In 2007 despite weeks of angry denials Miami Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban bailed on a short NFL career. He jumped ship to the University of Alabama and embarked on a rebuilding of the train wreck that was Alabama. A wise man once said “you are where you are – until you aren’t”. This could be true with every other major college coach in the country. Digging into the Miami to Alabama move years ago it became apparent that this had been in the works for some time prior to it becoming public knowledge.
Alabama has become the preeminent college football program in the country. The recruiting detail and dominance has been the cornerstone for Saban in turning around the dumpster fire of a program he inherited.
Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and California have high school recruiting bases that annually produce large numbers of nationally elite players. Saban’s ability to monopolize the talent in Alabama and draw on his relationships in other areas such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, etc. has allowed the Tide to have elite classes of athletes every year. Only LSU under Les Miles has approached anything close to what Alabama has in terms of dominating the elite players in their state. The biggest piece of the recruiting pie is Texas.
In between BCS appearances Texas has been mired in a befuddling mediocrity. The Horns’ underachieving prowess combined with the absolute brilliantly timed SEC move by Texas A&M and the perfect storm of Johnny Manziel hype has ignited a raging fire in Longhorn nation.
Saban could immediately capitalize on the pristine recruiting base in Texas. Instantly Bevo would rise to the top of every recruit’s list in the state and across the region. Remember with the mediocrity the Longhorns have shown the recruiting door in the state has been wide open. When Saban rolls into Austin that changes overnight.
Texas generates more revenue than any athletic program in the country. The Austin faithful have had a cataclysmic couple years with their football shortcomings. The combined high profile success of their former-rivals has put Bevo on suicide watch. The Longhorn Network gives recruiting opportunities that no other school is privy to, and Saban, legendary for his recruiting efforts,would have an incredible advantage. Certainly Alabama will make a financial commitment to keep Saban. Similar to the World Series of Poker you can keep betting as long as you have the cash, but at some point there is always someone with deeper pockets who simply wins out. That guy is wearing a 10 gallon hat and speaks with a serious Texas drawl.
The 2015 BCS will have a four-team playoff. The ability for Texas with Saban to own the Big 12 yearly and snag one of the spots in the playoff system is incredibly high given the overall strength of the Big 12. Is it unimaginable to think the best funded,biggest money generating school in the country would employ the highest profile coach in America? Remember most coaches are transient by nature these days. Saban will continue commanding the Tide into likely BCS gold once again. When that ship docks look for the skipper to jump off and take command of the USS Longhorn. Does anyone doubt discussions well out of the realm of public ears are well underway just as they were when Alabama wooed him from the Dolphins?
In January look for the post office to start forwarding the Saban’s mail deep in the Heart of Texas. Saban is the football version of Rick Pitino. He is a builder and has never been much of a maintainer. What could motivate the 62 year old Saban to tap into his gypsy soul one last time? Perhaps to do something no one else ever has. The chance to
turn three formerly great programs around and win National Titles at each with the crown jewel being the restoration of a Texas program currently in free fall. After playing second fiddle in the state the last years Bevo will be primed for a swift resurgence and immediate climb to the top of the mountain with Saban at the helm. The only unknown left is what legacy does Nick Saban desire for his career? We shall soon see.
Coach Terry Waldrop, a longtime collegiate basketball coach/athletic director has always had a passion for writing and shares his thoughts on numerous sports related topics. Follow on Twitter @terrywaldrop & Facebook and Google