Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Nick Saban is at it again. He jumped ship for the money, this time leaving the Miami Dolphins for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.

Saban was the best football coach at Michigan State since Duffy Daugherty. Disregard Duffy's record and maybe Saban was the best Spartan coach ever. Daugherty never had to cope with a four years of NCAA sanctions as Saban did from 1995 to '98. His Spartan teams went 35-28-1 during his tenure. MSU was positioned for a return to football prominence when Louisiana State University offered him an alluring $1.5 million a year, doubling his MSU contract.

LSU always managed to recruit talent, but never parlayed it into national prominence until Saban's arrival. Between 2000 and 2004, Saban led the Tigers on a 48-16 tear, winning the 2004 Sugar Bowl and BCS (Bogus Championship Series).

Saban joined the Miami Dolphins for the 2005 season. He shocked the football world by luring controversial running back Ricky Williams out of his self-imposed exile from football. Williams was facing league sanctions for substance abuse violations. The Dolphins rushed to a 9-7 in Saban's first season, but relapsed to 6-10 this season.

Alabama offered Saban a rich $32 million eight year contract that you just knew he was going to take. That's the thing with Nick, the first time he's offered a $60 million deal, he's outta there.

Ironically, Saban is replacing Mike Shula, son of Dolphin icon Don Shula. The younger Shula is proof that there is no coaching gene. His record at Alabama is 26-23, although that does include 10-2 run and a Cotton Bowl win in 2005. But 'Bama lost four straight games to in-State rival Auburn; a very good Auburn that included Jason Campbell, Carlos Rogers, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. Shula was fired on Thanksgiving weekend 2006. His brother, David, coached the Cincinnati Bengals to a 19-52 record between 1992 and '96.

Somehow, I doubt either of the Shula brothers will be considered for the Dolphins vacancy in spite of the Shula connection. Now, the Redskins have a couple of deputy coaches . . . .

I am impressed that the Wikipedia entries for both Saban and Shula have already been updated with today's coaching changes.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bloggers not familiar with the SEC always make the mistake of not providing the uphill battle Shula faced at Bama.

The Tide JUST THIS MONTH will finally clear the NCAA sanctions imposed from the DuBose era.

Adding to this, "Coach Fran" (now with Texas A&M) caused untold recruiting difficulties at Bama with his unfulfilled promises to the Bama players (Hold the ROPE?) and his quick exit.

Then pile on the mess that was the five months of the Mike Price porno tour and I am surprised Shula had ANY success at Bama. Remember, Shula could not even recruit for his first team. He took over mere days before the first game.

Not only was he not getting the best athletes in the area, he was ham strung in state with a top level program in Auburn that went 13-0.

Shula was given almost ZERO chance to succeed. Where is your comments on Mal Moore throwing a Bama family member under the bus?

Before you go saying I'm a Tide fanatic, I follow LSU and Texas.