Is there really a “Saban Effect” in College Coaching?


We all know the success Nick Saban has had at Alabama since 2007 compiling a record of 97-18. He’s single handedly turned Alabama into the most loved football program and the most hated. Every successful Head Coach will be compared to him whether they like it or not. Urban Meyer is the only exception. Does the success of Nick Saban & Alabama put added pressure on other high profiled football programs to succeed or is it the social media “we need it yesterday” world we live in today? I believe it’s a little of both. Just ask LSU & Georgia.

The LSU situation with Les Miles was the strangest thing I’ve seen. You have a proven successful head coach (111-32 record, 2 SEC Championships & 1 BCS National Championship) who three weeks ago had the #2 team in the country with the Heismen Trophy front runner running back Leonard Fournette. They lose the next 3 games and all of a sudden he can no longer coach. Now, I get what the LSU fan base is upset about. Changes do need to be made especially on the offensive side of the ball and he’s going to be compared to Nick Saban more than anyone given Saban’s past with LSU. What’s disappointing is how the LSU administration handled this. Nothing was said about Les until after the win at Texas A&M. Then all of a sudden “he’s our coach!” Really?? What happened is they put feelers out to someone else and couldn’t get him…Jimbo Fisher. Until he starts beating Alabama & Saban, this is just a reprieve.

The parting of the ways with Mark Richt and Georgia was a surprise for me. I thought his win over Ga Tech yesterday saved his job with a 9-3 record. The UGA fanbase is one I know very well being that I live in Georgia and grew up with it. My wife is a huge fan and I was a Herschel Walker fan first before being a College Football Fan. There’s never been a question about Georgia’s talent. The state by its self can produce enough Blue Chip players for them to compete for the SEC EAST every year. The problem is Bulldogs have seen 4 other SEC teams win National Championships since 2007 (Florida, LSU, Alabama & Auburn). It’s a tough pill to swallow. Richt lost to a horrible Florida team last year 38-20 and this year Jim McElwain beat Georgia on his first try. I can think of ten other examples on why the move was made to let Richt go but there’s no reason to. The question is can UGA do better? Richt was 145-51. Only time will tell.

Both LSU & Georgia are examples of what today’s college football is. You better win now or we’ll go with someone else. There are 15 FBS coaching jobs opened at the time I’m writing this. The success of Nick Saban in the SEC combined with social media has helped retire the days of “let’s give him time to turn it around.” There’s too much money and pride to wait anymore.





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