Nick Saban: Bully or Genius?


Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban drew the ire of the national media today with columnists far and wide attacking Saban for his short six-minute press conference on Wednesday.

At the press conference, Saban went off on the media who were present about how much they have pampered the Crimson Tide after just one game, and how they were disrespecting Western Kentucky.

Saban was clearly irritated prior to the press conference after Alabama had a lackluster practice. The four-letter words were flying from the head coach according to those who attended the practice.

He took that irritation to the podium with him and lashed out. The national media will tell you that Saban was blaming them for Alabama’s bad practice and the complacency the team has shown since their win over Michigan. Of course, that isn’t true as Saban was just pointing out that the team is possibly reading too much into their own hype.

But you can watch the video for yourself and make your own judgements. But guys that deal with Saban all the time will tell you that this “eruption” was quite mild in Saban terms. Of course, the media members up in arms over what Saban said are the ones who didn’t actually attend the press conference and aren’t there on a regular basis.

This wasn’t some random blowup by Saban based off of something that happened based on a question someone asked him. This was premeditated. It was a message to his team, not a message to the media.

Some will say that Saban should deliver that message directly to the team instead of indirectly through the media. Rest assured he did deliver that message to the team throughout practice on Wednesday.

Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart knows what Nick Saban was doing. This is what he said today: “Coach Saban wasn’t talking to the media, he was talking to his team.”

Some will call Nick Saban a bully. They will say he is picking on a local media contingent that can’t fight back. But I call Nick Saban a genius. This is a guy who always knows what he is doing, and although his methods may be different from other coaches, it is tough to argue with the results since Alabama has won 49 of their last 55 games.

See, Saban’s rant has taken the attention off of how Alabama is going to wallop Western Kentucky. It has taken attention off of how the Crimson Tide is going to destroy everything in its path on the way to a second consecutive BCS National Championship. Alabama being the No. 1 team in the nation doesn’t have everyone’s attention today.

Nick Saban does. The focus is on his media blow up yesterday, and at least for a day Alabama players won’t be reading about their own greatness.

I’d bet the house that the Crimson Tide has a much better practice today.

Saban sent a message to his team directly and indirectly that their complacency will not be tolerated this year. This isn’t going to be another 2010 where the Tide had astronomical expectations only to lose three games in the regular season.

So let Gregg Doyel write a scathing column about how big a bully Nick Saban is. Let all the others write about how evil he is, and how he should stick to his job of coaching football and let the media do its job. Because he can handle it. He can handle all of your criticism.

The focus is now squarely on Nick Saban’s rant, and that is exactly what he hoped for. He’s not only a step ahead of opposing football coaches, Saban is a step ahead of the media as well.

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