Sweet home Alabama / Where the skies are so blue / Sweet home Alabama / Where the national championship trophy is coming home / to you…
BY JOHN McALEAVEY | Following Monday night’s tremendous College Football National Championship Game between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, you knew I was going to work Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic, Sweet Home Alabama, into the mix. However, I did take a little creative license with the lyrics. This Alabama/Clemson match-up lived up to its expectations, unlike many of the other anticipated big bowl games. The teams combined to put up 85 points (Bama 45-40), and each squad’s stars shined brightly (Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson, etc.). Yet, when the dust cleared, and the confetti finally stopped falling, there was Nick Saban on the podium hoisting another national championship trophy over his head.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word Dynasty, this way: a family, team, etc. that is very powerful or successful for a long period of time. In college football, does that sound like anyone you know? With Monday’s victory in Glendale, Arizona, the University of Alabama has now won four national championships in the last seven years. How appropriate was it that the biggest plays in this game were made by their special teams (on-side kick recovery and Kenyan Drake’s 95 yard kickoff return TD), because since taking charge in Tuscaloosa in 2007, Saban has had nothing but special teams. The school’s famous chant is – Roll Tide, and that they certainly do. In fact, this latest victory was Saban’s 100th at the university against just 18 defeats. That sounds dynastic to me. Saban coached teams have now won 5 national titles (2003 LSU), leaving him just one behind the immortal Paul “Bear” Bryant. Any discussion of the greatest college football coaches ever must include Saban near the top. At just 64 years-old, and with yet another top 10 recruiting class on the way, his reign is far from over.
The only level where Nick Saban was not incredibly successful, was the NFL. His two year stint in Miami was not an abysmal failure (15-17), just not Sabanesque. Year two with the Dolphins ended with a 6-10 record, his only losing season in 22 years as a head coach. Of course, as he continues piling up the NCAA wins, NFL teams with coaching vacancies take notice. However, he has a great thing going on at Bama, and I don’t see him getting back into the Sunday football business. Besides, Nick has a knack for winning national championships.
And that is My 2 sense for this week. As always, thanks for reading.