Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/8/13

Dear Coach Nicholas Lou Saban, Greetings from the warm, sunny beaches of California (I’m actually in a coffee shop, but it’s close enough to the water). By the time you’re reading this, hopefully you’re kicking back, enjoying a sandy beach of your own, and reflecting on your recent achievement of winning back to back championships (three out of four). Hopefully, you’re doing that, but most likely you’re in Loganville, GA trying to recruit the overall number 1 high school player Robert Nkemdiche. Enjoy this “What are you gonna do next?” moment; you’ve now won your third BCS championship at Alabama, bringing your personal total to four (can’t forget winning in 2003 while at LSU!). Go to Disneyland! First of all, congratulations on your historic achievements and all your success. You have created a dynasty in the south, and I have no doubt your success in the SEC will continue. Your work ethic is impeccable Nick; your desire to win has been remarkable considering the hyper-state of parity in modern football and the stiff competition in the SEC. The SEC has now won the last seven BCS championships with your squad winning three of them. While most fans outside of the South despise the recent dominance from the SEC, it can’t be a coincidence that the same conference continues to win. With the latest win, you are just two national championships away from tying your idol, Bear Bryant. In my personal opinion, your victories are more meaningful due to the modern landscape of the NCAA. While Bryant’s six championships (also at Alabama) should be viewed as an historic achievement, the level of competition wasn’t close to those of the modern SEC. Bryant’s squads never faced a freshman like Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel or play a schedule resembling this; those Bryant led Crimson squads didn’t even feature any black players until the 1970s. No one could replace Bryant (the Bryant name adorns the stadium, the library, a street, and multiple other buildings around Tuscaloosa), but the name “Saban” will now be synonymous with winning and Alabama football. In winning, Nick, you have created an insurmountable legacy. When you eventually do leave Alabama, your name too will plastered all around town. Though the level of competition has drastically increased since Bryant’s era, you’ve returned Alabama to glory almost instantly. In just your second year at the helm, the Crimson tide made it to the SEC Championship game losing to eventual the NCAA champions Florida Gators. Since losing the 2009 Sugar Bowl to Utah, Alabama has only lost a total of five games (three came in 2010). The SEC is stiff competition, but you’ve dealt with harder opponents at your previous occupation: head coach of the Miami Dolphins. In 2004, one year removed from winning a national championship at LSU, you left the Bayou to lead the down-and-out Miami Dolphins. You’re time spent on South Beach was far from revolutionary as your record through two seasons was mediocre at best (15-17), but your abrupt departure from the league sent waves through the media as the Dolphins owners, players, and fans were stunned and shocked. After previously stating that you would stay as the head coach for owner Wayne Huizenga, you reneged on your word and turned your back on the NFL. Miami fans soon moved past the betrayal and have enjoyed several solid seasons, but nothing comparable to your record at Alabama. You owed the Dolphins fans better, but it appears as though you’ve recognized your mistakes and admit your fault in the situation. You claimed that you loved to teach men and affect young lives, that college football was more than a game to you and you appreciated the opportunity to mold young athletes. Before the beginning of bowl season, rumors floated through the media of a potential reunion with the Cleveland Browns. (Remember Cleveland Nick? you once coached their defense under Bill Belichick in the 90s). Analysts believed that the potential for NFL success could potentially tempt you back to the muddy waters of the ‘league. If not Cleveland, what’s stopping Arizona, San Diego, Chicago or any other team with a coaching opening from going after you? After multiple teams pressed Oregon’s Chip Kelly and Syracuse Doug Marrone (since hired by Buffalo), why wouldn’t they throw everything but the kitchen sink at you? Whats to stop them from doubling your current salary ($5.3 million) and giving you an offer you couldn’t refuse. While you have made it abundantly clear that you won’t be leaving Alabama, and that you have no interest in a NFL gig, why should any sports fan believe you? You’ve already lied and left for greener pastures in the past; these rumors of you going to Cleveland won’t go away either. Let’s further examine the Cleveland Browns from a talent perspective. While they have an athletic & young offensive line and your former star running back Trent Richardson, the organization has yet to win a playoff game since coming back to the City. Since 2007, the team has not won more than five games in any season. Even though the new ownership (Jimmy Haslan) hopes to bring Cleveland to prominence, they’ve already fired their lone winning component: former president of football operations, Mike Holmgren. This is an organization that has had six NFL coaches since their return to Ohio; they’re now looking for their seventh. Despite your credentials, if not given ample time to implement your offensive and defensive schemes, you may become the seventh coach fired and they’ll search for their new eighth. You could find yourself on the curb quicker than you’d think, especially since the franchise has yet to establish a franchise quarterback since their new beginning. Cleveland is a mess and despite the lure of having full personnel control, it’s a dangerous trap for any distinguished coach to fall into. Besides the NFL, would there be any reason for you to leave Alabama prematurely? Are there skeletons in the Crimson Tide’s closet that could spring the fall of your empire? I’m not making any accusations, you have run fairly clean ships at every stop you’ve made in college. However, one does have to question your motives surrounding asking players to accept medical scholarships in order to grant more athletic scholarships to incoming freshman. Many of these players you asked claimed to be physically cleared to continue to play, yet you encourage them to step aside so you could have more flexibility on signing day. While this isn’t a violation of any NCAA rules, could some rules have been broken on your watch? If there’s something that you know will eventually come back to the school, I could understand leaving and avoiding scandal.Kelly’s obviously not that smart. Nick, the college football scene needs you to stay in Tuscaloosa and continue your dominance at Alabama. Over the past seven years, the SEC (and specifically Alabama & Florida) have become the “Evil Empire” of college sports. College football has never seen a run of consecutive national champions won by a conference; the closest to your personal success could only be Tom Osborne and his Nebraska teams of the 1990s (also won three out of four). While you’re almost identical in age to Osborne (you’re 61, Coach Osborne was 60 when he won his last Natty), unlike Tom, you have yet to establish a lengthy tenure at one school. Osborne coached the Cornhuskers for 25 seasons, retiring after winning that third national championship. Your current squad is arguably the least talented of any national championship caliber team you’ve coached in your return to college football, yet you dismantled the only undefeated team left in the nation yesterday by the score of 42-14. The Tide dominance won’t stop anytime soon (barring any type of NCAA sanctions). While those eligible for the draft are expected to be picked high (cornerback Dee Milliner), there is a large stable of high recruits waiting to replace your outgoing All-Americans. Just in case you needed another reason not to leave Alabama, remember your fan base. You have some of the most loyal fans in the entire country; Alabama football isn’t a preference or a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, a religion, everything to those who live in the state of Alabama. Whether it’s the simple utterance of “Roll Tide” or the poisoning of your rival’s sacred tree, the ‘Bama fan base will take care of you. While the Crimson Tide may not boast a booster like Oregon (Nike & Phil Knight), I’m sure there wouldn’t be a problem matching a jump in potential salary from a NFL team. The man from West Virginia has become Alabama’s favorite son; a renegade coach who’s regained prominence to the state’s most sacred possession. The program needs you. The state needs you. The sport needs you. While the NFL thinks they need you, they want you to come back but can’t offer anything better than what you have now: stability. Perhaps more important than anything or anyone wanting you, you need Alabama Nick. Alabama has made you a living college football legend. If you were to leave now, perhaps your legacy would get tarnished. Perhaps your faithful fans will even riot in your absence. Perhaps they’d try to forget you, but it’s hard forgetting national championships and victories. But they would be riot out of love, not hate. Alabamans love their football and Alabama loves you Nick. Remember you love it back. Besides, who has ever loved Cleveland? Roll Damn Tide This article was written by Colin Kennedy of Metta Chronicles

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