Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 1/9/13
For all that is written about Nick Saban and his lack of personality, you cannot deny the man knows how to win. OK, maybe not in the NFL, but we will forgive him the Miami Mistake. As far as the college game is concerned, he is one of the best. What is odd to me, is that he is personality is brought up more than his style of play."What? You got a problem with 3 championships in 4 years?"This season, Alabama finished second in NCAA Division I in points per game, right behind Notre Dame (10.3), with 10.7 points allowed per game. For yards allowed per game, Alabama finished first in the nation with 246.0 allowed, ahead of Florida State at 253.8 allowed. The Crimson Tide's defense has smother opponents.For the 2011 season, Alabama finished first in the nation in yards allowed with 191.3. LSU was second with 252.1. Alabama also finished first with 8.8 points allowed per game, ahead of LSU again.A popular phrase tossed around the NFL is "defense wins championships.'' Well, why not in the college game as well? Nick Saban seems to be doing just fine.Offensive guru Chip Kelly, head coach at Oregon, is one whos name is bandied about every time a coaching position becomes available. He just turned down the Cleveland Browns job a few days after interviewing with them. Last year, he interviewed with the Tampa Bay Bucs.I'm surprised a NFL team would take a shot at Kelly. I know the offense at Oregon is sexy, and the "read-option" is the latest thing for NFL teams to try to impliment. See: Newton, Cam; Griffin III, Robert. But even at Oregon, Kelly's success is predicated on bringing in players he wants to run his system. With a NFL budget, I can't imagine a 36-year old center would be overly excited about snapping the ball every 20 seconds. I'm not begrudging Kelly's offense at Oregon. I love to watch the Ducks. I just firmly believe that style of offense wouldn't work in the NFL, unless signifcant changes were made. And by then, it would barely resemble what he has now at Oregon.Meanwhile, in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban is rolling along. He runs a run-heavy offense, and his quarterbacks aren't much to write home about. However, they manage the game well and don't commit turnovers. Alabama finished the most recent season 20th in rush yards per game, but tied for third in yards per carry at 5.6. Oregon was only at 6.1 (1st). The Tide finished in the middle in passing at 62nd. Hey, speaking of passing, guess what college quarterback had the highest rating? Yep. Alabama's AJ McCarron, who finished with only 314 pass attempts for the season, but a ridiculous three interceptions. Last season, he only had five. I guarentee McCarron will only be considered for backup duty in the NFL much like his predecessor at Alabama, Greg McElroy. Oh, look, Matt Barkley is shiny.Sure, I understand Saban is a control freak, and might exhibit some otherwise boorish behavior. And so do a few million other people, but only one is a coach of the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. So I guess that gives some people a reason to pile on him. It's time to give Saban his due for something he does exceptionally well, and that's win.
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