What Does Saban Think About Chizik?

It is interesting to read how Alabama followers have reacted to the selection of Gene Chizik as Auburn's new head football coach. It is likely that Alabama's coaching staff has quite a different reaction than the fans have; and different than the fans think Tide coaches have.



Alabama Coach Nick Saban can't say it enough. He is not distracted by or influenced by those things over which he has no control. And despite what some in both camps–Bama and Auburn–may think, Alabama was not in control regarding the hiring of Gene Chizik to replace Tommy Tuberville as the Tigers' head football coach.

I am more than confident Saban had little if any curiosity about which one of those on the reported Auburn search list would be hired.

There are thoughts that all the Crimson Tide has to do in recruiting now is gather in the top prospects with little more than a finger snap. Rest assured, Saban and his coaches will not take recruiting for granted.

Because Chizik has a bad record as a head coach (at Iowa State) it is assumed by many—again, in both the Alabama and Auburn fan bases—that he is not a good football coach. Both groups point out that Chizik has a record as an outstanding defensive coordinator, both at Auburn and Texas; but when it comes from Auburn partisans it sounds like whistling pass the graveyard and when it comes from Alabama fans it sounds patronizing.

Were one to ask Saban what he thinks of the hire...well, first of all, I'd like to be there, because that question could result in a highly entertaining answer. Actually, I'm sure Saban would be very complimentary of Chizik. Saban then MIGHT add that he is not concerned with whom is the coach at Auburn or anywhere else. He might even revisit his discourse on the unfairness of coach firings.

I suspect if Saban had the opportunity to comment on Chizik's qualifications to be head football coach at Auburn that he would be honest in saying that Chizik is deserving of the opportunity. And I don't think Saban would be disingenuous.

I would guess that Saban believes Chizik is a good football coach who truly wants to be at Auburn as head coach and who will work hard in recruiting and in the dozens of other areas a head football coach must excel in order to succeed. Saban seems to have nothing but respect for his adversaries. He has had great praise over the past two years for virtually every coach who has been on the opposite sideline (several of whom are now out of coaching).

I also suspect Nick Saban plans to work 365 days a year to dominate Gene Chizik.

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