Found January 04, 2013 on
Beyond the Combine:
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) and LSU (to Clemson), and Mississippi State falling to a Northwestern program that had not previously won a bowl game of any kind dating all the way back to 1949.
Now admittedly 3-3 might be considered a decent tally for most conferences, but not so for the SEC which has won the previous six national titles and holds a very impressive 8-1 mark in BCS title games, with the lone loss coming against another SEC team when Alabama defeated LSU in last season’s championship showdown.
The SEC also has a record 16 BCS bowl game victories over the years, four better than the next best conference (the Big Ten), while posting a BCS-best .666 winning percentage in BCS games.
The conference everyone outside of the South East loves to hate these days still has plenty of time to improve on its .500 mark in 2012/13, with three more bowl appearances, including a second consecutive national title showdown for Alabama when the Crimson Tide take on Notre Dame Monday night.
A win for the Tide would not just give the SEC a seventh straight national crown, but would also be Alabama’s third national title in just four years under the guidance of head coach Nick Saban.
Saban reassured Tide fans this week when he took himself out of consideration for any of the multiple NFL coaching vacancies.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s SEC rivals, No. 9 Texas A&M, the only team to defeat the Tide this season, will play No. 11 Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Friday night, with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel leading the way, while Ole Miss will face Pitt in Saturday’s BBVA Compass Bowl, giving the SEC a total of nine teams in this season’s bowl games, more than any other conference except the Big 12, which also has nine.
The ACC, meanwhile, has thus far fared better than any other conference with four wins in six games, including notable victories for Georgia Tech (over USC), Florida State (over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl) and Clemson (over LSU).
The BIG-12 and PAC-12 each also have four wins to go with four losses apiece, with the BIG-12 going for a fifth victory when Oklahoma takes on Texas A&M.
The Big Ten, meanwhile, closed out the bowl season a disappointing 2-5, with Northwestern (over Mississippi State) and Michigan State (over TCU) the lone victors, while the Big East has posted an impressive 3-1 record so far, with Pitt looking to join Cincinnati, Syracuse and Louisville as winners and make it four out of five.
When it comes to the big games, however, no other conference could match the PAC-12 in 2012/13, with the West Coast conference taking two of the five BCS games, as Oregon cruised past Kansas State 35-17 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Thursday, following Stanford’s impressive 20-14 win over Wisconsin in Tuesday’s Rose Bowl, the Cardinal’s first Rose Bowl win since 1972.
The ACC and BIG East each also has one BCS win this season (Florida State and Louisville).
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.
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.
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...
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reports that multiple league sources have informed him that “most, if not all of [teams with head coaching vacancies]” have reached out to Alabama head coach Nick Saban in “some unofficial capacity,” but he has informed them that he’s not interested in leaving for the NFL.
Saban has been speculative option for the Browns who were also reportedly...
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...
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...