“That’s the paradox of success. The moment you stop to enjoy it, you are in trouble. You have to keep moving forward. It’s not what you have done that’s important. It’s where you are going.” — Alabama head coach Nick Saban
That’s my favorite quote from Nick Saban, recorded within 2008’s 12-2 season. You saw what happened in 2009.
Today, in the comfort of my living room, I saw this:
It’s a picture of today’s spring practice on the plains. Notice something in the center Coach Chiznik’s back?
There to see, in plain view of the legion of players not good enough to start on last year’s flash-in-the-pan (which was ALOT by the way), is the BCS logo.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Maybe because in watching and listening to Coach Saban it’s been grilled in me to forget what has been accomplished in favor of what’s still ahead. Like, five minutes after the accomplishment.
But here we have a head coach putting his team through spring drills…a team with three returning starters…being reminded how good they were.
It’s great to be from Alabama, and I’m telling you Auburn fans, this is why you should worry.
In Cam Newton, you had a once-in-a-lifetime, break the bank kind of player in an offense perfectly orchestrated for him. Even still, look back at 2010 and count how many times the Tiggers had to struggle from behind or get freak-a-lic situations to go their way.
14-0 is 14-0 (for now anyway), but consider this: All-American safeties don’t normally tear pectoral muscles against you (unbeknownst to their coaches) turning a hail marry prayer into a TD to get you back in the game in the midst of a blowout. Centers don’t normally shift the ball right before the game-tying field goal. Officiating crews don’t normally give you a touchdown when seconds before they had awarded possession to Arkansas.
What I’m saying is, it takes work to get to the top, and even more hard work to stay there.
But while Nick Saban continues to redefine the meaning of the term “work ethic”, Auburn, your coach is doing this:
I can tell you right now, I cannot imagine…even for 8 seconds…Alabama head coach Nick Saban granting an interview in the midst of spring practice following a championship with the BCS trophy in view anywhere in the picture. Wouldn’t happen in a million years.
We’ve all worked with the guy who made that one big sale, got puffed up, then rested on his laurels for an eternity. He breezes by the boss’ office once or twice a day, especially right after. Starts coming in late, leaving early. Cutting corners.
Auburn fans, the sale has been made, and while this time last year Saban was pounding the pavement looking for more, your coach has his feet up on his desk playing Minesweeper.
In 2010, with a depleted defense, following a BCS Title, Saban served up a 10-3 season and a third consecutive Top 10 finish, not to mention a fourth consecutive Top 3 recruiting class.
Auburn, wonder what you’ll be gettin’?