JessN: Saban’s going nowhere, but we like for you to be prepared

BamaNation

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Saban’s going nowhere, but we like for you to be prepared
By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief

For many years, TideFans.com produced an annual feature called “Coaches to Watch,” a discover-them-before-your-neighbors-do article identifying up-and-coming mid-major coaches who might one day be candidates at large schools like Alabama.

The feature actually predates TideFans.com itself – the first one rolled off the presses following the 1996 season, when TideFans.com was still BamaNation.com and Dennis Franchione, who made the list, did so from his post not at TCU, but rather New Mexico.

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B1GTide

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Very good read - Thanks for putting this together. My hope - no Saban disciples (Pruitt being the possible exception if he improves). They can't beat Saban, nor can they beat Dabo. Also, no Dabo or Meyer. Would love to see a Matt Campbell type
 
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CajunCrimson

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If he comes without Venables, will he have success? Not sure Venables would come to Alabama with him.
Well unless he gets a Dabo-ectomy and has his nose removed from his hind quarters..... Venables may not have a choice...... (BTW, I intentionally left the "his" and "his" vague -- as I'm not sure who is attached to whom at the moment - it could go either way)
 

Bamabuzzard

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Here's what I don't want. I don't want someone "learning on the job". This isn't that type job. It's why Dabo is my number one choice. He is a proven program builder and and has proven he can sustain. I get all the dislike of the quirks and all. It rubs me like leprosy as well. But in life, sometimes you have to accept certain warts about people to attain the greater prize. As long as he's not getting us into NCAA violations or what's going on at Penn St. I'm good with the corny quirks.

I'd rather accept those and keep our program on a championship level trajectory, than to hire someone who is more polished from a PR standpoint but we're 9-3 and 8-4 year in and year out. I'm spoiled, I'm arrogant, I can be obnoxious, I have unrealistic expectations. I AM A BAMA FAN!!! I can't handle returning to mediocrity.
 

CajunCrimson

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Here's what I don't want. I don't want someone "learning on the job". This isn't that type job. It's why Dabo is my number one choice. He is a proven program builder and and has proven he can sustain. I get all the dislike of the quirks and all. It rubs me like leprosy as well. But in life, sometimes you have to accept certain warts about people to attain the greater prize. As long as he's not getting us into NCAA violations or what's going on at Penn St. I'm good with the corny quirks.

I'd rather accept those and keep our program on a championship level trajectory, than to hire someone who is more polished from a PR standpoint but we're 9-3 and 8-4 year in and year out. I'm spoiled, I'm arrogant, I can be obnoxious, I have unrealistic expectations. I AM A BAMA FAN!!! I can't handle returning to mediocrity.
Saban could leave tomorrow and Bama will continue to function for 5-8 years, simply due to the infrastructure he's created (see LSU as proof) --

If/When Dabo leaves -- Clemson might make it 2-3 years before it crashes..... and the reason is simple:

Saban is organized, disciplined, genuine, and open/honest
Dabo is all emotion....... emotion isn't sustainable -- especially if/when you get adversity....

Now -- Dabo has managed to build some structure there (from what I understand), but it's not what guides him.....

Bama will survive for a decade after Saban regardless of who comes.....
 

Bamabuzzard

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I don't want the program to simply "function". I want the program to stay at championship contention and actually continue to win titles. To think you can just plug anybody in there and we will have this residual Saban influence for 5-8 years would be foolish to believe.

The odds of us finding another "Saban" are slim to none. But there is a coach in Dabo Swinney who has taken a historically bottom dweller team and built them into a title contending program year in and year out. Clemson has played in approximately 1/3 of the playoff games since it's inception 6 years ago. The only other team who can make that claim is Alabama. "Everybody" has been waiting for "the luck" to run out for Dabo, yet they're still waiting. I think six years of championship contention, with winning 2 NC's has checked the box of "Able to sustain". We need to stop waiting on Dabo to fail and just accept the guy is a helluva coach and program builder. He doesn't do it how we prefer, but he's done it and that's the most important thing. Not that it looks like we want it to.

Saban could leave tomorrow and Bama will continue to function for 5-8 years, simply due to the infrastructure he's created (see LSU as proof) --

If/When Dabo leaves -- Clemson might make it 2-3 years before it crashes..... and the reason is simple:

Saban is organized, disciplined, genuine, and open/honest
Dabo is all emotion....... emotion isn't sustainable -- especially if/when you get adversity....

Now -- Dabo has managed to build some structure there (from what I understand), but it's not what guides him.....

Bama will survive for a decade after Saban regardless of who comes.....
 

Chukker Veteran

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If history is a guide, we might have to strike out a time or two before finding a long term replacement for Saban. Whoever comes in right behind him will likely find the team stocked with talent, but it would be a challenge to keep the Bama fans happy.
 
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BamaMoon

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It's a no brainer right now...if it's the foreseeable future...you get Dabo.

IMO, you get Dabo WITH OR WITHOUT Venables.

I think Dabo has earned the right to do so and he understands the importance of defense. It's not even close that there's no one other than CNS that understands building a maintaining a NC program like Dabo. He's proven to be a master recruiter, game-day coach and good face of a program. I know some don't like his "ah shucks" personality/demeanor, but he won't embarrass your program like a Mike Price.

There's a reason Jess spends the most time on CDS.
 

BamaMoon

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If history is a guide, we might have to strike out a time or two before finding a long term replacement for Saban. Whoever comes in right behind him will likely find the team stocked with talent, but it would be a challenge to keep the Bama fans happy.
I've got two reason that won't happen:

1. Les Miles made LSU look good post CNS.
2. We know better than we did post CPB.
 
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BamaNation

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With what Dabo has done, you give him a blank check and play up the coming home angle. If that doesn't work, you go for Pruitt or Kiffin.
Dabo should get a blank check offer 0.5 seconds after CNS retires. Give him a week and if that doesn't work start going down the list. Unless Pruitt wins an SECC at UTn or Kiffin has several 11+ win seasons at Ole Miss, I don't want them on the list. They both bring way too many variables for what we should be looking toward.

That said, I think one scenario is that we would have a stealth "coach in waiting" with someone on the staff hired when retirement happens. However, I do not see a Sarkisian (or Sarkisian/Jones like figure) being the selection no matter what. That would be a big disappointment to me.
 

Padreruf

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I really believe that pulling Dabo from CU would be not only incredibly difficult, but impossible. I've lived in the Clemson area -- it is beautiful with lakes and the Blue Ridge mountains close behind. He is WORSHIPPED and ADORED but still has a good level of privacy and family life. He can get anything he wants from a school that has the best athletic support -- academic and otherwise -- that I have ever seen. He's cracked the recruiting nut -- gets his top choices just about every year. The ACC is not the "forced march grind" that is the SEC -- and helps rather than hurts him as long as he dominates. HIs faith is important to him -- and CU has traditionally had the largest FCA program in the country. There is also a large, conservative evangelical church a few miles down the road which has adopted him as their favored son. He has surpassed Frank Howard and Danny Ford in the Clemson pantheon -- and has Bobby Bowden status in the ACC.

I know we all think that the sun rises and sets in Tuscaloosa with Bama football...but not every one thinks that way -- even favored sons and daughters. The microscope is much finer in Alabama than in Clemson. In this universe Bama can offer him nothing that CU doesn't...I can't believe I wrote that, but at this time it is true. And unless he drives the bus into a ditch, I don't see that happening.

We better look at other options...and certainly in 6-8 years there will be several.
 

CoolBreeze

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Great read Jess, thank you! Frankly, Dabo ain't coming to Bama. He'd be an idiot. He has all he needs at Clempson and has made is own way. Also, I doubt any of the guys you have on that list would be named the coach here. We have to face it. After Saban we will be trending downward for a while. That is just the reality. Byrne, if he is still here, will make a Nate Oats type hire. Head scratcher at first then prove to be a really good coach. But we will ebb.
 

78Alum

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Thanks Jess. Interesting read. I like this for the exercise, but I hope that we are dealing with this so far in the future that the future hire hasn't emerged yet...
 

BamaMoon

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In this universe Bama can offer him nothing that CU doesn't...I can't believe I wrote that, but at this time it is true. .
GREAT POST and I mean that...but I think there's one thing you fail to mention that Bama offers that Clemson can't: FOOTBALL IMMORTALITY.

He can win 2 or 3 more NC at Clemson, but it couldn't match him winning just 1 at Bama.

Now, all the other things you wrote might mean more to Dabo than the "historical" nature of coaching and winning at Bama, but most people that coach at that level can't help but consider that angle.

It's why some think that if CNS gets #7, he will hang it up.
 
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CajunCrimson

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I don't want the program to simply "function". I want the program to stay at championship contention and actually continue to win titles. To think you can just plug anybody in there and we will have this residual Saban influence for 5-8 years would be foolish to believe.

The odds of us finding another "Saban" are slim to none. But there is a coach in Dabo Swinney who has taken a historically bottom dweller team and built them into a title contending program year in and year out. Clemson has played in approximately 1/3 of the playoff games since it's inception 6 years ago. The only other team who can make that claim is Alabama. "Everybody" has been waiting for "the luck" to run out for Dabo, yet they're still waiting. I think six years of championship contention, with winning 2 NC's has checked the box of "Able to sustain". We need to stop waiting on Dabo to fail and just accept the guy is a helluva coach and program builder. He doesn't do it how we prefer, but he's done it and that's the most important thing. Not that it looks like we want it to.
My point is -- unless Dabo stays for 20 years -- if after he leaves it's likely to crash -- why sell your soul to that guy?
 

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