The Real Reason Why Nick Saban Isn’t As Dominant Anymore
Is Alabama in trouble? The casual fan will probably suggest to you that they are. In reality, Alabama will be fine, but there is no denying that they aren’t as dominant as they once were. You used to be able to bookmark Alabama for the National Title every other year. Now Georgia is the power of the SEC and Alabama just struggled to beat South Florida. They also got whacked at home to Texas (link to draft notes).
There is a very easy explanation as to why Alabama isn’t as dominant as they used to be. It has everything to do with the fact that their staff isn’t as good as it used to be. Tommy Rees and Kevin Steele are his coordinators right now. Years ago, Saban had position coaches that were better than those two.
It takes a village to build an empire and the bottom line is Saban doesn’t have the help he used to. It’s not that hard to understand. Think about some of the names that used to work for Saban at Alabama. Kirby Smart used to be his DC. Saban had a stretch where Brian Daboll, Steve Sarkisian, and Lane Kiffin were his OC hires. Mario Cristobal used to be his offensive line coach while helping out with recruiting. Dan Lanning is Oregon’s head coach and he’s an afterthought. Lanning got his coaching start at Bama as a graduate assistant.
I mean seriously, think of all of the names that used to work for Saban. Mike Locksley, Mel Tucker, Bill Napier, Jeremy Pruitt. The list goes on and on. The fact of the matter is, Bama doesn’t have the staff they used to.
It’s a rich man’s problem. There is no denying that part. Still, it can’t be understated how important it is to have the right people around you. Saban is still one of the greatest coaches ever but there is no doubt that his help has vanished around him. It matters. It would also help if Alabama had a reliable quarterback, but that’s a topic for a separate post.