue shares a spot on the plaza outside Bryant-Denny Stadium with the rest of Alabamas national title-winning coaches, the nine-foot likeness of Nick Saban putting him on equal ground with Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas.
But in the annals of Crimson Tide history, there is the Bear, and there is everybody else.
Saban may never change that...
Alabama Crimson Tide freshman linebackers Dillion Lee and Ryan Anderson were sent home from BCS title game preparations for violating the team curfews, reports The Crimson White. “We sent two players home due to a curfew violation,” head coach Nick Saban said CLick Link to Read More!
Scratch Brian Kelly’s name from the list of teams seeking a new head coach. While meeting with reporters on Saturday, Kelly said that leaving Notre Dame “isn’t an option.”
While saying a move to the NFL was intriguing., Kelly believes he is in the right place right now.
“I think from my perspective I’ve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever...
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer For a fan in the greater Miami area, this national championship game might be a nightmare come true.
On one side, there's Notre Dame - maybe the Miami Hurricanes' most hated rival.
On the other side, there's Alabama - coached by former Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban, whose departure is still the source of great...
It's no wonder Kirby Smart and Bob Diaco have drawn interest for head coaching jobs.
Smart is coordinator of an Alabama defense yielding the nation's fewest yards. Nobody has allowed fewer points a game than Diaco and Notre Dame leading up to Monday's BCS championship.
Smart interviewed for the top job at Auburn, the Crimson Tide's in-state rival. Diaco was a candidate...