Bama Thoughts After Championship and NFL Draft
By: Larry Burton
Just some things that you have to have to have time to put in perspective came into focus while I’m on vacation this month relaxing. I was in Belgrade, Serbia last week, dining at a sidewalk cafe in an Alabama polo shirt and the waiter noticed the script A and asked, “Alabama? The Crimson Tide?” I was shocked.
To say that Alabama is world famous is one thing, but to actually see it is something else.
“Yes”, I said. “You know about Alabama?”
“Of course, Nick Saban is Serbian!” he said with a smile, and while it’s true that somewhere down the line, one of Saban’s direct line did in fact come from Serbia, I’m not sure Nick Saban has ever sat foot in this country.
“We watched the national championship here, it was on TV. We all celebrate (sp) the big win. Alabama number one!” the young waiter said. “And something that I noticed is that he sure had faith in that number two quarterback.”
“Yes”, I said, “It took a lot of faith to pull the starting quarterback to put in someone with so little gametime experience.”
“No, not that.” Pavish said, “After losing so many yards on that first bad play, Saban let him go for it all knowing that if he failed, it would be third and 26. He didn’t try just to make up some here and some there, he trusted that boy to go for it all!” And that was something I hadn’t considered at the time and even since.
Saban did indeed respect the gunslinging skills of his quarterback to indeed, go for it all. It makes you wonder if the plan was to keep going “all or nothing” and either win it all or go down trying. Nick not only made a big decision putting Tua in, but a bigger one once he lost 16 yards on a sack. I would have love to have been able to eavesdrop on the headphones and discussion following that sack.
One could only wonder if the consensus was, “Let him go for it till he makes it.” Just something to consider and ponder now during the slow times.
And now another thing. I mentioned a few articles back that recruiters from other schools are beginning to play the “Saban age” card when talking to recruits, saying that he may recruit them and then retire before they finish their career.
Now it seems that more than ever, that ploy can be easily be trumped with, “If you want to make it to the NFL, nobody puts more into that system than Alabama. That’s not opinion, it’s just clear fact.” The news from this week is something that Saban has to just love.
As detractors look harder and harder for something bad to say about Nick Saban and Alabama, the fact that Alabama keeps the pipeline to the NFL so open and running so hard just seems to trump any argument from Saban’s age, to the heavy slate of talent already there and all the rest.
It’s not that Saban just just does one thing well. Consider this, he doesn’t just win titles for his players, he wins the recruiting wars and he wins the NFL draft wars too. Is there really anything relevant he doesn’t dominate in?
I asked that to Saban once and he grinned and said he’d like to win more of the golf tournaments he plays in with former players.
I guess it’s good to still have goals to shoot for that you haven’t achieved.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter