Urban Meyer Will Retire Nick Saban

DJ Byrnes's picture
April 17, 2013 at 4:50p
42 Comments

Nick Saban is the typical tinpot dictator who presides over indentured 18-22 year-olds at football programs around America. We saw what happened when he made the moves to the pros, where he didn't enjoy the same competitive advantages he had in the collegiate ranks, and was required to coach fairly-compensated men.

Last October, however, Saban nearly broke the irony meter when he took to the media to whine about the direction of football in the 21st century:

"I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety...

... I just think there's got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking is this what we want football to be?"

Yes, that's Nick Saban, a man who has wrenched and bent nearly every rule of the land in attempts to glean a competitive advantage, unironically appealing to fairness and "player safety." This all came before Johnny Manziel threw for 250 yards, two touchdowns and ran for 90 more yards and another score in Texas A&M's no-huddled victory over Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. I assume the loss at the hands of a redshirt freshman did little to alter Saban's worldviews.

The cool thing about the space-time continuum is that it only goes forward. Eventually, despite whatever Alabamians tell you about the six thousand-year history of Earth, Nick Saban will be nothing but dust in the wind. 

Urban Meyer will be the one to push Nick Saban into his coaching grave, and the first blow against Saban's reign of terror will come this January when the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide meet to decide the 2013 BCS National Title.

Some people claim that it's the SEC which has dominated college football ranks for the better part of the last decade, but really, it's just two coaches: Nick Saban (4) and Urban Meyer (2). Yes, LSU won one because Brian Robiskie dropped an open touchdown pass and Ohio State started a quarterback named "Todd". Eugene T. Chizik won another by riding Cam Newton like he was a prize-winning horse, but Saban and Meyer were the ones who laid the foundation to the SEC's post-millennial trophy case.

Haters and other degenerates will say, "Urban Meyer is nothing without Tim Tebow," and they will do this by ignoring the fact Urban Meyer has been made a winner out of every program that has had the sense to hire him.

Looking ahead to Ohio State's 2013 schedule, I'm having a hard time seeing where anybody is hanging a loss on the Buckeyes; Michigan State is off the schedule, and Penn State and Wisconsin are both at home. Brady Hoke has never won a conference title, so I doubt his pathetic team will be in position to do anything significant on the last Saturday in November.

In other words, the Buckeyes are literally their biggest obstacles to appearing in the 2013 national title game. 

It is my hope that an SEC member will be the opponent, and if I am allowed to get greedy, I hope it is Alabama, the winner of three of the last four BCS titles. Whether it's Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, or (hopefully!) Braxton Miller, Alabama has persistently struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks... the ones who make the No-Huddle so tough to game-plan for.

Offensive innovation is the future of football. Nick Saban knows it, and that's why he gnashes his teeth at it like an over-the-hill executive does to a younger, hungrier challenger. Time and Change is coming for ol' Nick Saban, and he can feel the ice cracking under his toddler-sized boots.

Comments

BrewstersMillions's picture

Hard not to like a piece that has this tidbit in it....

Eventually, despite whatever Alabamians tell you about the six thousand-year history of Earth, Nick Saban will be nothing but dust in the wind.

Well played, DJ.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

FloridaBuck's picture

LOL, well played indeed.  Let's give them some credit though, the disparity between 4,500,000,000 and 6,000 isn't that drastic, is it?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

And let's give those non-literalists a break, too, as perhaps they miss the irony that their superior scientific understandings do not save them from also returning to ashes/dust, or really get them any closer to understanding how it all began 13.7 billion years ago.    

Doc's picture

Thanks for being more articulate than I was going be to this tidbit.

"Say my name."

OSUinFl's picture

A spread  offense can beat bama.. In sec it's  like the old days of the big ten smash mouth football.

Hovenaut's picture

So let it be done.

Excellent work, DJ.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

OSUBias's picture

Seems like it has been spread offenses combined with QB's who thrive in playground chaos situations (Cam and Manziel are at their best just running around making stuff happen) that give 'bama problems. They have done fine slowing down other spreads with mediocre QB's (TTUN, even ND was running a lot from shotgun last season).
Here's to hoping Miller really did figure out chaos mechanics this winter/spring break from Whitfield.

Shitter's full

buckz4evr's picture

Maybe we shouldn't count Saban out so readily.  He did beat Urban twice.  Does anyone have a reason for this?  I'm desperately hoping someone has a logical reason why so it will ease my concerns.

BrewstersMillions's picture

The Ohio State defensive line can be the best in the nation. That doesn't always do it, however, as Bama dominated what a lot of people thought was the best line in the nation last year in ND. What OSU has that ND didn't-and few schools do-is real depth, 2 deep depth at all 4 line positions. In the perfect world we all want, OSU would send waves of linemen 4 at a time and drop the remaining 7 into coverage\allow them to play free of lineman interference. That's how you beat them. Control their ball control offense and score on their D. I know, "Score more" sounds like I'm over simplifying-what I mean is this. Alabama wears you out by not budging on D, eating clock, and finishing drives with TD's. Your offense may only get three possession a quarter against Bama but by halftime, you're trailing by 4 TD's. If you get up early and continue to attack their offensive line with your front 4, Bama would look human, nay pedestrian. They really can't win a shoot out in my humble opinion, especially one where the opposition has what appears to be an endless supply of run stuffers and pass rushers.
 

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Pretty interesting analysis. I know one thing and that is Bama won't change their tune anytime soon after winning three of four NCG's. They're essentially going to dare teams to beat them at their game and, I have to say, it's a sound philosophy. Bama's issues last year came when they came across teams with multiple proven playmakers, like Georgia and A&M, and pressure that forced McCarron to be great under pressure. I'm not sure the '12 Buckeyes truly fit that description consistently on the playmaker front and this year's defensive line, though loaded with potential, is still just loaded with, well, potential.
It sure looks like Urban is building a team in the Bama-beating mode, though, and I think we'll know a lot six games in.
 

Bolt's picture

The other thing ND didn't have was a decent secondary that could allow them to attack the backfield with confidence. Their secondary couldn't possibly hold a candle to ours this year. Not to mention no one in their front seven had the speed or ability to cover as much ground as Ryan Shazier on any given play. I would've taken our defense at year's end against 'Bama over ND's any day. Not necessarily saying it was better, but I think it'd match up to 'Bama better.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

He beat "I think I should retire" Urban Meyer twice. Committed Urban Meyer was 1-0 against Saban at Florida.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

buckz4evr's picture

Good point Nova, along with the other replies.  I actually do feel better about this. 

buckguyfan1's picture

Those drums from Buckeye Nation are getting louder!!!

buckeyedude's picture

A gray vest? WTH?

 

 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Am I the only one that doesn't think Michigan State is going to be good?

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

grcunning's picture

The game that worries me the most is at Northwestern on October 5th

MN Buckeye's picture

Little nick has compensated for his lack of size with an overinflated ego and a control complex.  He runs a good operation at the college level, but he will not be able to influence the game to his specifications much longer.

4thandinches's picture

It's amazing that that same defensive coordinator, who can't seem to contain mobile QB's, just got a raise to over $1 million. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

WildBear Buckeye's picture

I know, total waste of money. They've already won 3 of the last 4 championships. What do they need to spend more money for?

chicagobuckeye's picture

to make sure he doesn't go elsewhere. Obviously whatever he's doing is working

Jhesse17's picture

Eventually, despite whatever Alabamians tell you about the six thousand-year history of Earth

This made me laugh out loud.

IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

It would be the sweetest thing in the world if we beat Bama for all the marbles, this fall or in the future in the playoffs. However, sometimes I get the feeling we'll end up playing someone else, maybe not even an SEC school. Don't really care, a title's a title for me. The SEC can go shove it.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Basso Profondo's picture

I'm loving the positive attitude, and I too want to absolutely and completely buy into the kool-aide, but until it happens I think we need to chill out a little bit here on 11W.  Urban is an amazing coach, and we have a lot of great talent, but I think the long wait until autumn is messing with our minds.  I have seen posts on here talking about Michael Thomas as a potential heisman candidate, and that theoretically Sam Hubbard could beef up to be a LEO (there is no way his frame could handle another 30-or so pounds of muscle).  That is a little over the top folks.  I love the Buckeyes, and I too am allowing myself to expect a birth in the National Championship already (feels like jinxing it almost)... but let's keep our heads firmly on our shoulders until we see next season's version of the team on the field dismantling each and every opponent that comes our way.  Then, when Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington have mounted the helmet of each opposing QB on their walls, the hopes can start to run wild. 

btalbert25's picture

Is it a competitive disadvantage that made Saban so good in college, or is he just a great college coach?  I mean Pete Carrol never dominated the NFL like he did college.  He's got a good thing going in Seattle, but what has he ever won in the NFL? Spurrier failed too.  
I'm also not one to just count out Saban.  One could argue he is the guy who made Urban retire.  It was the loss in the SEC title game that sent Urban to panic attacks.  
Don't take this as me thinking Urban and Ohio State can't beat Saban or the Tide just saying Saban is one of the best coaches to walk the sidelines in the history of the game.  So is Urban.  The Ace in the hole for Urban is, he'll have the best player in the nation on his team.  Braxton Miller is going to win the Heisman this year.  He's going to be the best player in America, and he's going to be a major opstical for any coach to have to plan for.  If you contain him some, then you have the stable of RB's to contain, and maybe by that time Jalin Marshall and EzE are a force as well.  
Come January, the offense on this team is going to be virtually impossible to contain.  They'll have speed and finesse like Oregon, but they'll have that punch you in the mouth, power like Bama.  The biggest question, though, is will the defense be able to wreak havoc on that Bama or A&M or whoever else they play offensive line? 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The main gist of DJ's post is that time and inertia are on Urban's side, compared to Saban. Urban is 49 years old; Saban is 62. It's more difficult to stay at the top (Saban has won 3 of the last 4 NCs) than to rise back up again.
In addition to these "lifecycle" factors, the new offensive innovations might neutralize some of the strengths of Saban's teams (as they're currently configured). He'll have to adapt. Well, he's shown over the years that he's perfectly capable of adapting and innovating, himself, but he's not getting any younger.
All it takes is one or two big losses on the national stage, for momentum and "the narrative" to shift, at which point Saban might have to spend several years clawing his way back to the top. Given Saban's age, his recent unfamiliarity with disappointments and hardships, and his massive ego, would he claw his back or just ride off into the sunset?   

btalbert25's picture

I don't disagree with those points, I just hate when it's implied Saban has only succeeded because he's had competitive advantages.  I'd argue that any coach at any top flight program has a competitive advantage over about 99% of all other college football programs.
I agree, he's old, it's tough to stay on top, and all that, but I also don't think anyone outside of the Yellowhammer state can honestly believe he'll end up stringing together 6 out of 8 titles or anything like that. 
I was just trying to say, he's one of the best the college game has ever seen.  I believe Urban can win a couople titles in the next few years here, and Saban could still be good enough to snag another one or 2 as well. 

BME_Buckeye's picture

I'll be the villain here as a I disagree with a lot of the statements made in your blog. With that said: 

The cool thing about the space-time continuum is that it only goes forward. Eventually, despite whatever Alabamians tell you about the six thousand-year history of Earth, Nick Saban will be nothing but dust in the wind.
Urban Meyer will be the one to push Nick Saban into his coaching grave, and the first blow against Saban's reign of terror will come this January when the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide meet to decide the 2013 BCS National Title.

Nick Saban will still be here and I doubt it will be Meyer to knock him off. If its anything that we honestly know, it was likely Saban that cause Meyer heartattacks while at Florida due to stress from coaching. Next, lets remember here that Ohio State is in the Big Ten and Alabama is in the SEC. Chances that they meet are very slim because everything will have to play perfect for that to happen. And before we anoint Ohio State as the Big Ten Champions and give them a berth in the National Title game, recollect that this team still has several faults that underline it and questions to be answered even after the spring game.

  • Offensive Line play
  • Right Tackle
  • Inexperience front line on defense (Was a defense that good or was it good vs. a bad offensive line in the spring game)
  • Development at the QB
  • Will the secondary be much improved (I say yes)
  • Development of the Linebackers
  • Kicking and Punting game with Basil doing both
  • Depth, Depth, Depth

O yeah the biggest threat to Ohio State aim for a title is Michigan just in case you forgot. Lets not overlook them. 
 

Haters and other degenerates will say, "Urban Meyer is nothing without Tim Tebow," and they will do this by ignoring the fact Urban Meyer has been made a winner out of every program that has had the sense to hire him.
 
Looking ahead to Ohio State's 2013 schedule, I'm having a hard time seeing where anybody is hanging a loss on the Buckeyes; Michigan State is off the schedule, and Penn State and Wisconsin are both at home. Brady Hoke has never won a conference title, so I doubt his pathetic team will be in position to do anything significant on the last Saturday in November.
 

 
Yes, Meyer has had great QBs, been a winner every where he has been and has won in a more competitive league. No one can deny that and I see no reason why it will stop but even in his tenure at Florida he had some losses to lesser teams in the SEC. No one is perfect and I don't get how anyone can assume perfection and book us into the national title game. Wisconsin and Penn State are at home but I see no reason why Wisconsin can't beat OSU even under a new coach. Remember, Bret said before he booked it to Arkansas, that his 2013 team was going to be his best. The Buckeyes have struggled to beat Purdue in West Lafayette and watching their spring game, they look really fast and much improved. Ohio State plays at Northwestern which has historically been a win-win situation for the Buckeyes but Northwestern always gets their annual upset, and the last thing we should do is overlook a team that has the most returning starters (19 I think) and coming off a great season. Then there is Michigan. 
While Michigan, has made strides to return their program to the level it once was, I don't get how people can discredit what Hoke has done. 

  • 14-0 at home (including wins over Ohio State, Michigan State[#900] and Notre Dame) 
  • Sugar Bowl win (Michigan didn't deserve to be there in the first place over MSU) 
  • Top 25 recruiting classes with Michigan possibly having a the #1 class this year. (Yeah we know Mathison is doing most of the work for UM). 

Yeah Hoke might have not won a national title but he's got a system that's working, kids coming in and wither you like to accept the fact or not Michigan is about return to a power house program it once was. Yeah, give me Meyer any day over Hoke but I don't think its safe to just blow past Michigan. Michigan is our focus not Alabama. Take a look at this article by Kyle. LINK

It is my hope that an SEC member will be the opponent, and if I am allowed to get greedy, I hope it is Alabama, the winner of three of the last four BCS titles. Whether it's Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, or (hopefully!) Braxton Miller, Alabama has persistently struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks... the ones who make the No-Huddle so tough to game-plan for.
Offensive innovation is the future of football. Nick Saban knows it, and that's why he gnashes his teeth at it like an over-the-hill executive does to a younger, hungrier challenger

Be careful what you ask for when poking at the SEC and being greedy. Remember all of these SEC teams (LSU, UGA, Alabama, Scar, Texas A&M) are all established under their coaches who have been there and IMO are all likely to beat OSU, especially Alabama and Texas A&M. Ohio State is still getting there with Meyer just in his second year and getting his recruits and kids in. If offensive innovation is the future of football look no further than Texas A&M. If there is any team we could expect to push Bama and Saban off its pedestal its the Aggies. Gig Em'.  

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

AirForceNUT's picture

Excellent write up!

btalbert25's picture

It's my opinion Texas A&M will only be as good as their O-line.  Last year they had the best line in college football(yes, I'm saying better than Bama) I know they lost 1 guy, and there were 2 others who could bolt, I just don't know if those other 2 are going or not.  Maybe someone who knows more about them could answer that.  If all 3 of their O-line go, though, they won't be better than last year.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I can't wait till the end of the College World Series when Alabama claims the title and Tom Crean picks up all the plates.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Uh, no. Urban Meyer will not retire Nick Saban.
You bring up mobile QBs... Do you remember what happened after Saban made adjustments after the first quarter against A&M?
1st quarter
Manziel - 10/11 for 76 yards passing, 1 TD... 5 rushes, 74 yards
Remaning three quarters
Manziel - 14/20 177 yards passing, 1 TD... 13 rushes, 18 yards
First Quarter: A&M 20, Alabama 0
Rest of the game: Alabama 24, A&M 9
Not to mention that TD pass in the first quarter should have been a fumble that ended up bouncing back into his hands. One of the biggest flukes I've ever seen.
If not for one bad quarter against A&M and an overly conservative gameplan/bad kicker in 2011 against LSU, Alabama would be riding a 29 game winning streak despite playing in the almighty SEC.
I hope we beat them in the championship next year. And I do think we have the talent and coaching to get it done. But it's going to be a fight til the end. Saban is one hell of a coach, and he's running in incredibly tight and disciplined ship down in Tuscaloosa.

cplunk's picture

Are you saying 14-20 (70 pct completion) for 177 yards in three quarters was containing Manziel? 
That, continued for four quarters, is about 240 yards, with 18 passes completed and only 7 incompletions. If you take our running game, Hyde and co, and tell me Braxton is only going to run for 24 yards (18 expanded to three quarters), but will complete that many passes that accurately, I will lay a great deal of money down that we win that game.
A+M got up early and then Alabama adjusted, that is true. But Alabama lost that game because Manziel consistently completed key passes in key moments. A+M was 11-18 (I think- right around there) on third downs, and beat Bama in time of possession. When Bama drew close, Manziel answered with a momentum killing drive. Bama didn't get within one score until there were only six minutes left, and once again A+M killed the clock with effective passing right when it was needed.
bama's loss in that game can't be reduced to "one bad quarter". I believe they could have lost that game even if the first quarter had ended 0-0. A+M definitely played a less aggressive offense in the second quarter, which would not have been the case in a close game.

Triv's picture

You wanna play "one bad quarter?" How about we play one bad drive in the LSU game last year? All LSU had to do was defend Bama like it had all game long for one possession  and Bama is sitting at home coming of a 2 loss season and no national title (after a horribly executed offensive series before)

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

btalbert25's picture

That's why I always laugh at the notion that Les Miles is a great coach.  The guy has coached his team out of a lot of wins.  If Saban or Meyer had coached some of the talent at LSU that Miles has had, they may have 3 or 4 titles there.  Of course, the same could potentially be said about our Senator too.

buckeyestu's picture

I cant look too far ahead. Got to win the first game, which should happen, it is a long season. Our buckeyes are loaded with talent, some of it young in experience. Injuries are part of the game. I am so ready for the season to begin, but to me it is one game at a time and after 12 games, lets see where things stand. GO BUCKEYES. I also think Saban will retire on his terms.

Poison nuts's picture

Catch 5?

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Saban believes in strict adherence to the fundamentals, consistency, consistency, consistency, and belief in "the process", which is essentially doing all the little things right, as you are told by the coaches. He has been very successful in college with this approach. He's not particularly innovative on Offense since Defense is his specialty.
He's the CEO type who appears to have a very old school "from the top down" ruthless command style, who doesn't get close to his players, and expects you to follow orders, and if you do, you will likely be successful. If you don't, you are a goner or a greyshirt (is their a difference?). You want to do well for him just to prove you can, to get whatever crumbs of praise may come your way, and to not get your ass kicked. 
Urban has "the Plan", which is a kind of template he has added to at his coaching stops, that lays out the foundation for success. "Competition" in everything is his mantra, and getting his players to consistently deliver their best is his end goal. He does this through a variety of ways using psychology, rewards, and continual competitive contests such as circle drills. He is very innovative when it comes to offense, but also understands that you start to build a champion with defense as the priority.
Urban is not top down command and control as long as he believes in his assistants, which he does at OSU (not so much the last few years at U of F). He is an influencer, not a dour drill sargeant. He believes in having relationships with his players and personal contact/perks for those that earn them. He commands respect, but is approachable, and if you do your best you will receive praise (and win). You want to do well for him because he believes in you, despite all your little (and sometimes big) fuck-ups.  
While both approaches work, which one, as an 18 year old, would you rather play under? What types of players will be drawn to Meyer versus Saban. I think we are starting to see the answer to that, and.....................we like it! (McCarron vs Braxton? thanks, I'll take Braxton).
So who has the edge, the advantage in the coming years? If you would have asked me that when Urban was finishing up his last few years at UF, I would have said Saban. But the thing with Urban is that unlike most of us, he really seems to be amazing at learning from his failures, such as lack of delegation, and he gets continually better everywhere he goes. It's why, for example, we have 2 defensive coordinators now, so he will have continuity when one of them leaves. So, now, I'd have to say the advantage belongs to Meyer, and will be his for as long as he stays healthy and follows that little pink contract.

HighBallAce's picture

I have a feeling Ohio State and Texas A&M are going to meet sometime in the near future!

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I like the write up.  I don't think Urban will retire Saban, but I think he has the best chance of knocking him off.  Also, not trying to be too technical but we will meet them in January of 2014.  January 2013 has already passed and left Notre Dame feeling embarrassed. 

CowCat's picture

To beat Saban you need to dump a bunch of points on him early -- otherwise his teams will tee off on your QB and run the ball down your throat.
When they're forced into a passing contest, it's a different story.
Fortunately we have a cutting-edge coach and the willingness and capability to score very quickly.   With Urban I don't get the "there is no Plan B" feeling as I did with some previous coaching staffs.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer