Offseason Thread: When Saban Retires -- Who?

Bama9001

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I've felt for some time that O'brien is first in line. Aranda is interesting. Dabo accomplished a lot with far lesser recruits than Bama normally gets. However, I'd want to see how he navigates the next couple years. Supposedly Kiffin can recruit but their HS class wasn't very good and had to be filled out with portal guys. My top 5:
1. Kirby
2. Dabo
3. Obrien
4. Aranda
5. Kiffin

I kind of feel CNS is on a clock...within five years or after the next championship.
 

selmaborntidefan

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Just 1 question. Please explain to me HOW Ryan Day is a better football Coach than Lane Kiffin?
For starters, he’s got “knows how to act when the camera is on” down far better than Lane. He’s four years younger but more mature (though Kiffin post-40 is improving). And for a guy who is supposed to be some sort of offensive genius, he beats a lot of the blame for us losing the championship in 2016 as well.

Kiffin was the idiot calling plays when we had Ohio State down 21-6 and on the verge of putting the game out of reach, too. A drunk fan in the stands who ran out streaking across the Silverdome floor would have called that game better.
 

The Ols

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If Alabama AD wants to continue the winning tradition, they'll consider any option. A year ago I never would have thought Brent Venables would be replacing Lincoln Riley, after CLR ran to USC. It's difficult to predict the future obviously, but as far as off-season message board bait goes, Kirby Smart is probably the best option to go with. But if that's too much to stomach for some of yall, Lane Kiffin and Arranda would do well too.
It isn’t too much to stomach…it just won’t happen.
He’s the head coach at his alma mater where he played and was a captain., this is his Nirvana…
 
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TideMan09

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I wouldn't mind if Kiffin was giving a shot too replace Coach Saban, my only complaint, please learn how too punt the ball on 4th down & not go for it the majority of time on 4th downs..
 
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TexasBama

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This is pretty hypothetical, given that when Saban retires is unknown, what current coaches situations will be then, etc., but I think a guy currently in their 40s would be the candidate - Napier, Kiffin, Aranda, Campbell, and whoever else I missed.
 
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Kiffin was the idiot calling plays when we had Ohio State down 21-6 and on the verge of putting the game out of reach, too. A drunk fan in the stands who ran out streaking across the Silverdome floor would have called that game better.
When @selmaborntidefan’s memory is imperfect, what hope can there be for the rest of us?
 
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PA Tide Fan

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Always an interesting topic. Let's start with the usual names. Kirby is staying at Georgia and Dabo has fallen out of favor with the Bama fan base. Pruitt is damaged goods and I didn't like the collapse of Oregon last season under Cristobal. As far as Kiffin or Sark go my one question would be whether these guys care enough about defense to be really successful because even though football is more of an offensive game right now a team still needs at least a respectable defense to win a championship. Since Saban had no ties with Bryant or Alabama there's no reason to limit the future candidates to ties with Saban or Alabama. Aranda might be a good candidate if he has continued success. I'll also throw a bit of a longshot name out there that never comes up in any conversations and that is Luke Fickell. The guy is a good recruiter and seems to get the most out of his players. He might do well if he has Bama's talent to work with.
 
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DzynKingRTR

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Names on my radar right now
Kiffin - I actually believe he would be arrogant enough to think he can follow Saban plus I think he wants the job.
Napier - we shall see how he does at florida
Campbell - I still would like to see what he does at a better school than Iowa State before make a final judgement.
 
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selmaborntidefan

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Just think what Dabo could do at Bama.

Mama called, baby.
My skepticism regarding Dabo isn't rooted in what most others here is (be it the religion, his defiant and public uncompromising "stands" or just what some folks know/suspect from his days here on the Dubious staff.

Dabo got hired as an interim for Tommy Bowden and then took over prior to the 2009 season, so let's spot him until 2012, when his very first DABO recruits would have been seniors. Is that a fair way to evaluate him? I think it's reasonable.

2012 - Clemson goes 11-2 and ends the year at #9. His conference non-conference schedules are so awful that the only other ranked team in his conference is Jimbo's FSU team. Naturally, in a schedule loaded with teams from the Athletically Challenged Conference (ACC) and the likes of Ball State and Furman, he reels off a 10-2 record and loses to the only two good teams he faces, FSU (49-37) and South Carolina (27-17). He edges LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (25-24) led by a coach whose teams made a regular habit of half or not showing up for bowl games (including the 2012 BCSNCG). He faces three ranked teams and has two double digit losses and a one-point win. Yeah, he did beat another team ranked at the time - he beat Auburn by 7 the year that team went 3-9 and threw Chizik overboard.

2013 - what's truly amazing is how this year is EXACTLY like 2012. He beats a highly ranked SEC team in the opener who turns out to be a colossal failure, 8-5 Georgia. He loses to the only two ACTUAL ranked teams he plays in the regular season, 51-14 to FSU and 31-17 to Spurrier. He again edges a highly ranked team in a bowl game, Meyer's first bowl team at Ohio St by five points. YES, he does deserve credit, but one could reasonably argue the Apathy theory (if OSU had beaten Sparty in the B1G title game, they'd have played for the national title so isn't it reasonable they showed up with other things on their mind just as Alabama did with OU that year?)

At this point, he's faced 6 ranked teams, and he's 0-4 in the regular seasond (all double digit losses) but 2-0 in the post-season, both wins against teams with coaches who sometimes seem to pick up a copy of the yellow pages and think it's a playbook. And he's 20-0 against the riff-raff of CFB.

2014 - he plays 3 ranked teams (UGA, FSU, and Ga Tech) and goes 0-3, with a 24-point loss to UGA, a 22-point loss to Tech, and an overtime loss to FSU. So you say, "Wow, they played it close with FSU!" Yes - because Jameis Winston was suspended for that game...and yet FSU STILL won. They throttle 8-5 OU, who ends the year unranked and ALSO has a history of packing it in for the bowl game, so at this point Dabo is 0-7 in the regular season against decent teams.

That brings us to the Deshaun Watson era.

2015 - Clemson runs the table. This year, they DO beat all 3 ranked teams they play pre-playoff by margins of 2, 10, and 8. They smash Oklahoma in the semis and lose to Alabama. This was the year Spurrier resigned six games into the season...and Jameis Winston is already gone to the NFL. Dabo DOES deserve credit for this year. Sure, outside circumstances were favorable - but he still had to capitalize on it. Plus, you have to give him (or whomever) credit for getting Watson to come to Clemson. Clemson finishes 4-1 against ranked teams.

2016 - This was the year that Clemson won the national championship. They go 5-0 against ranked teams. Of course, they trailed that last one by 14 points in the fourth quarter - but once that team lost its only offensive threat to a broken leg, it's a miracle it took Clemson down to the final snap to win the game. The back-to-back games of beating Urban and Saban, this is what gave rise to "wow, Dabo is a great coach!" And again, he DID deserve the credit he got - of course, he also lost to unranked Pitt, too.

2012-14: 2-7 vs ranked teams
2015-16: 9-1 vs ranked teams

2017 - they beat four teams ranked at the end of the year and then lose as the #1 seed in the playoff to Alabama, who wins it all. And they lose to yet ANOTHER unranked team in Syracuse.

2018 - they beat one team ranked at the end of the year, Syracuse. Then they smash Notre Dame and Alabama and all of a sudden Dabo is a legend.

2019 - they beat not a single ranked team (at the end of the year), beat Ohio St largely due to an assistance from incompetent officiating - and then got humiliated by......checks notes......Ed Orgeron......

2020 - they beat two ranked teams, lose to one (N Dame with players out due to Covid), and get blasted by Ohio St

2021 - they play four EOY ranked teams and go 1-3. Two games could have gone their way.

2012-14: 2-7 vs ranked teams
2015-18: 16-2 vs ranked teams
2019-21: 4-7 vs ranked teams

What this basically suggests is that the Watson/Sunshine years were REALLY good teams...but his career trajectory at this point is basically Tom Osborne. Run up huge numbers of wins against nobodies (but lose just enough to remind folks you can be beaten), have a four-year peak that coincides with the other generally good team in your conference going through the valley of the shadow of Orgeron (OU in the 90s, FSU in the teens), hover around the periphery of "almost as good as we used to be" for a few years and then......????

IMHO to prove his bona fides, Dabo has to at least get to a final game again at Clemson and be competitive in the next 3 years. If not, his success can largely be seen coinciding with a few whopper recruiting classes (which SHOULD make sustaining the run easier) and the hirings of Tony Elliott and Brent Venables.

I would rank Kirby Smart ahead of Dabo right now as far as being the better head coach. He's had nearly the same level of success while playing in a much tougher conference during the heyday of Saban, and he took over a program in worse shape than Dabo inherited, too.

And no, I can't see Kirby ever leaving Georgia unless it's for the NFL, which I doubt would ever happen.
 

81usaf92

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That guy has to be a troll. There is no way anyone is still saying they want Karen Aweshucks.
No there are legitimately people that want the clown because of 2 NCs and the Bama connection….

But these same people are going to be whining when we are losing to the MSUs, Kentuckys, and Vandys of the world because we were unprepared under Dabo. Seriously look at how many times Dabo has either lost or had needless competitive games with Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and GT. For Pete’s sake, in 2016 he got beat at home by a team that the week prior lost to a Mark Richt team 51-28.
 
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81usaf92

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My skepticism regarding Dabo isn't rooted in what most others here is (be it the religion, his defiant and public uncompromising "stands" or just what some folks know/suspect from his days here on the Dubious staff.

Dabo got hired as an interim for Tommy Bowden and then took over prior to the 2009 season, so let's spot him until 2012, when his very first DABO recruits would have been seniors. Is that a fair way to evaluate him? I think it's reasonable.

2012 - Clemson goes 11-2 and ends the year at #9. His conference non-conference schedules are so awful that the only other ranked team in his conference is Jimbo's FSU team. Naturally, in a schedule loaded with teams from the Athletically Challenged Conference (ACC) and the likes of Ball State and Furman, he reels off a 10-2 record and loses to the only two good teams he faces, FSU (49-37) and South Carolina (27-17). He edges LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (25-24) led by a coach whose teams made a regular habit of half or not showing up for bowl games (including the 2012 BCSNCG). He faces three ranked teams and has two double digit losses and a one-point win. Yeah, he did beat another team ranked at the time - he beat Auburn by 7 the year that team went 3-9 and threw Chizik overboard.

2013 - what's truly amazing is how this year is EXACTLY like 2012. He beats a highly ranked SEC team in the opener who turns out to be a colossal failure, 8-5 Georgia. He loses to the only two ACTUAL ranked teams he plays in the regular season, 51-14 to FSU and 31-17 to Spurrier. He again edges a highly ranked team in a bowl game, Meyer's first bowl team at Ohio St by five points. YES, he does deserve credit, but one could reasonably argue the Apathy theory (if OSU had beaten Sparty in the B1G title game, they'd have played for the national title so isn't it reasonable they showed up with other things on their mind just as Alabama did with OU that year?)

At this point, he's faced 6 ranked teams, and he's 0-4 in the regular seasond (all double digit losses) but 2-0 in the post-season, both wins against teams with coaches who sometimes seem to pick up a copy of the yellow pages and think it's a playbook. And he's 20-0 against the riff-raff of CFB.

2014 - he plays 3 ranked teams (UGA, FSU, and Ga Tech) and goes 0-3, with a 24-point loss to UGA, a 22-point loss to Tech, and an overtime loss to FSU. So you say, "Wow, they played it close with FSU!" Yes - because Jameis Winston was suspended for that game...and yet FSU STILL won. They throttle 8-5 OU, who ends the year unranked and ALSO has a history of packing it in for the bowl game, so at this point Dabo is 0-7 in the regular season against decent teams.

That brings us to the Deshaun Watson era.

2015 - Clemson runs the table. This year, they DO beat all 3 ranked teams they play pre-playoff by margins of 2, 10, and 8. They smash Oklahoma in the semis and lose to Alabama. This was the year Spurrier resigned six games into the season...and Jameis Winston is already gone to the NFL. Dabo DOES deserve credit for this year. Sure, outside circumstances were favorable - but he still had to capitalize on it. Plus, you have to give him (or whomever) credit for getting Watson to come to Clemson. Clemson finishes 4-1 against ranked teams.

2016 - This was the year that Clemson won the national championship. They go 5-0 against ranked teams. Of course, they trailed that last one by 14 points in the fourth quarter - but once that team lost its only offensive threat to a broken leg, it's a miracle it took Clemson down to the final snap to win the game. The back-to-back games of beating Urban and Saban, this is what gave rise to "wow, Dabo is a great coach!" And again, he DID deserve the credit he got - of course, he also lost to unranked Pitt, too.

2012-14: 2-7 vs ranked teams
2015-16: 9-1 vs ranked teams

2017 - they beat four teams ranked at the end of the year and then lose as the #1 seed in the playoff to Alabama, who wins it all. And they lose to yet ANOTHER unranked team in Syracuse.

2018 - they beat one team ranked at the end of the year, Syracuse. Then they smash Notre Dame and Alabama and all of a sudden Dabo is a legend.

2019 - they beat not a single ranked team (at the end of the year), beat Ohio St largely due to an assistance from incompetent officiating - and then got humiliated by......checks notes......Ed Orgeron......

2020 - they beat two ranked teams, lose to one (N Dame with players out due to Covid), and get blasted by Ohio St

2021 - they play four EOY ranked teams and go 1-3. Two games could have gone their way.

2012-14: 2-7 vs ranked teams
2015-18: 16-2 vs ranked teams
2019-21: 4-7 vs ranked teams

What this basically suggests is that the Watson/Sunshine years were REALLY good teams...but his career trajectory at this point is basically Tom Osborne. Run up huge numbers of wins against nobodies (but lose just enough to remind folks you can be beaten), have a four-year peak that coincides with the other generally good team in your conference going through the valley of the shadow of Orgeron (OU in the 90s, FSU in the teens), hover around the periphery of "almost as good as we used to be" for a few years and then......????

IMHO to prove his bona fides, Dabo has to at least get to a final game again at Clemson and be competitive in the next 3 years. If not, his success can largely be seen coinciding with a few whopper recruiting classes (which SHOULD make sustaining the run easier) and the hirings of Tony Elliott and Brent Venables.

I would rank Kirby Smart ahead of Dabo right now as far as being the better head coach. He's had nearly the same level of success while playing in a much tougher conference during the heyday of Saban, and he took over a program in worse shape than Dabo inherited, too.

And no, I can't see Kirby ever leaving Georgia unless it's for the NFL, which I doubt would ever happen.
I would say without looking… Ed Orgeron beat more ranked teams from 2016-2021 than Dabo did from 2015-2020.
 

DzynKingRTR

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No there are legitimately people that want the clown because of 2 NCs and the Bama connection….

But these same people are going to be whining when we are losing to the MSUs, Kentuckys, and Vandys of the world because we were unprepared under Dabo. Seriously look at how many times Dabo has either lost or had needless competitive games with Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and GT. For Pete’s sake, in 2016 he got beat at home by a team that the week prior lost to a Mark Richt team 51-28.
I know that some will not stop saying "he deserves a call". He doesn't. I was anti-Karen pretty early on and a lot of people have come around, but there still seems to be a few that will not stop. I still think the people that want him at Bama are Kentucky, Vandy and Miss State fans.
 

81usaf92

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I know that some will not stop saying "he deserves a call". He doesn't. I was anti-Karen pretty early on and a lot of people have come around, but there still seems to be a few that will not stop. I still think the people that want him at Bama are Kentucky, Vandy and Miss State fans.
Honestly I was on the fence in 2017 about him but when he started speaking cow around 2018 I was totally off. Anyone who comes after Saban is going to be a lesser coach. But I’m just not crazy over a guy that consistently has the most loaded team in a Mickey Mouse conference by a mile but still struggles to go undefeated, and one that talks like an Auburn coach.
 

crimsonaudio

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He was only in Baton Rouge for a few years and Les Miles was able to maintain what Saban built for several years. That gives me hope that whoever takes over can maintain for close to a decade. With all of that said my first choice would be Kiffin as well
Les and Waterhead both won NCs at LSU, so I suspect most anyone could win following Saban.

Yes, expectations will remain high, but whoever gets the job is inheriting a beast of a race car.
 

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