I was asked to post this article as a stand alone article since it was buried in a previous post….
We here at the Lighthouse would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention the firing of Les Miles in this space. I’ve read quite a few articles about the landscape of the SEC and, not surprisingly, the landscape looks a lot like Georgia after Sherman’s march to the sea. Nick Saban’s success at Alabama has resulted in a scorched SEC earth and the Lighthouse wants to shine a bright light on this subject.
For instance, did you know that 33 SEC coaches have come and gone since Saban was hired in 2007? That’s a staggering statistic!
When Saban first entered the league, there were five SEC coaches who had won national championships: Philip Fulmer, Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Les Miles and Saban.
Today, there is one single solitary coach in the SEC who has won a national championship. That, of course, is Nick Saban.
The reason Nick Saban has been successful and has remained successful since he first won a national title at LSU is his ability to adapt and react to the changing times in college football. Instead of sticking to his old school power football ways, Saban has encouraged his offensive coordinators to implement any scheme that could help him win football games.
Remember Mark Ingram running the wildcat? Saban was a fast adopter of what became a widespread use of the Wildcat. Saban’s offense also implemented the Pistol at a time when it was the en vogue offense and he still uses it to this day.
And while Saban has admittedly been kicking and screaming against the hurry up, no huddle offenses and the run/pass option plays that have caused him to lose sleep at night as a defensive coordinator, he’s recognized their usefulness on offense. Ever since Blake Sims was at the helm, Alabama has used some semblance of the “hurry up, no huddle” offense, run/pass option plays, zone reads and he’s even designed running plays for his mobile QBs.
Alabama currently has the top scoring offense in the SEC. Who would have ever guessed that in 2009? From 2008-2011, Saban’s teams were 1-4 against teams scoring 28 points or more. Since then, he’s been a respectable 5-5. Conversely, Les Miles was 4-5 against teams scoring 28 points or more but, since 2012, he’s just 2-8. And he’s unemployed.
Saban changed with the times. Miles did not, thus confirming what Les was accused of when he first took the LSU job – he’s much less of coach than Saban. Today, three yards and a cloud of dust will get your fired. Thankfully, Saban saw this coming several years ago and he began adjusting the way he recruits and the way he calls plays.
Now Alabama is the top offense in the SEC and Saban reigns supreme atop a league that is now bereft of successful and seasoned head coaches.
In Saban we trust. Why wouldn’t you?