Good morning. Wondering about the latest on Nick Saban? Well, there’s nothing but silence emanating from the coach, his agent, Alabama or Texas officials at the moment.
No surprise there. As we wrote yesterday, Saban and Jimmy Sexton know that you don’t sign a new contract extension until you’ve let your current employer sweat a little bit. Oh, it’s a jackass thing to do, sure, but it’s also how 99.9% of coaches operate. “Hey, I love it here.” “Great, sign the contract.” “I don’t want to start somewhere new.” “Great, sign the contract.” “Sorry, gotta get off the phone… I’m meeting a recruit right now.” “Great, sign…” “Talk soon.” Dial tone.
Reports yesterday suggested Saban didn’t actually have a contract on his desk. Instead he had an “offer of commitment” from UA officials (whatever that is) to make him the highest-paid football coach in the college game. Of course, he already is the highest-paid coach in the game so maybe that’s Alabama’s way of saying they’ll pay more than whatever Texas offers.
Asked about his coach’s contract situation yesterday, Alabama AD Bill Battle said that Saban and Bama are “focused on recruiting and playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.” Not a lot of info there.
So what about Bama quarterback AJ McCarron? “To me, he’s not leaving. That’s my personal opinion.” McCarron then made it clear that he couldn’t speak for Saban.
Meanwhile, others are wondering if it would be the right move for Saban to jump from Alabama to Texas. Still others are past that point, explaining why Saban should make the move.
Many seem to believe that if Saban leaves it will be because of two things. One, Crimson Tide fans have gotten spoiled. Not a stretch. The coach’s wife recently gave an interview stating that Bama fans aren’t as appreciative as they should be.
Two, Saban will never be as loved as Paul “Bear” Bryant. Well, this one’s just silly. Saban’s has already proven himself to be the best coach of this era. He’s done so at two schools in the SEC which is a lot tougher top-to-bottom today than it was during Bryant’s day. There are more teams to play. More in-league games. And a conference championship game to boot. If Saban’s worried about Bryant’s shadow at this point then he’s simply got an inferiority complex. And if he wants to be bigger than the Bear he should stick around and end his career in Tuscaloosa just as Bryant did. (Toying with Tide fans’ emotions by refusing to nix these Texas rumors certainly won’t help him gain on the previous Bama legend.)
UA officials have already built a statue of Saban. What more does he need to know that he’s loved? Should Tide fans be forced to turn to it and pray daily. (Some probably already do.)
Which brings us to UA’s big mistake in all of this — Never build a statue to the living. We’ve written this before. Anyone remember Joe Paterno’s statue — one finger pointing out from under a canvas — being hauled off by truck amid Penn State’s scandal?
Humans are, well, human. They let us down. They lie, cheat, and steal. They make dumb decisions. And, yes, they can leave you even after you’ve built a statue to them.
If Saban packs up and leaves town — we still don’t believe he will — just how stupid will that statue look? We realize that all championship-winning football coaches get a statue at UA, but imagine how much safer it would have been to put it up after Saban had departed for that great gridiron in the sky? Or at least after he had retired?
Now if the coach takes off, 24-hour security will have to be put around the Saban carving. Outraged Tide fans will topple it like Saddam Hussein’s statue in Iraq.
Hopefully it won’t come to that. Saban is good for Alabama and he’s great for the SEC. And, though no one seems to care about it, there’s still not officially an open job for Saban to jump to in Austin. Mack Brown may resign today at a bowl game presser, but that would be an odd spot for such an announcement. So while we all try to figure out if Saban will move to Texas or not… we might oughta slow down and see if/when Brown actually walks the plank.