Tide ready to roll?

Because football coach Nick Saban had just one season at LSU in which he lost fewer than three games, critics insist he's overrated. They also say he won't be able to recruit as well at Alabama as he did at LSU.

Because he won two SEC titles in five years with the Tigers and left the cupboard loaded, supporters insist Saban is special. They are convinced he'll recruit well enough – even going head-to-head with Auburn for in-state prospects – to win even bigger at Tuscaloosa than he did at Baton Rouge.

Basically, those who closely follow NCAA football are split. Some believe Nick Saban is a mirage; others believe he's a messiah. Richard Cirminiello of collegefootballnews.com obviously belongs in the latter category. He gives the former Michigan State, LSU and Miami Dolphin head man a glowing review in an article posted at foxsports.com entitled "Analyzing the new head football coaches of 2007."

Here's what Cirminiello had to say about Alabama's new head man:

"Forget for a moment how much Saban is getting paid or how his exit from the Dolphins may have lacked tact. The bottom line is he can flat-out coach. Saban is that rare individual that can elevate a program to higher ground, which is precisely what the Tide was seeking once (Mike) Shula got the boot. He's got the track record, especially in the rugged SEC, as a defensive-minded coach that can recruit the heck out of a region. Saban has what Alabama craves — championships. It took awhile, but 'Bama finally has a coach it believes can guide the Tide to a few titles of its own."

Cirminiello went on to congratulate Mal Moore, noting: "A beleaguered punchline before finally landing Saban, the Alabama athletic director absolutely, positively had to make this happen after fumbling the hiring process for about a month after Shula was canned."

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