The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Alabama-LSU rivalry still strong

John DeStefano


College football is full of rivalries, and this leads to some of the most competitive and most entertaining games of the season. In recent history one of these rivalries has entered its own level of competition, and is a game anticipated by college football fans year-round. The Alabama LSU game puts two studs of the SEC in a grudge match, battling it out to become champions for that year. This year however, with University of Alabama having what could quite possibly be their best roster ever, decisively showed who was the better team with an authoritative 29-0 shutout against the LSU Tigers. Nick Saban has yet again demonstrated his dominance of the SEC conference and is now setting his sights on finishing his season with a NCAA Championship. But how did Nick Saban rise to the top to become one of the most successful and effective college football coaches?

Saban began coaching at his alma matter, Kent State, while he was a graduate assistant there waiting for his wife to graduate. Saban spent the next ten years moving from one Division I-A school to the next until in 1987 when he was hired as an assistant coach for the Houston Oilers, an NFL team at that time. However, Saban was not able to demonstrate his potential as a coach until he received his first head coaching position at the University of Toledo. Saban turned the teams previous 6-5 season into a 9-2 record his inaugural year. He promptly left Toledo after his first season to spend 4 years in Cleveland. In Cleveland Saban was the defensive coordinator for the Browns under their new head coach, Bill Belichick. After leaving Cleveland in 1994 in what Saban remembers as “worst (time) of my life” Saban continued his transient lifestyle continued to Michigan State, LSU, and the Miami Dolphins, where he served as head coach for each team. On January 3, 2007 Saban announced a $32 million eight-year contract with the University of Alabama, making him the highest football coach, both professionally and collegiately.

Since becoming a part of the Crimson Tide Saban has shown why he deserved that record-breaking contract. Alabama has not had a losing season under Saban, in fact they have won 87% of their 161 games under his leadership. To put that in perspective, Missouri S&T is only about 77% percent male. Additionally, Saban has won five national championships, and has provided first round draft picks to the NFL every season. So, when Alabama was challenged by LSU this season, the score did not come as a surprise. Nick Saban has worked his entire life for that game, and he not only demonstrated his knowledge of football during that game, he also demonstrated his ability as a coach to lead a team to a common objective. Objectively, Alabama Crimson Tide football under Nick Saban is one of the greatest collegiate football teams of the modern times, and it will be studied for generations on how to reach such a high level of success as a coach.


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