It’s tough to justify calling the guiding force behind four National Championships in eight years overrated. But if anyone would have the information required to say it, opposing FBS coaches would.
On Wednesday, an anonymous poll of coaches around the country named Alabama’s Nick Saban as the second most overrated coach in the game of college football. The coach landed at the top of that list is Jim Harbaugh.
The poll was first reported by CBS Sports, 13 percent of active coaches feel that Harbaugh is overrated as a coach in the FBS.
That isn’t surprising considering the amount of publicity he gets on a regular basis, largely for things that he does off the field. The knock on Nick Saban is a bit more curious, though.
When asked to explain why they felt Saban was overrated, the nine-percent of coaches who named him felt that the success of the Alabama program was due to the “machine” that is Crimson Tide football.
Not so much yeoman’s work on the part of Nick Saban.
“Nick’s got a lot of advantages. In [my conference], you could take five or six of us and get there a month before the season and win 12 games. There is a little f—ing machine underneath that stadium, and they grow them there.”
While it can’t be argued that Alabama plays in one of the talent hotbeds of the country in the bible belt south, the Crimson Tide was hardly rolling before Saban arrived. In fact, they were coming off a losing season, and hadn’t put together back-to-back double-digit win years since 1991-92. Saban went 7-6 his first season is Tuscaloosa; he’s never won fewer than 10-games since.
As frustrating as it is to be crushed on an annual basis by the same team, coached by the same guy, Saban built ‘Bama into a powerhouse. And as much as the rest of the country doesn’t like him for it, calling him overrated doesn’t have a lot of precedent as far as the numbers can tell.
Lane Kiffin also received a nine-percent “most overrated” vote, confirming what was obvious all along. What the anonymous coaches were really answering was “so what coach do you not like the most?”
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