Found January 03, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Mississippi-state-bulldogs
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 be the guy to try to make him smile.'' He said that as if it would be like poking a bear. Or making smalltalk with a Saban. But the smile is possible, and Lacy has seen it? What makes it happen? "I have no idea,'' Lacy said. "It's random.'' The thing is, this is Nick Saban happy, certainly happier than when he was the coach of the Dolphins, losing and making his own players cry. It's just not easy to tell. Meanwhile, Alabama and Notre Dame have arrived in Florida for Monday night's BCS Championship Game, and the Saban speculation is already building. Will he leave Alabama for the NFL? I believe that Saban should stay. I also believe that he'll go. There is no way his massive ego will allow him to retire with his failure in Miami unresolved, unfixed. It's just his personality, best as we can read it. Saban said recently that at his age, 61, he doesn't have many moves left in him. That was taken to mean that he is inclined to stay at Alabama. I took it to mean just the opposite, that a guy who has moved around, searching for new challenges and championships, is getting bored and antsy again. And he's running out of time to make his move to fix that one blot on his greatness. If he fails in the NFL again, he'll still have time for one more college job. And don't underestimate the driving force that money has been in his career. Coaches have been fired in bunches in the NFL, and Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have shown general managers that college coaches can make it in the pros. And Saban is the best college coach in the country. So it's hard to believe that he won't have another big-dollar opportunity soon, as in next week. He hasn't spoken to the media yet in Florida, and isn't scheduled to until Saturday. But we won't get any hints from him anyway. He once coolly said, "I am not going to be the coach at Alabama.'' And then, just like that, he was the coach at Alabama. So he made the jump once before, from his national championship LSU team to the Dolphins. And then, miserable with the NFL experience, he jumped back, to Alabama. For $32 million. That's not to say he would fail if he jumps back again. The Dolphins were a messed up franchise, and I think Saban can probably do well in the NFL. It's just not worth it to go that misery when Saban has such a good thing where he is. Ego leads these coaches to think they can't fail in the NFL. If Saban's career ends with massive success at Alabama, he might see that as just half a success. His personality isn't just a funny story about gruffness. It's part of what has worked for him, built him into the coach he is. You'd think that it's working so well at Alabama that he'd be satisfied now. He'd be home. His history says otherwise. It's hard for some people to stand in one place for long stretches. At some point, the move from college to the NFL is not going to be a given anymore. College football is booming, and is America's No. 2 sport, albeit behind the NFL. Still, Chip Kelly, Oregon's coach, already had three NFL interviews lined up - with Philadelphia, Cleveland and Buffalo - before his college team had even played in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night. Why? He is coaching at, roughly, Nike University, and must have incredible access to, well, pretty much anything. And when seven NFL coaches were fired by lunchtime on one day, Black Monday, that has to say something. The question is whether the NFL is still the pinnacle for a coach. Do you have to reach the Super Bowl to be a successful coach? At Alabama, Saban has the BCS exposure, a title tournament coming, and all his regular season games on national. Saban can win his third national championship in four years, not to mention the one he got at LSU. He has built a dynasty, which should be impossible in this day and age. He is even closing in on the impossible: Being mentioned in the same breath as Bear Bryant. If Saban were to stick around for 10 more years, it's completely possible that he could go down as the greatest college coach in history. Will people say, "Yeah, but look what happened in Miami?'' No. No one questions Bobby Knight's legacy because it didn't include the NBA. No one questions Mike Krzyzewski for not going to the Lakers. Of course, Coach K had an Olympics for his legacy. And that was helped by the patriotic element of coaching American NBA stars to a gold medal again. And if Carroll wins the Super Bowl this year, think of how he will go down in history with his success at USC and Seattle. But I'm not so sure Saban is that worked up about his legacy yet. At this point, it just has to gnaw at him that his coaching magic didn't work somewhere. On Thursday, I asked a few media types who have known Saban for years if they have noticed a change. They said they had. Now, for example, when someone asks a really stupid question, he no longer jumps all over that person. Manners come in degrees, apparently. But why not just stay where you are happy and can smile randomly every once in a while? Several recruiting services already are ranking his next class No. 1 in the nation. Saban brings players in with the promise that he can get them to the NFL. It's hard to see what is better about going 7-9 in Buffalo than contending for the national championship nearly every year at Alabama. But we'll never get inside the head of someone who only smiles randomly.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Saban, Kelly lead Bama and ND out of darkness

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. Then...

Mixed fortunes for SEC in bowl season

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...

Report: Two 'Bama players sent home

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...

Saban: 'I want to be a college coach'

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 reportedly telling NFL teams he’s staying at Alabama

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. It’s possible...

BCS National Championship Game Preview: Which coach has biggest effect on the game?

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...

Alabama's Saban, ex-Dolphins coach, back in Miami

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...

Report: Nick Saban Not Interested In Leaving Alabama

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...

The Blitz: Saban now the Bear apparant?

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...

Brian Kelly not leaving Notre Dame

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...

Two Alabama players sent home from BCS title game

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!

Notre Dame, Alabama not exactly Miami favorites

(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...

Bama, ND defensive chiefs hot coaching commodities

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...
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.