Today the AP released its preseason poll for the 2012 football season, and there at #2 sits the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Last month the coaches voted Bama #3, though if figured in the post-Tyrann Mathieu era the Tide may have faired even better.

But stop for a moment and let this sink in. 2012’s season will mark the fifth year in a row that Alabama has been a national title contender.

Not since the 1970’s has the Alabama program been in this good a shape. Bama has enjoyed success since then, but not the kind of “sustained success” that makes teams see you on their schedule and pencil in a loss.

It’s the kind of success that makes the Tim Brandos of the world hate saying your name on the air as you stick it to them year in and year out and make them have to like it.

It’s the kind of success that makes your rivals’ fans sound like blithering idiots when jockeying their average team’s accomplishments against yours.

Sustained success. Not a flash-in-the-pan, great season amid a career of 7-5’s. But sustained…you-hate-playing-us-because-we’re-going-to-beat-you-down…success.

So how did Alabama head coach Nick Saban get Alabama here? Simple. He had a plan.

From the beginning Nick Saban talked about “the process.” 2007 was the teeth cutting season where the team and fans had to buy in to what he was trying to do. A roster full of riff-raff completely used to molly codding through practice (and sometimes even games) had to die off and go away. And ever since that 2008 break out year, for the most part the Tide hasn’t looked back.

You’re not going to win every game. But 49-6 later, I think it’s safe to say Saban’s plan is a proven one. You may disagree, but virtually every AP writer and NCAA coach with a say has a different opinion. Alabama is replacing almost an entire defense, receiving corps and it’s Doak Walker winner at running back, and the worst anyone will place them is #3. It’s worthy of note that Bama received more first place votes in the coaches poll than even LSU, and that was WITH Tyrann Mathieu still on the team.

So what is his plan? First, we know what it’s not.

It’s not towel waiving, getting players on campus without their families in order to do the kind of things your parents warned you about. It’s not loosely streamlining players with unproven transcripts, or as time will tell, possibly much worse.

And it’s not building a program on empty emotion, with cute catch phrases and group sings of “Lean On Me.” Or limo rides. Or pool parties.

Simply put, those kind of plans…if they are even plans at all…are chocked full of a tasty nougat center, and what they get you is yearly marginal success.

Those plans are how a team like Auburn finds itself missing 43% of its 2009 and 2010 recruiting classes. Forty percent of Auburn’s four- or five-star signees listed by Rivals.com from those years are gone. Gone. Maybe a major reason why the Tigers’ offensive backfield presently consists of four players, two of which have never played a down of football. One of the two that has weighs 168 pounds and if given the chance prefers the out-of-bounds line to the goal line.

Their quarterbacks are in good shape, as long as they’re not called on to pass. Clint Mosely isn’t an SEC quarterback, and Kheil Frazier might eclipse the accomplishments of Kody Burns if a few chips fall into place for him this season.

One of their can’t miss linebackers, a player I overheard two barner friends of mine celebrating when he signed, is struggling to even break into the rotation.

And as we’ve covered here, the string of arrests, suspensions and dismissals is alarming at best, telling at worst.

Then there’s the NCAA, currently sniffing around “at least” one situation in Memphis.

Auburn fans simply don’t understand how bad a shape their program is in at present. A freak 2010 blinded them to the reality of the situation. They are facing another abysmal season where at times they will not even look competitive. And this from a regime now in its fourth season.

So how does a team that has recruited so well and even won a national championship…albeit diminished with controversy…find itself in such bad a shape? If there is a plan in place, there’s a good chance nobody knows what it is.

Now, shift your focus across the state.

Nick Saban’s plan has more sustenance. It isn’t sweet and chewy. It’s made out of titanium. Heck, let’s just celebrate the fact that he even has one.

It’s a plan that focuses on developing the player far beyond the football field. The Tide’s academic center is producing results that is turning the heads of parents serious about their son getting an education.

The Tide’s national championship football team had 21 graduates, one shy of the BCS National Championship Game record Bama set in 2009. Football also had the second highest graduation rate among schools in the final 2011 BCS top 10 and has posted the second-highest graduation rate in the SEC each of the past three years.

As a group, Alabama’s more than 525 student-athletes averaged better than a collective 3.0 grade-point average for the 2011-12 academic year, including 48 who maintained a career GPA of 4.0. Overall, five teams posted GPAs above 3.5 for the second year in a row. That same group has produced four national championships on the field since January of this year.

Saban’s focus goes beyond the classroom into the heart of the player, exposing his team to people that can teach them about life. The Tide was one of the first in the college ranks to employ the services of Trevor Moawad, a sports psychologist specializing in mental conditioning. His company, IMG Performance Institute of Bradenton, Fla. works with professional athletes to fine-tune their psychological preparation for high-stress athletic performances.

But there is a string of speakers who Saban brings in to meet with his team. The latest taking place just this week, as Chris Herren, the focus of ESPN’s most powerful 30 For 30 episodes told his story of substance abuse. Friday a member of the Navy Seals addressed the team on how to deal with life when everything isn’t going your way.

Then there is physical conditioning. Scott Cochran’s fourth quarter program has transformed Alabama from being a team that gave up in the fourth quarter under Shula…having never overcome a deficit within that quarter in his tenure…to a team that physically pulverizes you once you’re tired and worn down.

And finally, then there is the professional possibilities. If you have what it takes to enter the NFL draft, there is a darn good chance you’re gonna get paid. It’s kind of hard to argue with the number of players Saban has had taken in the draft since 2008 (24), not to mention the eleven (11) first round draft picks he’s produced in that time. That’s not far from half.

So at Alabama, if you make it into the NFL draft, there’s almost a 50% chance you’re going in the money round.

So, six years into his stint as Alabama’s head coach, it’s no wonder the Crimson Tide again finds itself at the epicenter of college football. And this sustained success is the kind of thing that strikes fear at the heart of Bama haters everywhere. Saban has never stayed anywhere long enough to see his plan work. Not like this. Maybe it’s for that reason he’s said he will end his coaching career in Tuscaloosa.

Simply put, Nick Saban has a plan. A real plan for sustained success. And, unless you’re totally immersed in hate-filled delusion, it’s hard to argue that it is working to perfection.

What we are seeing is a return to the 1960’s and 1970’s for Alabama football. All because of a plan.


(Follow me on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)

42 Responses to “Why is Bama #2 in the AP? Saban’s plan” Subscribe

  1. Stuart August 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Bravo.

  2. Be4Bama August 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Lovin Saban!!!

  3. Hoopie August 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    You redneck bastards. Have you forgotten Aub’s record in T-Town? Who cares if Mike Shula, Dubose, and Fran coached Most of those teams? Scott Loefler will make us forget the Gus Bus and our ex-porn star DC will shut down Nuss in Nov. Wah Damn Eagle. Beagle Weagle. Boddha Getta. All in. Family. Loveliest Village on the Plains.

    • ITK August 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      You are so right Hoopie. I stand corrected.

    • almightytmc1 August 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Hoopie
      You forgot “God is on our side”.

    • moose August 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      hey hoopie, go choke on rat shit.

  4. 92AUgrad4Bama August 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    I do believe that he likes what he sees in Tuscaloosa and knows the people, the fans love winning championship caliber of football and that is what excites him. Loved hearing all the naysayers, the weeneies who said he’d it won’t stick around–always leaves b/f the job is done. Still around isn’t he? I think for him and his coaching skills is a lot like what many of us in our own personal professional careers have gone through: move around till you find what works best for you and your families. It just has taken him this long to find the right fit. And, for this we are grateful.

  5. 3acldave August 19, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    “It’s the kind of success that makes your rivals’ fans sound like blithering idiots when jockeying their average team’s accomplishments against yours.”. <- so I assume you are or were on one of these great bammer teams?? Since that is obviously the case congrats. If not then "You" my friend haven't done sh!t. What you should say is "the team I root for has done this, this, and that". Most likely your just a fan and which means you had zero to do with anything.

    • RC August 19, 2012 at 2:46 am #

      3acldave: Definiion of a jealous blithering idiot. If people want to associate something what the hell is it to you? Your dumbass probably thinks that you can actually change someone’s mind or make them feel bad with your silly little posts. FAIL

      • DES August 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        RC- I believe he was talking about “The Hoopster.” RTR

    • The Conduit August 21, 2012 at 8:30 am #

      3acldave

      I don’t like to say things like this, but it’s difficult to take your suggestion of correct grammar too seriously when your response is so riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. It’s like someone telling you how the electron collider works and all you can say is, “your shoe’s untied.”

  6. Crimsonite August 19, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    Dave if you don’t like what’s said on here you can drag your ass back home and resume humping your baby sister. It’s obvious you aren’t a Bama fan and therefore you have to kiss our ass and I’m assuming that shit doesn’t taste very good. Anyway, there are various ways a fan, booster or alumnus can help with and be a part of a teams success without actually playing. Besides asswipe, it’s none of your fuking business. So eat shit and die. RTR!

  7. tblakney August 19, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Well Done and very accurate something you don’t everywhere you click!!!!!!!

  8. Gene Chizik August 19, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Saban is a great coach with a great vision. I know he will continue his success.

  9. WhoreEagle August 19, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Trooper Taylor is a Thug POS and recruits in his image.

    The Auburn family is “fortunate” to have him :)

  10. A Ganger August 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Roll Tide Y’all…Good read dude…It is ALL about the PLAN not the Plains…Awburn will be sucking hind teat as long as Saban in the coach at Alabama and they know it…LOL…

    It sure is great to be a Bama Fan these days…OBTW…Coach Saban says “WE Fans” are part of the TEAM…SO when I say WE won a National Championship last year WITH Coach Saban and the TEAM the WE includes me and all the others fans…According to “OUR” coach…So, put that in your bong and smoke it Barney one bullet…

    Roll Damn Tide
    42-14
    21-0
    Protect America, Build Submarines

  11. JW August 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Roll Tide Bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Be4Bama August 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Well said A Ganger….”our team and coach” are rewriting college football. All others are pea green with envy and I’m lovin it!!!!
    I love the fact all the haters must kiss our feet. LOL.
    There’s nothing even close to “our coach” and “our players. Get used to it AU!!!
    RTR

  13. Trooper Taylor August 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Just went to Target to pick up some towels and Whiteout. One’s for waving and the other is for grade changing.

  14. Be4Bama August 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    Have y’all heard about AU’s 5 star commentment from Muscle Scholas being suspended by his high school coach? I think his name is Dee Liner. The punk walked out on practice last week commenting he didn’t want to be in high school and he was ready to go to AU. He’s the kind that was arrested twice in July. Somebody better tell him he needs to graduate first. smh
    Another thug fior AU’s 2013 recruiting class.
    RTR!!!!

    • # 1 al. fan August 20, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Aww what the hell!!! with all the love in Lee County these days he’ll be signed up in no time!! What are a few dumb rules to keep him from his destiny? I’m sure ol Cheesestick will welcome him with open arms and make him a honorary member of ‘the Fambly’, yes life is good in Lee County!!! RTR

  15. Be4Bama August 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Well heck I didn’t proof read nor do I have my reading glasses on. The typo was I typed kind instead of kid. He’s the kid that was arrested twice in July. Sorry about the boo boo
    RTR

  16. almightytmc1 August 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    Okay folks. We really need to stop focussing so much negative attention on the Chiz and tha Troopa.
    I will explain why.
    As long as those two clowns are on the plains, Bama will dominate AU forever.

    • almightytmc1 August 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Oh and by all means, Please let Jay Jacobs get a lifetime contract too.

  17. Be4Bama August 20, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    #1 fan….if AU can add Dee Liner to their team without him graduating high school first it will indeed will be like the magic trick of pulling a rabbit out of their hat. AU does welcome all….even those with NO class or character.
    RTR

    • moose August 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      barn is the most pathetic school in the SEC. NCAA trouble come walkin in the door for barnscum soon. mark it down.

  18. Abraham August 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m ready for Chizik to withdraw Dee Liner’s scolly offer right now. This guy has Zeke Pike written all over him. I seriously doubt that will happen, as I don’t know too many coaches that will pull an offer from a 5 star committment. Before you bammers start preaching about how Saban wouldn’t even look at a kid like this, you might want to do a little research first. Liner has been, and is still being, heavily recruited by Bama.

    • moose August 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

      whatever, abraham. go play with your buddies on barn.com

    • ITK August 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      Some players just aren’t worth the trouble, and I’m afraid Liner is one of them. I doubt Bama offers in the end, but if they do, a place like Alabama is the only chance he has to turn his life around. All kidding and bias aside, Alabama offers structure, discipline, and constant submission to Coach Nick Saban’s authority. If he goes to Auburn he won’t make it two years in the towel waiving, hooping and hollah-ing thug frenzy. And before you get your back up Abraham, look at both programs. Which one has more players that look like Dee Liner? Alabama or Auburn? I rest my case. He’d be your next Michael Dyer, Eric Smith, Michael McNeil, Antonio Goodwin, Shaun Kitchens, Dakota Mosley, Zeke Pike…

      • Abraham August 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

        ITK, so what you’re saying is that Auburn is due to be ridiculed as a haven for thugs if Liner signs there, but Bama wouldl be hailed as a bastion of structure and discipline that would turn the kid’s life around if he signed there. It’s nice to be able to have your cake and eat it, too, isn’t it? You might also want to remember that every AU player you named in that post was kicked off the team by Chizik, so I’m not sure what your point was. Rolando McClain beat the crap out some some frat boy while at bama, Courtney Upshaw slapped his girlfirend around, Jimmy Johns sold crack in the parking lot, Jeremy Elder robbed two students at gunpoint on campus, and Duron Carter is AWOL after being nothing but a lazy punk for the last year. Both programs have had their share of problem players.

        Bottom line is that I wish Chizik would pull Liner’s offer, and I think it’s a mistake to sign him. There’s not a bama fan here that would question Saban for one second if he signed Liner, they’d just make excuses about how Saban did it because he felt he could turn the kid’s life around.

  19. Hate Smurf Coach August 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Quit worrying about AU goobers. Just concentrate on your own team.

    • ITK August 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      We can multitask.

    • Niner August 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      Who is the one on the rival website? I’m not trolling the barn turd sites telling them to focus on their own team. You think I couldn’t go over there and find barners dogging Bama? I get so sick of weasles coming over here and claiming we are “aubsessed”. Look at your handle, go concentrate on your own team,(like that will help) then go pound sand.

  20. Crimsonite August 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    And you know this how? From an Awbie blog or sleeping with Nick? If he is it’s only because he doesn’t want Aubie or any other SEC team to get him. Once Saban has him he will straighten his ass out or run him off, in which case he would be put of our hair for a couple of years or maybe forever if he went FCS. And don’t kid yourself, Saban has turned loose 4 and 5 stars. Some for a lot less than being a trouble maker. Phillip Simms, BJ Scott, Robby Green, Cory Grant, Jimmy Johns and Duron Carter come to mind.

  21. moose August 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    What’s hilarious is barn still trying to claim they are moral and pure. what a load of horse shit. They have the most corrupt college football program/athletic department in the nation. I only hope my dad lives to see those assholes taken down hard by the NCAA because it’s past due.

  22. The Conduit August 21, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Nick Saban and his philosophy define Alabama’s culture. They characterize how many Alabama fans and students have changed.

    Saban also gives Alabama a real idendity. For more questions anyone might ask Nick Saban, chances are you already know the answer. Work hard. Never quit. Worry about your own performance instead of the other guy. Do it right, then do it again. Tell the truth. Be a champion.

    And, of course, “never again.”

    It’s not bible study. It’s more powerful than saying what we want.

    I have a folder of quotes from Saban and Alabama personel and student athletes that I read to fuel my performance in my own business. I know there are fans of other programs that might do the same thing, or just use their team chant as motivation, but off the field the other 9 months of the year I think Alabama affects its own culture more than any program anywhere, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence Alabama is winning titles in more than football either.

  23. Crimsonite August 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Look moron, like every other Barnturd that infests this site, you have to go look up shit recorded on Papyrus paper to add up to what East Alabama Male College does in just 6 months. Elder and Johns went to jail. McClain behaved his Junior and Senior years. The Upshaw inncident was bullshit. The girl was a shrew and even her father sided with Upshaw. Carter was dismissed but never did anything more than just fuckoff. Next time why don’t you just scroung around and scrape up some worthless bullshit for your attempt at a response. – – Oh wait… RTR!

  24. moose August 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Barniacs ignore the horrible job done by chizzy and his boyz – dead bodies, the felony 4 kicking in doors and waving guns around, spicin things up, losing roughly 50% of the players he’s recruited since chiz has been there. You know what – screw the barn and screw barners everywhere.

  25. Abraham August 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    “Elder and Johns went to jail.” So did the 4 kids at Auburn, what’s your point?

    “McClain behaved his Junior and Senior years.” Maybe Mike Dyer would have done the same his junior and senior years. Doesn’t matter, because Chizik ran him off. I won’t even mention McClain’s current criminal charges that are pending.

    “Carter was dismissed but never did anything more than just f—off.” Other than a minor arrest for public intoxication, that’s pretty much all Zeke Pike did. Again, what’s your point.

  26. Hate Smurf Coach August 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    They have no point, this is a non-reputable blog site full of Bama homers. Let them blog, free country. Also free to disagree. Just try and not accidentally tap any commercial banners or ITK may make an extra $0.05.

  27. Crimsonite August 22, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    The point is you retarded motherfukers, you scrounged ancient history for your 5 examples whereas you dumb bastards have had around 20 in the past year alone and 2 or 3 just this week. Everything has to be explained to you As ifyou are tit sucking babies — oh wait –. And we don’t give a shit what McClain does now. That’s someone elses problem. Dyer? Bwaa Haww Haww! Maybe would have changed? Shit, go ask Malzahn about that one. And when was the last time one of you selfrightous motherfukers walked out of a bar and would have blown a .06? That shit for brains is public intoxication and as far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t drive it’s nobody’s fuking business. The point is dipshit, at Bama it is a scattered problem. But at Awbie, Georgia, Tenn

  28. Crimsonite August 22, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    Tennessee, LSU and Florida – well all you bastards just run halfway houses for Bad Boys. And Smurf you cum deposit – you picked the right screen name since the real smurf was at Awbie a long time ago and didn’t win shit. But he did accuse his own school of cheating. Bwaa Hawa Haww! RTR!

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