Dave hooker | 2 hours ago
Just when it seemed at least plausible that Nick Saban could be ignored by the very aspects of college football that he would seem to hate, the Alabama head coach has adjusted and is very likely to be more successful – if it is even possible.
Saban has already gotten over changes that the Alabama head coach didn’t really like. Saban didn’t like the rushed offense so he adapted. Saban recently exhibited explosive offenses that strained his defense. No matter; The Tide has depth and has improved his conditioning and defensive substitutions to handle the constant pressure.
Speaking of offense, Saban loved ball control attacks. If there was one blow to Saban early in his championship run, it was because he could be a little too conservative in the second half with a lead on his side. It is no longer Saban. His offense has proven that he can score with the best of them.
Saban has also adapted to college football’s early signing period. Most would have thought that Saban would hate such a drastic change in the college football schedule. After all, Saban was doing very well like this. Saban simply persevered with the change and turned it into a positive for Alabama. It took intelligence, cunning, and adaptability, but that was just the start.
With the early signing period, the Crimson Tide can now secure the basics of its class without having to worry about vultures trying to pull it apart. And after signing the first wave of leads, Alabama can focus on some top notch late additions that only uplift the class.
Perhaps the most impressive is Saban’s latest ability to refine his coaching approach. Saban treats the transfer portal as if it were the chocolate fountain at a Sunday brunch. Does he need it? Not really. Is he full of talent before even being tempted by a little more? No, Saban is gluttonous when it comes to having elite talent on his roster. The transfer portal has only helped Saban despite it being the most non-traditional aspect of football since the elimination of draws.
Fair or not, college football players were supposed to have zero leverage. If you didn’t like playing in a particular school, too bad. The national letter of intent was once a one-way street that seemed to suit Saban and the other coaches. After all, players once had to take a season off, possibly pay for their own school for a year, and be influenced by their home school as to where they might end up. Remember when “releasing” a transfer was one thing? It now seems archaic.
Saban would chase away players who couldn’t stand it or the years of waiting before they could become productive contributors. On the surface, any recent changes in college football would seemingly undermine Saban’s approach. With an open door policy, Alabama would surely lose talented subclasses who wanted to see the field immediately. This has happened on occasion with players like quarterback Jalen Hurts and running back Alvin Kamara going elsewhere and having success. However, the transfers did not stop Saban or prevent him from staying on the cutting edge of technology. Watch training camp this season.
Alabama have chosen 2 key players from their rivals. Henry To’o To’o showed flashes for Tennessee before filling up on unprepared coaches. He is now in Alabama. The Crimson Tide doesn’t need a glimpse of the Old Flight to beat Tennessee. They just had a potentially awesome player who was once on the opposite sideline.
To’o To’o competes – and holds on – with one of the best linebacks Saban has ever had. Saban coveted To’o To’o in the recruiting process. Nothing has changed after a short stopover in Knoxville.
“When we recruited him out of high school, we thought he was an exceptional player, a good young man (with) a big family, great leadership qualities,” Saban said in a recent interview on The Next Round. “He certainly hasn’t disappointed in the years we’ve seen him play in Tennessee, so we were thrilled to have a guy like that.”
Saban has another elite former prospect who needed a change of scenery. Receiver Jameson Williams has left Ohio State and made a big impact in preseason training.
“(Jameson) Williams is a guy who really made a big impact in this camp,” Saban said via 247Sports.
Saban doesn’t need help spotting upcoming opponents, but To’oto’o and Williams can provide staff insight for the Tennessee game and a possible college football playoff game with Ohio State.
“Maybe my take on this is a little different. Having been in professional football and having dealt with a free agency … the transfer portal, in a way, creates an opportunity for you to bring players into your squad other than recruiting, much like the transfer portal does. free agency, ”Saban said.
Saban doesn’t just fill his list of malcontents from other schools just for the sake of filling out his scholarship numbers. Through his research with his extensive network of coaches at other schools, Saban finds positive and impactful additions to his program. Saban improves his team in a most non-traditional way. And we don’t even need to discuss how he handled the influx of money from the NCAA’s decision to allow prospects to enjoy their name, likeness, and image. He adapted to that too.
Like the transfer portal, Saban has been successful in making NLI funds a reason to go to Alabama. He didn’t accidentally mention that one of his players accidentally received around $ 1 million in approvals during SEC Media Days. This was yet another selling point for his program.
At first glance, all of the recent changes would have seemed to derail Saban given his old-fashioned approach. Nope. Instead, the changes showed Saban’s true genius: his adaptability.