Sport Will Nick Saban Ever Lose to One of His Former Assistants? | McMurphy’s Law
Nick Saban says his players listen to the media more than they listen to him
Few coaches in the history of sports have been more wary of the media than Nick Saban, but the Alabama coach thinks writers, reporters and analysts are better at one aspect of his job than he is — getting players to listen. © Jeff Blake-USA TODAY SportsIf Saban has an important message to deliver to his team, he apparently uses the media to deliver it. The five-time national champion said Thursday that his players listen to things that are said on TV or the radio more closely than if he says them.Nick Saban: "I use the media to say what I want to say to the team, because they listen to that more than they listen to me.
When Alabama visits Texas A&M Saturday, it will mark the 18th time Nick Saban has faced a former assistant. In this game, it’s Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher.
Saban has never lost to a former assistant coach, and like the previous 17 meetings, this is expected to be the same result: a dominating victory by Saban against a previous assistant.
This is Fisher’s third shot at Saban, and with a Texas A&M loss — Alabama is a 17-point favorite — Fisher will join three other former Saban assistants who’ve achieved the “hat trick” with an 0-3 mark against their old boss.
Here are the eight former Saban assistants and their records against their former head coach.
Most compelling matchups in college football Week 6
The top two teams in the nation, Alabama and Clemson, are on a bye in college football Week 6, but some other top teams have compelling games. This weekend’s slate of games features a trio of ranked-versus-ranked matchups.
0-3 Against Saban:
Derek Dooley (Tennessee)
Jim McElwain (Colorado State, Florida)
Will Muschamp (Florida, South Carolina)
0-2 Against Saban:
Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
Jimbo Fisher (Florida State, Texas A&M)
Kirby Smart (Georgia)
0-1 Against Saban:
Billy Napier (Louisiana)
Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee)
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Saban’s former assistants haven’t had much any success against him because most coaches have not. Entering Saturday, Saban has won 79 percent of his games as a college coach at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and Alabama with a record of 242-63-1.
Only 14 coaches have multiple victories against Saban, topped by Tommy Tuberville’s four wins in seven games. The former Auburn coach, who also coached at Ole Miss, Cincinnati and Texas Tech, was 3-2 against Saban during his LSU tenure and 1-1 vs. Saban’s Crimson Tide.
Most compelling matchups for college football Week 7
Four big-time games crown this weekend’s action as ranked-versus-ranked programs clash, including what should be an incredible Red River Showdown in Dallas. These are the games we cannot wait to see in college football Week 7.No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 TexasThis game is absolutely huge. In addition to the simple fact that both of these teams still believe they have a shot to make it into the playoff, this is one of the biggest rivalries in college football and makes for one of the season’s best games on an annual basis.
“It’s real complicated how to beat Nick Saban,” revealed Tuberville. “You have to have better players.”
Tuberville, who is currently running in the 2020 Republican primary for the United States Senate in Alabama, had nothing but praise for Saban’s legendary work ethic.
“I’ve never seen anyone in my life that is as focused as Nick,” said Tuberville. “It’s hard to keep that up. In my lifetime of 40 years of coaching, I have never seen anyone as focused and detailed as him.
“You would think because he’s been in it for a long time that at some point he’d lose a little of his drive, but that has not happened.”
Tuberville tops the list of the 14 coaches who have multiple victories against Saban. They are:
4 Wins Against Saban:
3 Wins Against Saban:
Lloyd Carr, Les Miles, Joe Paterno, Steve Spurrier & Joe Tiller
2 Wins Against Saban
Barry Alvarez, Hugh Freeze, Hayden Fry, Gus Malzahn, Urban Meyer, Houston Nutt, Tom Osborne & Mark Richt
Report: Jones ‘very intrigued’ by Lincoln Riley as potential coach
Jerry Jones said a lot can change over the course of a few months. If the Dallas Cowboys do decide to move on from Garrett following the season, they may already have their top replacement in mind. © Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports It is no secret that NFL teams would have interest Lincoln Riley if the Oklahoma head coach decided he wanted to coach at the pro level, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Jones is “very intrigued” by the idea of hiring Riley if the Cowboys do not extend Garrett contract.
During Saban’s entire 24-year college head coaching career, he’s only lost to 41 coaches.
Of those 41, nine are currently active — and that number was seven just a year ago until Les Miles and Mack Brown returned to the sidelines this season.
The nine active coaches with their number of victories against Saban: Les Miles (3), Hugh Freeze (2), Gus Malzahn (2), Dabo Swinney (2), Mack Brown (1), David Cutcliffe (1), Kirk Ferentz (1), Kevin Sumlin (1) and Kyle Whittingham (1).
If Swinney, who is 2-2 vs. Saban (including 2-1 in national title games), and his Tigers were to play and beat Alabama this postseason, he would become only the ninth coach to defeat a Saban-led team in consecutive seasons.
The eight coaches to beat Saban in consecutive seasons:
Against Saban at Michigan State:
Tom Osborne (Nebraska): 1995-96
Hayden Fry (Iowa): 1995-96
Joe Paterno (Penn State): 1995-96
Lloyd Carr (Michigan): 1996, ’97, ’98
Joe Tiller (Purdue): 1997, ’98, ’99
Against Saban at LSU:
Steve Spurrier (Florida): 2000-01
Against Saban at Alabama:
Les Miles (LSU): 2010-11
Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss): 2014-15
While it might take awhile for anyone to match Tuberville’s four victories against Saban, Tuberville believes that Saban deserves the credit for Alabama’s incredible consistency.
Most compelling matchups in college football Week 8
A few ranked teams face crucial road tests in Week 8, which also features three ranked-versus-ranked matchups. In particular, seven big games have caught our eye as particularly compelling. No. 3 Clemson vs. LouisvilleThe Tigers roared at home in Week 7 as they pummeled poor Florida State into submission. In all likelihood, Clemson will probably romp again this Saturday on the road against Louisville.However, the reason this game is one we’re going to be keeping tabs on is that the Cardinals have suddenly become dangerous on offense. Since their bye week after losing to FSU, the Cardinals have piled up 103 points.
“When I was at Auburn (from 1999-2008), Alabama went through five coaches,” Tuberville said. “It’s different with Nick there. What I’m most amazed about Nick’s success is when you continually lose (assistant) coaches to other jobs, it’s normally going to hurt your recruiting. Those are your top salesmen.
“Take any business and lose half of your top salesmen every year and that’s going to catch up to you. But not Nick. He keeps replacing them and just keeps winning. That’s a credit to him.”
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Report: Florida State considering firing Willie Taggart, pursuing Urban Meyer .
Willie Taggart should definitely look over his shoulder, should this report be true.
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