Mario Cristobal is the new offensive line coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Yes, I know that was a pretty straight forward statement, but read it again and just let that sink in. The man who has been anointed (prematurely?) as the future of dominant college football coaches, is going to hone his craft just a little more under the tutelage of one Nicholas Lou Saban.
If there was any doubt about how Cristobal would fair as the leader of a BCS program, you should probably wipe that out of your mind right now.
The history books will state that before his time at Alabama, Cristobal served as the tight ends coach for the Miami Hurricanes. Well, he did, for about a month. Saban was able to lure away the former FIU Panthers head coach from his alma mater before even coaching a game in Coral Gables. But really, can anyone blame Mario for this move?
With this union, you’re pairing a head coach that has won 4 national championships in his career, including three of the last four, with someone that has been considered ready for the last few seasons to take over a BCS program. You’re also adding one of the hottest coaching prospects on the market to the reigning, defending national champions. Aside from every other team in the SEC, I’d say there’s a lot of people making out like bandits here.
That’s another win for Cristobal. Not only is he going to get to learn from the best in the business today, if not all-time, but he’s going to learn his lessons in the Southeastern Conference. Talk about being battle tested. Week in and week out, he’s going to learn to game plan against the best athletes in the country. That’s like having all of your college classes on Wall Street while you’re going to school to be a stock analyst.
All of this would not have been possible had it not been for one of the ultimate lapses in judgement by one small school AD. After a 3-9 season, FIU AD Pete Garcia decided that it wasn’t the direction he wanted to program to go in. Garcia was acting as if he was the AD of the school that currently employs Cristobal. Forgetting the fact that the former head coach put the program on the map with a conference title and two bowl appearances, Garcia decided that Mario Cristobal was expendable. The application to be the Florida International Athletic Director apparently doesn’t state anything about using rationalization, apparently.
But, such as with a lot of things in life, this whole deal is a chain reaction. All of the events led us to where we are now, with Mario Cristobal being the latest addition to Nick Saban’s staff. Where does this all go from here? Obviously, a dream scenario would eventually see Cristobal taking over an SEC school and having the mentor vs. protege showdown down the line. Or, even more desirable, he takes over a non-SEC school and becomes the one to end the SEC dominance. Either way, I’d like to personally thank Pete Garcia for giving us the opportunity to ask these questions in the first place.