"I told Nick Saban one time, I said, ‘Nick, you don't have to stay there until midnight and your teams would be just as good and win just as many. He said, ‘If I could do it the way you do it, I would, but I don't feel comfortable unless I try to cover every base, every angle, be totally prepared.' I said, ‘Well, that's probably why you do it.' When I come out there, I feel comfortable we are ready to play. We have our game plan in, going to call this, call that and so forth. Everybody is different as far as when they feel they are totally prepared."
Then came this:
"How many SECs has (Saban) won there in eight years? He's won two. He's won three nationals, but he's only won two SECs in eight years. Now, if you had the No. 1 recruiting class every year and so forth, I don't know if he has maxed out potentially as well as he could."
Spurrier actually has a point in my view. Nick Saban is the best recruiter in college football. He's not the best coach. If he were the best coach he would have more SEC titles. Nick Saban gets tons of credit, and he should, but one of the three national titles he won (like Spurrier) was where he backed into the title game.
Frankly, Alabama has won as many division titles as LSU, Auburn and Georgia since 2010 – two. But getting back to Spurrier's point: is Saban overrated? Probably a little bit, yes. Saban has out-recruited the rest of the country – since 2009 Saban's Tide has ranked #2, #4, #7, #2, #4 and #1. Bama is currently ranked #1 for the class of 2015 as well. That's not quite "every year" as Spurrier put it, but you get the point.
So if Mark Richt, Bob Stoops and others are punished for not winning it all with highly recruited classes (albeit not as highly ranked as Bama), then shouldn't there be justifiable criticism of Saban? No question.
But we all know – this is just Spurrier's reminder to Saban that what he's doing in Tuscaloosa has been done before, and what the Old Ball Coach is doing in Columbia certainly has never been done before.
We get it.
Meanwhile Phil Steele – that guy with the huge magazine with all of the lines from Las Vegas over the last few decades – is calling Georgia one of his "surprise" teams in college football for 2014. Actually Steele has the Dawgs as his #1 surprise team.
What's that mean exactly?
Basically Steele thinks that injuries sidetracked a very good Georgia team last year.
"Georgia was a much stronger team at the start of last season than the one that finished 8-5 with a loss to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. The key to the downfall of their season was a huge amount of injuries at the skill positions on offense."
I don't think anyone is going to argue that.
Who is my surprise team – in the SEC at least? I think Florida is going to be better than everyone thinks. Obviously I feel they will be better than the horrid 4-8 they showed last season. I think the Gators will be better, but I don't think they win more than eight games. The schedule, which features LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama and South Carolina, is just too difficult to ask of a team still recovering from a losing season.
But I do look for Florida to surprise someone – probably LSU or South Carolina in Gainesville or maybe Georgia in Jacksonville… my guess is that the Gators top the Cocks in November, but lose to LSU, Bama, Georgia and Florida State. It will likely be enough to keep Will Muschamp in place one more season.
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