Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of Saban and Bama?

IVCguy

Well-known member
Have we seen the peak of Saban's amazing program?

Is this season a temporary setback or the beginning of a decline?

Will Saban win another national championship at Alabama?

What goes up must come down, so how will it end when it ends?
 

cjb5656

Well-known member
Yes.

Beginning of the end.

No more natty.

He’ll step down after next season after a solid 10 win season.
 

cjb5656

Well-known member
The biggest question will be who replaces Saban. Will Dabo come home? Does he want to? Is he welcomed? Smart isn’t leaving. Jimbo probably wants to leave. Sark would be a fool to leave Austin for a dump like Tuscaloosa. Kiffin would beg for it. Urban will say no thanks.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
They have been or are in the process of getting passed by by Georgia, but the sky isn't falling.

How much longer does he want to coach? Part of it is a need in regards to recruiting, but he recently signed an extension through 2029. He's 71 years old.

They still easily have a top 3-4 roster. I think he needs to replace one if not both coordinators. They've been raided and have had to replace coordinators and assistants so frequently there eventually was going to be a drop-off with possibly some weak links in that facet of his program.
 

cjb5656

Well-known member
They have been or are in the process of getting passed by by Georgia, but the sky isn't falling.

How much longer does he want to coach? Part of it is a need in regards to recruiting, but he recently signed an extension through 2029. He's 71 years old.

They still easily have a top 3-4 roster. I think he needs to replace one if not both coordinators. They've been raided and have had to replace coordinators and assistants so frequently there eventually was going to be a drop-off with possibly some weak links in that facet of his program.
The sky is definitely not falling. I just feel like one more season of not winning the SEC is going to cause Saban to lose interest and step aside.
 

IVCguy

Well-known member
He is the GOAT, no doubt. It's not really arguable.

Age is undefeated all time. You start noticing a decrease in energy and strength somewhere in your mid to late 40s and it worsens from there. You can compensate by being smarter and wiser with organization and who you surround yourself with. Eventually, you can't fully compensate and, ultimately, not at all.

Another factor with Bama's possible decline is the natural push toward complacency that success causes. Perhaps a primary reason for Saban's sustained success is his ability to prevent that from settling into his program. But it might be hard for players to not think that they will win because they are Alabama and Saban is there - at the expense of commitment, preparation, hard work, execution, etc.

The talent is there. They have recruited better than anyone over the last 15 years and are still full of blue chippers. But there are misses. If you have several misses in one position group, it can really hurt you. I suspect there have been some significant misses in several of their groups, particularly OL, RB, WR, and perhaps DL. Their best RB is a transfer and so is their best LB.

The last factor I see is staff turnover. Even 5 stars have to be developed to be able to play FBS football. As a general rule, staff continuity leads to more sound programs. Another amazing thing is that Saban loses his OCs and DCs and tons of position coaches every few years - and yet they just steamed toward another championship (or strongly contended) virtually every year - almost as if the staff didn't matter. That's not normal. Perhaps the revolving door in Tuscaloosa has finally caught up with Saban.
 

IVCguy

Well-known member
The riches continue:


Ohio St is one of the haves when it comes to talent, but as a CFB fan also, I think the coming 12 team playoff will be good for the sport and help spread the wealth more. Those high 4 and 5 star kids want to play for a national championship and expanding the field should give those kids more options to choose other than those half dozen or so schools they concentrate at now.
 

tom 48

Well-known member
Ohio St is one of the haves when it comes to talent, but as a CFB fan also, I think the coming 12 team playoff will be good for the sport and help spread the wealth more. Those high 4 and 5 star kids want to play for a national championship and expanding the field should give those kids more options to choose other than those half dozen or so schools they concentrate at now.
Hope you are correct.
 

AEW Champion

Well-known member
Have we seen the peak of Saban's amazing program?

Is this season a temporary setback or the beginning of a decline?

Will Saban win another national championship at Alabama?

What goes up must come down, so how will it end when it ends?
Yes, we’ve seen the peak. Honestly, the true peak to me was 2008 to 2013, when they played otherworldly defense and were more of a dominant, run-based offense. But you could easily argue the peak extended all the way through 2017, even after Kirby Smart left but Jeremy Pruitt was there running the defense. Lane Kiffin as OC starting in 2014 changed the feel of the program to being a more explosive passing offense, with a minimized focus on dominant defense.

The defensive points per game allowed have been up (by Saban standards) ever since 2018; those averages are more than a TD larger than the true peak of the program in 2011-13.

To me, they’ve been declining since 2018, but it’s really become noticeable the past two seasons. Last year was the first time in awhile when they only had one really good WR, and he was a transfer (Jameson Williams). The team’s fortunes changed when he got hurt. They still lack a star WR this year, although Isaiah Bond might be the star by next year. In recent years, I’m no longer confident that Bama can stifle good offenses.

They can get back to the top quickly, but it probably requires replacing Pete Golding (and probably Bill O’Brien) with better coordinators.

I think Saban probably has one more national title in him, if Golding is replaced and everything comes together.

It’ll end in a few years, probably after a “disappointing” two-loss or three-loss season, and it’ll probably be a quiet retirement, with Saban not one to ever want a bunch of fanfare.

Who knows who the next coach will be? Lane Kiffin seems like a top candidate, but it all depends how far down the road that is.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
 

IVCguy

Well-known member
I hope he doesn't pull a Joe Pa. That was sad on so many levels. He stayed way, way too long - at least a decade. He said he took a lesson from Bear Bryant who retired and died shortly after - the implication being that a coach needs the job to keep living. Once Joe was fired, he didn't last long.

But the Penn St program became a shell of what it had been and a sex abuse scandal was beyond his abilities to deal with. Paterno went from a coaching legend with the reputation of a principled man who made a positive impact on many people to a coach the fans wanted gone and whom others considered an enabler of a child sex abuser and someone who cared more about his football program than boys being raped. It's just incredibly sad.

Will Saban be like Paterno or more like, say, Bob Stoops, who got out while the gettin was good?
 

fleadog101

Active member
I hope he doesn't pull a Joe Pa. That was sad on so many levels. He stayed way, way too long - at least a decade. He said he took a lesson from Bear Bryant who retired and died shortly after - the implication being that a coach needs the job to keep living. Once Joe was fired, he didn't last long.

But the Penn St program became a shell of what it had been and a sex abuse scandal was beyond his abilities to deal with. Paterno went from a coaching legend with the reputation of a principled man who made a positive impact on many people to a coach the fans wanted gone and whom others considered an enabler of a child sex abuser and someone who cared more about his football program than boys being raped. It's just incredibly sad.

Will Saban be like Paterno or more like, say, Bob Stoops, who got out while the gettin was good?
I say he stays till his combat boots fall off or are worn out
 

14Red

Well-known member
Absolutely not. This team wasn't regarded as a great Bama team, other than Bryce Young coming back. They've lost two games by 4 points, on the road with 100K plus fans in the stands. They will regroup and be right back in there next season.

Now, the other program to look at is Clemson. I think Dabo Swinny has done a fantastic job there. He does not get the numbers of 5 / 4 stars that the other top programs. Clemson had a great run with two elite QBs in Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. I think Clemson probably played above their program level for a while. I can see them dropping off some, and that's no shade to them, it's just the reality of the talent you can bring in .
 

Auggie

Well-known member
Absolutely not. This team wasn't regarded as a great Bama team, other than Bryce Young coming back. They've lost two games by 4 points, on the road with 100K plus fans in the stands. They will regroup and be right back in there next season.

Now, the other program to look at is Clemson. I
think Dabo Swinny has done a fantastic job there. He does not get the numbers of 5 / 4 stars that the other top programs. Clemson had a great run with two elite QBs in Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. I think Clemson probably played above their program level for a while. I can see them dropping off some, and that's no shade to them, it's just the reality of the talent you can bring in .
If Saban stays they regroup but then again once he leaves Tuscaloosa isn't the most dynamic place and there has been dry runs at 'Bama when the coach didn't fit; the right coach is needed to keep that train on it's track. Especially if Auburn where to ever get their sheet together.

Clemson benefitted from the historically solid Florida St.& Miami being at all time lows during their 2010s run. Ohio State also had the same kind of luck as Michigan floundered to find the right coach and Penn State was basically dealt a death penalty due to the Sandusky situation.
 

14Red

Well-known member
If Saban stays they regroup but then again once he leaves Tuscaloosa isn't the most dynamic place and there has been dry runs at 'Bama when the coach didn't fit; the right coach is needed to keep that train on it's track. Especially if Auburn where to ever get their sheet together.

Clemson benefitted from the historically solid Florida St.& Miami being at all time lows during their 2010s run. Ohio State also had the same kind of luck as Michigan floundered to find the right coach and Penn State was basically dealt a death penalty due to the Sandusky situation.
I do feel Dabo has the ability and has had the ability to coach guys up better than most. What's easier, winning with 5 star guys or 3 star guys? I mean we should know who the top teams are year by year just looking at the recruiting classes. Who's at the top of recruiting annually, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State...Clemson usually isn't up that high. From this standpoint I'd say Dabo may be a better coach than Saban, Day and Smart.
 

14Red

Well-known member
That's a great point on Saban, it was pretty dry from Bear Bryant to Saban. Saban has to retire someday and there is going to be a drop off. Looks like Kirby Smart and Georgia's ready to take the mantle. Heuple at Tennessee may be good for awhile too. That's the thing about the SEC, at least it gets spread around. In the big ten, it's been Ohio State and Michigan for 50 years.
If Saban stays they regroup but then again once he leaves Tuscaloosa isn't the most dynamic place and there has been dry runs at 'Bama when the coach didn't fit; the right coach is needed to keep that train on it's track. Especially if Auburn where to ever get their sheet together.

Clemson benefitted from the historically solid Florida St.& Miami being at all time lows during their 2010s run. Ohio State also had the same kind of luck as Michigan floundered to find the right coach and Penn State was basically dealt a death penalty due to the Sandusky situation.
 

nutsnbolts

Well-known member
Yes, we’ve seen the peak. Honestly, the true peak to me was 2008 to 2013, when they played otherworldly defense and were more of a dominant, run-based offense. But you could easily argue the peak extended all the way through 2017, even after Kirby Smart left but Jeremy Pruitt was there running the defense. Lane Kiffin as OC starting in 2014 changed the feel of the program to being a more explosive passing offense, with a minimized focus on dominant defense.

The defensive points per game allowed have been up (by Saban standards) ever since 2018; those averages are more than a TD larger than the true peak of the program in 2011-13.

To me, they’ve been declining since 2018, but it’s really become noticeable the past two seasons. Last year was the first time in awhile when they only had one really good WR, and he was a transfer (Jameson Williams). The team’s fortunes changed when he got hurt. They still lack a star WR this year, although Isaiah Bond might be the star by next year. In recent years, I’m no longer confident that Bama can stifle good offenses.

They can get back to the top quickly, but it probably requires replacing Pete Golding (and probably Bill O’Brien) with better coordinators.

I think Saban probably has one more national title in him, if Golding is replaced and everything comes together.

It’ll end in a few years, probably after a “disappointing” two-loss or three-loss season, and it’ll probably be a quiet retirement, with Saban not one to ever want a bunch of fanfare.

Who knows who the next coach will be? Lane Kiffin seems like a top candidate, but it all depends how far down the road that is.

It’s true, it’s true. Trust me …
The 2010, 2012, and 2013 NCs for Bama are indeed remarkable.
During the entire BCS era Bama was 3-3.
During the BCS era Ohio State was 6-4. But they couldn’t finish in the 2 NCs they played in.

How many of Saban’s assistants have gone to other schools, and most with very good success (unless playing against Bama)?
Saban did well at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, and Bama. At a fairly distant second to that is Urban Meyer.
Saban and Bama are not done.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member
They have been or are in the process of getting passed by by Georgia, but the sky isn't falling.

How much longer does he want to coach? Part of it is a need in regards to recruiting, but he recently signed an extension through 2029. He's 71 years old.

They still easily have a top 3-4 roster. I think he needs to replace one if not both coordinators. They've been raided and have had to replace coordinators and assistants so frequently there eventually was going to be a drop-off with possibly some weak links in that facet of his program.
^ This.

They had a similar season two years ago.

This season they lost two games on the road in very hostile environments to two very good teams by razor thin margins.

Bama will continue to be good as long as Saban is HC and the cupboard is stocked (which it is).
 
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