Nick Saban, Will Muschamp and Year Two

Oct 09, 2012 -- 9:56am


By: T. Miller

Do you guys remember 2007? I bet Nick Saban does.

The University of Alabama lured him away from the Miami Dolphins to revive the Tide. They paid him about 863 percent of Alabama’s GDP to do it. Saban returned the favor with a 6-6 record (4-4 SEC). He lost to Louisiana-Monroe and, worse, he lost to Auburn. Paul Finebaum wanted him fired*.


None of that had much to do with Saban. Former coach Mike Shula had been losing the recruiting battle with Auburn, Florida State, Florida and LSU for years. The team just wasn’t very good. Then you add in a coaching change, which always thins the ranks, and the team just didn’t have many people on it at all. Saban was fighting an uphill battle with a fanbase not known for patience.

Hard to imagine, right? Well, fast forward a year. I know all of you remember 2008. Alabama went 12-0 in a way that seems hardly like Alabama. They beat Kentucky by 3. They allowed Ole Miss to score TOUCHDOWNS in a football game IN TUSCALOOSA. The Tide were not yet the juggernaut they have become, but they were generally tougher than the other team on the field each week.

Sound familiar?

The Gators hired Will Muschamp away from this status as the Heir to the Gilded Lone Star Throne of Mack Brown. His task: Start over in Gainesville because this “fastest team in college football” stuff only works with a once-in-a-generation player steering the roadster. It had proven unsustainable and the situation was further complicated by whatever happened to Urban Meyer mentally and/or physically.

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