Nick Saban walks out on press conference in response to DJ Fluker questions

Nick-Saban-press-conferenceAlabama head coach Nick Saban ended his press conference prematurely on Wednesday after he became frustrated with questions about a Yahoo! Sports article citing documents and text messages that have led to an improper benefits investigation. Former Crimson Tide lineman DJ Fluker has reportedly been interviewed by compliance officers and is cooperating with the school’s investigation regarding claims that he took money and benefits while at Alabama.

Saban, who was looking to discuss his team’s upcoming game against Texas A&M, was repeatedly asked questions about the article.

“I don’t know anything about any current players that will have any circumstances relative to this,” he replied. “So there’s no sense in asking about that.”

Of course, it was the only topic reporters wanted to discuss. Saban said multiple times that he had nothing more to add and that Alabama athletic director Bill Battle had already addressed the matter on behalf of everyone.

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Nick Saban eats oatmeal cream pies for breakfast every day

Nick SabanBy all indications, Alabama coach Nick Saban is a physically fit individual. If you didn’t know how old he was, you would have trouble guessing 61 just by looking at him. While that is not surprising considering he is the best coach in college football, it becomes a bit more puzzling when you hear about part of his dietary routine.

GQ magazine writer Warren St. John followed Saban around recently for a lengthy profile that will be published next month. One of the more interesting revelations in the piece is that Saban eats the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. The breakfast part is pretty hilarious.

Saban is a fit 61, owing in part to regular pickup basketball games with staff, a frenetic pace on and off the field, and a peculiarly regimented diet. He doesn’t drink. For breakfast, he eats two Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies; for lunch, a salad of iceberg lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes. The regular menu, he says, saves him the time of deciding what to eat each day, and speaks to a broader tendency to habituate his behaviors.

I don’t know what’s funnier — the fact that Saban eats Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies every day or his reason for doing it. The average person probably spends no more than a few minutes figuring out what they want for breakfast and lunch, but in the life of Saban that’s valuable time that can’t be wasted.

Saban also admitted that the “Satan” persona the fans and media have created for him over the years has bothered him.

“It used to upset me,” he says. “I would come and say to my wife, ‘I’m not like that at all. Why do these guys say I’m that way?’ And she would say, ‘You ever watch yourself in a press conference?’ You can blame the other guy for saying it, or you can look at yourself and say, ‘I must have contributed to this.’”

We can attest to that. Saban has a reputation for running an incredibly tight ship, which is why his teams have won three of the last four national championships. However, Satan would never eat Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Now that we know Saban does, we can probably ditch the nickname.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Dana Holgorsen: Nick Saban, Bret Bielema should stop crying about hurry-up offense

Geno-Smith-huddleThe no-huddle offense has become more popular at both the collegiate and professional levels over the past few years. Fans enjoy it because it makes the game more exciting and leads to incredible scores like 56-42 in college games. However, some of the nation’s top coaches like Nick Saban and Bret Bielema have wondered whether the hurry-up offense is fair and safe for the players.

“I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want football to be?’” Saban said last year, among many other things.

West Virginia is one school that has enjoyed success using an up-tempo offense over the past few seasons. On Monday at Big 12 Media Days, Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen said Saban and Bielema had better learn to live with it.

“Yeah, I’d tell (them) to get over it because it’s not going to change,” Holgorsen said, via The Tulsa World. “It’s going into the NFL, for crying out loud. There’s people being hired in the NFL that have the background in college football to be able to create a little bit more parity. Don’t see it changing any time soon, so you’d better learn to adapt to it.”

Holgorsen is right. I’m no expert on how the no-huddle offense impacts player safety, but it is certainly becoming more popular. Even prominent NFL teams like the New England Patriots thrive using the hurry-up, so obviously college programs will want to follow suit in order to prepare their players to compete at the next level.

Saban chooses not to run that type of offense, and he obviously doesn’t need it. Two national championships in the past three years say he has done almost everything right, both on offense and defense. Like everyone else, Saban will just have to learn to accept it and continue to adapt. There aren’t going to be any NCAA rules that outlaw the hurry-up offense at any point in the near future.

Nick Saban is ‘the devil himself’ according to Florida coach Tim Davis

Nick SabanNick Saban is the best coach in college football, so that means he has his share of detractors. People really can’t get on him for his accomplishments (though Steve Spurrier once tried), so they often resort to dissecting the Alabama coach’s personality.

In January, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin apologized after it got out that he called Saban “Nicky Satan.” An apology may be coming from Florida assistant coach Tim Davis, who upped the ante by reportedly calling Saban “the devil himself.”

Davis, who coaches the Gators offensive line, was speaking to the Space Coast Gator Club when he made the remarks, according to Gaitor Bait.

“Will [Muschamp] and I go back to the Miami Dolphins,” Davis said, per 247 Sports. “I’ve always wanted to work with Will. Will’s got a plan. Will coached under the devil himself for seven years. I only did three. He did seven. And his DNA is not any different than Nick.”

Davis was talking about coaching at the Dolphins when Saban was the team’s head coach. Will Muschamp, now the head coach of the Gators, was an assistant under Saban at LSU and Miami before going to Auburn, Texas, and then Florida. Davis continued to compare the two.

“[Muschamp's] like the other guy, only he’s got a personality,” Davis said, per Gator Bait. “He’ll smile at you. He’ll talk to you. You understand? That’s what he’s all about. That’s Will. I’m proud to work for him.”

One thing many of these trash-talking comments seem to have in common is that they’re made in booster club-type settings. That’s what happened with Brady Hoke this week. These guys are trying to fire up their fans and they get carried away sometimes.

All I know is that you can now safely add Florida to the list of Vanderbilt and South Carolina when it comes to teams Saban will want to hand it to. What do all three have in common? They’re in the SEC East, of course.

Helmet smack to College Football Talk

Nick Saban doesn’t have time for Bob Stoops’ anti-SEC remarks

Nick-SabanNick Saban does not have time for Bob Stoops’ anti-SEC remarks. He made that clear when speaking with reporters on Thursday, though he did say it in a nice way.

First, let’s start with Stoops’ comments. During a caravan stop in Tulsa, the Oklahoma coach defended the Big 12 and said all the hype surrounding the SEC was “propaganda.”

“It depends on who you want to listen to,” Stoops told the Tulsa World when asked about the gap between conferences. “Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always the best.

“So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you. You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?”

Saban wasn’t about to let those comments bother him. In fact, he says he did not even hear about them.

“I didn’t even know he said it, so you’re going to have to tell me what he said,” Saban said, via AL.com. “I’ve got more important things to do than sit around and read what Bob Stoops has to say about anything. But I like Bob Stoops, and I respect him as a coach, but I’m really trying to manage our business.”

Saban said he respects the Big 12 and what Oklahoma does, but he did defend his conference.

“Well, we don’t play everybody in the Big 12 or whatever it is, so I really don’t know much about their league,” Saban said. “We have a lot of respect for what they do at Oklahoma, and I really don’t think that people that don’t play in our league really don’t understand the quality of our league from top to bottom.

“I think there’s probably a lot of animosity out there because of the success that we have in our league, but I think that kind of goes with the territory. I understand that. But we certainly respect the great program that they have at Oklahoma and the other good programs that they have in the Big 12.”

I used to firmly be in the “SEC is overhyped” camp and I would complain about an East Coast bias. I thought the Pac-10 was disrespected in conversations. But the truth is the SEC is the best conference in college football. It’s undeniable. They have the most money, the best players, the best resources, the best coaches, and it shows on the field.

You can see his comments around the 3:30 mark.

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Reuben Foster dresses as Nick Saban while signing Alabama letter of intent (Picture)

Reuben Foster has officially signed his letter of intent with Alabama. Most of you have probably heard of the five-star linebacker recruit from Auburn (Ala.) High School. Foster is the dude who committed to Alabama last July before switching his commitment to Auburn and getting this tattoo to prove it. It turns out that getting the ink was a bit of a rash decision, as Foster later decommitted from Auburn and went back to — you guessed it — Alabama.

On Wednesday morning, Foster made it clear that he is excited to play for Nick Saban next season by dressing up like the three-time SEC Coach of The Year.

Saban typically comes across as a pretty serious guy, so Foster must already be pretty comfortable with him to go down that road. Five-star recruits can probably get away with a little more than the average high school player.

Helmet smack to Dr. Saturday

James Franklin apologizes for calling Nick Saban ‘Nicky Satan’ (Video)

James FranklinVanderbilt football coach James Franklin phoned Nick Saban to apologize for calling the Alabama coach “Nicky Satan” while speaking at a Georgia high school banquet on Monday.

Video of Franklin speaking at the Macon (Ga.) Central High School fall sports banquet went viral on Wednesday, leading the Vandy coach to smooth things out with the Crimson Tide coach.

“There’s this guy at Alabama, I think his name is ‘Nicky Satan,’” Franklin said during his speech. “I think you guys have probably heard of him before. I’m going to outwork him. I’m going to outwork him. And that’s kind of our plan every single day.”

Though Franklin’s words may have backfired, they did serve a purpose. Franklin got Central linebacker Nigel Bowden to commit to the Commodores, so he was definitely playing to the audience. Bowden even referenced Franklin’s passion when he spoke.

“This man right here has so much passion,” said Bowden. “And I believe this is a man I can look up to for four years. He is what he says he is. He walks the walk and talks the talk. I’ve never met anybody with so much energy and so much passion with what they do.”

After the video went viral, Franklin called Saban to apologize for what he called a “joke.”

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