Found September 16, 2013 on
We learn new things all the time in this business of sports reporting.
The college football landscape might have a entirely different look right now if not for Steve Spurrier following his heart instead of the money.
According to The MMQB via the book, The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football (Doubleday), by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian we found out that Spurrier could have and did change the landscape of college football by saying no to Alabama, and referring them to Nick Saban, who at the time was the Dolphins coach.
“It’s the best work I’ve ever done,’’ noted reporter Keteyian said Sunday. The reporting on the Nick Saban-to-Alabama move after the 2006 NFL season is terrific.
Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, Benedict and Keteyian report, first offered Steve Spurrier the head-coaching job, but he said Spurrier said he was “too dug in’’ at South Carolina.
Spurrier told Moore to go after Saban. (Wonder if Spurrier regrets that now?) Saban, then with the Dolphins, was ripe for the taking, which he denied vehemently then.
But coaches often deny truths vehemently until the bitter end. The authors say Saban got to dread the Dolphins job.
“Saban told a friend in Miami he felt as if he were going to work in a factory every day; he missed the camaraderie of college coaching.”
It was clear to Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga that Saban wanted to take the Alabama job, and he said to Saban finally, “Nick, if that’s what you want, I want you to do it.”
The best chapter in the book, I thought, was Chapter 9, “The Janitor,” about the “Unseen, unsung heroes of college football,’’ the directors of football operations who have to clean up every mess in some messy programs. As well as do all the minutiae that make college programs go. It’s a very good read.
Hindsight being what it is, I went back and researched what may have happened had Spurrier taken the Alabama job. Saban obviously wanted out of Miami and the Dolphins organization.
There were 24 coaching changes in 2006-07. Some of the more notable moves were Saban to Alabama, Randy Shannon to Miami, Butch Davis to North Carolina. The year after we saw Rich Rodriguez take the Michigan job, Bobby Petrino at Arkansas, Bo Pelini to Nebraska, Mike Sherman to Texas A&M, and Rick Neuheisel to UCLA.
Amid all those changes, only Saban and Pelini are still in place at their prospective universities. We can’t predict where Saban where have landed had Spurrier taken the Bama job, but a few schools could have different outlooks had they hired Nick Saban.
BEST OF MAXIM
Kristen Saban, daughter of Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban, and arch-nemesis of Phi Mu sorority sister Sarah Grimes, was the subject of a very controversial sign on ESPN College Gameday this morning. How did this one get past the ESPN Gameday Sign police?
Is it over the line? Well you heard about the lawsuit against Kristen Saban, how she allegedly beat her sorority sis Grimes. I don’t...
Texas A&M got itself into a pretty big hole Saturday against Alabama, and nearly pulled out the win before falling to the Tide 49-42 in one wild and crazy game. Like most fans, I was going nuts watching this game and darn near felt like the up and down insanity was making me old before my time.
Apparently Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban felt the same and told Kevin...
South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier is one of the more vocal college football coaches in the country. He’s also one of the most honest.
When asked today on the SEC coaches’ teleconference what he thinks about the Tennessee vs. Florida game this upcoming weekend, Spurrier provided us with the quote of the week. Via Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post:
Steve Spurrier on UF’s 8...
Nick Saban isn't exactly lavishing praise on Alabama's performance in a memorable win over Texas A&M.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide showed ''competitive character,'' beat a good division rival and played ''halfway decent'' in the middle of the game between early and late lapses. Those are the positive reviews.
Two days after the 49-42 victory...
Nick Saban had close to a year to figure Johnny Manziel out, and he learned enough during that time to at least slow the Heisman winner down.
Manziel threw this pick six to Alabama defensive back Vinny Sunseri, and wiffed on the tackle. What exactly did Mack Brown see in him as safety?
From USA Today: “I want to apologize to everyone for my selfish actions on Saturday. That is not the way I want to represent myself, my family and our team. That is not the way we do things at Alabama. This is something that I will learn from, and I will use better judgment in the future,” Yeldon said in the release.”
Get ready for ‘Johnny Cam’, a CBS camera...
Colorado State coach Jim McElwain knows former boss Nick Saban well enough to expect Alabama to be highly motivated to improve on its disappointing defensive performance of last weekend.
Saban's former offensive coordinator brings the Rams to Tuscaloosa on Saturday night with the daunting task of facing the top-ranked Crimson Tide, who are eager to get back on track defensively...
Columbia, S.C. -- Winning this game was far less important than not losing it. South Carolina probably won't move in the polls after their 35-25 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night, nor are the Gamecocks any more likely to make it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. Their BCS standing shouldn't budge and very few commentators will change their opinions after this...
The much-hyped 'Game of the Year,' Marcus Mariota's Heisman-worthy day, time is ticking down on Mack Brown and more from Week 3 in college football.
ALL EYES ON COLLEGE STATION AND ALABAMA-TEXAS A&M
The world halted and clung to its axis for three-and-a-half hours Saturday. That's the easiest way to describe watching No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Texas A&M.
T.J. Yeldon making money gesture. Photo via Larry Brown Sports.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban wasn't at all too amused with the way Crimson Tide running back T.J. Yeldon celebrated a late-second period touchown against Texas A&M on Saturday. He was probably even less amused with the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Yeldon got for making it.
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide overcame an early 14-0 deficit, scoring 28 consecutive points to end the first half as they rolled their way to a 49-42 victory over No. 6 Texas A&M Saturday afternoon in front of the fourth-largest crowd Kyle Field has ever seen in their 87-year history.The GoodAlabama quarterback AJ McCarron passed for a career-high 334 yards as well as 4 TDs...
After a week three in college football where Nick Saban, Johnny Manziel, and the Alabama/Texas A&M game stole the show, our staff was scouting across the country, looking at the Sun Belt, ACC, C-USA, Pac-12, and more.
Here's our staff's scouting notes from Arkansas State/Troy, Florida State/Nevada, Marshall/Ohio, UCLA/Nebraska, and Arizona State/Wisconsin.
Now that we've all caught our breath from Saturday's shootout in College Station let's run through Week 3's Top 10 action.
1. ALABAMA (Beat Texas A&M 49-42): Nick Saban has built his entire career on one side of the ball and crafted his Crimson Tide team in his image, winning three of four national titles behind a game management offense and lights out defense...