First let me compliment Coach Saban on his coaching career with his ability to maintain the passion for coaching a sport at the highest level of college athletics, shaping the minds of young men and women and being a mentor for student athletes in which he has come in contact with for many years. I wish no harm or negative effects to Coach Saban, his family and career in college athletics. in August 2018, ESPN selected to air the time spent by Coach Saban with his recruits at his home and the Alabama training days to give you an inside look within Coach Saban and Alabama. I am in full support in what ESPN did with that segment.
With that said, it’s incumbent of me to offer you some information about Alabama football and Coach Saban in which the main stream media won’t tell you or is afraid to examine about Coach Saban and his reign at Alabama. Fact, yes Coach Saban has won 4 BCS Titles and 2 CFP Titles, Coach Saban’s overall record at Alabama is (127-20), with some of those wins earned in bowl games. These are all facts that can not be argued against. However, ever wonder how Coach Saban and Alabama has possessed this type of success at the FBS level play at Alabama since (2007)? Is this magical run been perfomed by skill, luck, significant advantages in key areas of the sport or in other ways? Let me offer you a different perspective about the Alabama success and Coach Saban’s successes since (2007).
As the title of the posting says, “Magician and Pied Piper”, this best describes Coach Saban. I would best describe Coach Saban as the best magician of all within coaching college football. The most intersting dichotomy of this description is that the sports media “experts” do not even realize what Coach Saban has performed right under their very noses and eyes. Coach Saban did not use magical boxes, saw a lady in half, levitate, appear… disappear and re-appear, or smoke and mirrors. Coach Saban used mis-direction and card tricks to make sure that the sports media “experts” had their eyes and minds elsewhere while he pulled of the magicians trick. Interesting, I have been watching this trick unfold since (1996) with the SEC and once Coach Saban arrived at Alabama in (2007).
Here is what the sports media “experts” fail to recognize and report on about Coach Saban at Alabama, either because they have a financially invested interests into the SEC or lacks the congintive abilities to comprehend how the magician pulled off the trick. These are facts, just like a District Attorney performing and investigating a murder case. They gather facts, not follow hypothesis and theories with abillity to draw a conclusion with the evidence. Since Coach Saban’s hiring at Alabama, Alabama has scheduled (44) NCG’s during the BCS and CFP era’s. Of those (44) NCGs, (42) of them or 95.4% of them have been scheduled and played at home or regional home field advantage sites; such as Atlanta, Dallas or Orlando. There is the magic trick the media won’t speak of or report on. This means that in (11) college football season under the Saban era at Alabama, they have only played on the road for (2) traditional style NCG’s; at Duke in (2010) and at Penn State in (2011). This gives the ultimate illusion with relationship to their win loss records as better than any other FBS program. This data also includes that during the CFP era, Alabama has not played (1) NCG on the road AT another FBS/P5/G5 stadium site. Moreover, the sports media, gives high praise to the SEC and Alabama for how they have acheived their success, but won’t tell you how the magician pulled of the greatest trick and illusion to be as successful.
There, the trick and mirage like perception of Alabama, the SEC and Coach Saban has been revealed. Sure, check the data and historic schedules if you want, but let me save you your time. Do your best to determine if I am lying or not “truth” telling. Yes, the Alabama fans will say; ” we played in Atlanta”, ” we played in Dallas”, ” we played in Orlando”… ” those are road games”. Yes, you are right, they are road games with regional home field advantage built into the perception in which YOU need to control to be successful. Is it that the reality of the matter becomes that the SEC, Alabama and Coach Saban are fearful of playing in other P5/G5 stadium sites outside of the region of the Southeast? I cannot prove this but, what the historical data and evidence tells us is that the implied impression, perception and reality of what has been scheduled offers conclusive evidence that the “fear of losing” or the “fear of losing that stranglehold on the money, title and prestige” would ruin their image to ESPN or other constituencies. I believe that if the SEC FBS football programs were required to play outside of their comfort zone of regional HFA, then they would not possess the successes in which they currently have now. However, we will never know because the SEC FBS football programs do not play West of College Station, TX; West of Columbia, MO; or North of Lexington, KY. The SEC fears the other P5 FBS programs in prestigious conferences.
Can you only imagine if Coach Meyer at Ohio State, Coach Kelly at Notre Dame, Coach Harbaugh at Michigan, Coach Peterson at Boise State and Washington, Coach Leach at Washington State, Coach Stoops at Oklahoma when he was there, Coach Alveraz, Coach Niumatolo at Navy, Coach Gundy at Oklahoma State, Coach Ferentz at Iowa, Coach Carey at Northern Illinois, Coach Solich at Ohio, Coach Shaw at Stanford and any other FBS P5/G5 head football coach outside of the SEC would say, if they could play 95% of their NCG’s at home and not be required to play road games or even be required to travel to the SEC region of the country to play SEC programs. I could speculate that these coaches could have won National Championships as well. You are aware that published peer reviewed research and published reasearch in book form proves and supports the home field advantage theory in relationship to a better overall won loss record and greater success.
Here is an interesting tidbit of information, proof shown that many SEC programs have qualified for the Men’s and Women’s basketball tournament, Men’s Baseball Tournament and Women’s Softball tournament in the 2017-2018 NCAA sports season. When these tournament brackets were narrowed down to a select group of regional play and the SEC programs were required to play in other regions of the country to qualify for the National Championship brackets, seems that the results indicate that the SEC CANT play away from home and be successful as they are at home. Fact is that the only way the SEC could have immediate representation into the Men’s 2018 College Baseball World Series or the Women’s 2018 College Softball World Series, is they had to place (2) SEC programs against each other in the regional round to secure and guarentee (2) World Series berths. The only way the SEC is successful is if they control their NCG schedule to be played at home and as often as possible. Again, a point of emphasis that supports the fear of losing or the stranglehold on the financial prize.
How does the Pied Piper assimilation to Coach Saban come into play, please let me explain in important detail. Everyone knows the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Eventhought this is not about rats, the plague or an epidemic. This is about Coach Saban leading the sports media “experts” on the whatever Coach Saban say’s tour and they believe it. Believing every word in which Coach Saban speaks, as if it were his own thoughts or idea on how to make college football better and the subject of the playoff system. The sports media “experts” hang on his every word like he were the best thing since the inception of bacon. Just like the Pied Piper, leading them to a story line which will give them the lead, because the words came from Coach Saban.
The best example of the Pied Piper assimilation with Coach Saban, starts with his media tour at ESPN during the month of July on the 27th day in the year (2017). For the past few years Coach Saban takes his time off from his busy schedule to visit or invited by ESPN to discuss college football. On this said date, Coach Saban was a guest on a television show produced and televised by ESPN called the SC6 with Michael and Jamele. During this interview Coach Saban was asked pertient questions about issues that needed to be addressed with college football at the FBS level of play. One of the primary quesitons asked by Jamele was in direct relationship to a Power Five Conference Scheduling forma and the college football playoff. Below is a partial transcript from the interview given, by Jamele with Coach Saban aired on the SC6 which video was later posted on Youtube.com:
Jamele: Are there some other things that you’ve seen that make you wonder about the direction, in where college football is headed. That our particular source of passion and, even again, in frustration from you?
Saban: Well, I have a completely different perception, I wish that we would play all power five schools. There would be no playing any school from one double A (1-AA), that’s not in a power five conference. Just like in the NFL. You play all NFL teams. You don’t play three (3 ) teams from Canada or the Canadian League or whatever so you can get your record good enough so you can get your record good enough to go to a bowl game. And I think there would be more fan interest, ah I think it would be better for TV, ah I think that you could lose more than one (1) game and still have the opportunity to get into the playoff. Umm, and maybe if that were the case, and we did that, people would not be so worried about winning six (6) games to go to a bowl game. And maybe we would expand the playoff, which would even create more interest. (Saban, 2017)
The dichotomy within this statement and repsonse by Coach Saban is that he does not atone the the words in which he speaks. Alabama, Coach Saban and the SEC DOES consistently schedule lower level programs such as the FCS to “get their records good enough to go to a bowl game’ (Saban ,2017). Please Coach Saban, do not try to use a wave of the magic wand to make yourself look better than you actually are. Another magicians trick exposed. The most interesting aspect about this interaction between Coach Saban with Jamele, is that whatever Coach Saban states in his comments, the sports media “experts” hang on his every word as if it were gold or a “genius’ like thought. Even Coach Saban believes that college football needs to have a standardized, universal, cross conference, cross divisional and balanced scheduling format, in addition to expanding the collage football playoff. Heather Dinich, ESPN college football analyst “expert”, responds to Coach Saban’s comment about the subject matter.
Heather Dinich writes; “ Saban’s theory for CFP is “so far out” that nobody will listen to him.
Saban states(tied into the P5 schedule) that if we are going to have bowl games just like we do in the NCAA basketball tournament-not by record but by some kind of power rating that gets you into a bowl game. If we did that, people would be less interested un maybe bowl games and more interested in expanding the playoff”
Saban states “ and whether you expand the playoff or have a system where it’s like now – we take the Top 12 teams and decide what bowl games they go to—just take them all.”
Saban states “ there would be more opportunity to play more teams in your league, as well as to have more games that people would be more interested in. We all play three (3) or four (4) games a year now that nobody’s really interested in.We’d have more games, more public interest, more fan interest, better TV.”
Saban suggests “ a 10-games SEC schedule, for example during the regular season.”
FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher expressed similar thoughts on a non-conference schedule.
Fisher states “ There is not enough games interconference play to help judge how you’re rating each league.” (SC6, 2017)
This leads me to believe that if Coach Saban verbalizes any statement over the airwaves of radio or television, then Coach Saban must possess a genius like thought that the sports media “experts” run with it and believe that he must be right. Thus, the Pied Piper assimilation with Coach Saban. As recent as July 24, 2018; Coach Saban took his yearly trip to visit the Expert Sports Programming Network, and took time to visit the ESPN show “First Take”, hosted by Molly Qurim. During the visit on the set of First Take, Coach Saban was asked a few questions about the upcoming college football season and issues in which it possesses, in how they determine their national champion at the end of the season. Below is the transcription of those key segments with Coach Saban, Molly Qurim and the co hosts.
Partial transcript taken from a guest appearance of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban.
Molly Qurim: (continuation from a previous comment and question about another college football team… then breaks into the question) But Coach I want to ask you this. I was listening to Harbaugh earlier today at the Big 10 Conference, and he was saying, at the media conference, and he was saying that he want to see the College Football Playoff expanded, beyond four teams. Where do you stand on that?
Coach Saban: Well I think there is good and bad in both. I think that one of the great things about college football is bowl games always gave a lot of teams, fans, programs an opportunity to get a lot of (in audible) of gratification at the end of the season, if you qualified for a bowl game. I think the more playoffs you have the less significance bowl games have. And I think that those two things eventually will have a hard time co-existing. So, I think you first have to set the priority of what’s more important, having more bowl games and a small playoff, or bigger playoff and no bowl games. I think that’s an issue that somebody needs to resolve. I do think that because the less significance of bowl games, more and more players will probably choose not to play, like we have started to see now. Umm, and I guess, if you have more playoffs and the games have more significance, maybe more players will play, I don’t know. (Saban, 2018)
Question from one of the guest host to Coach Nick Saban: I’ve read today that you are interested in expanding the SEC schedule from 8 games to 9 games, SEC notoriously tough. Why are you interested in that expansion?
Coach Saban: I think somebody needs to step up in college football and get ahead of, you know dwindling attendance, people not coming to games, too many games people are not interested in. Uh, I think every player in the SEC should play every team in the SEC in their career and right now we don’t do that since we expanded now to 14 teams and we only play 8 SEC games. I’ve been for that for a long time. I’m also for playing, every game as a power five game. So you play 10 games, 9, 10 games in the SEC and you play 2 other power five schools. So when people go to buy tickets and pay premium for all that. You know they are not seeing Division 2 schools, they’re seeing that they are playing 5 SEC schools and Oklahoma this year at home. I mean, I think that’s a good thing for college football, It’s a good thing. And everybody says we got to win 6 games to go to a bowl game. We’ll select people to go to a bowl game, if they could do the basketball tournament. It’s not based on record, it’s based on RPI, or you know schedule strength, and those types of things and do the same thing in football. So, I just think from a big picture fan stand point. You know playing a bunch of games that nobody is interested in, is not good for the game. Ah, Ah, it’s not good. And then our players, you know when you been playing SEC games they are not interested in playing somebody that does not matter. (Saban, 20
These are prime examples of what Coach Saban says to the media and they media “experts” hang on his every word as valid and possessing legitimacy. This is why I relate the Pied Piper reference of Coach Saban to the media. Coach Saban may have valid comments, however, someone has addressed, researched, investigated, published and protected the findings and alternative solution for an expanded playoff that would be inclusive to all FBS programs, congruent with the bowl system without eliminating any the bowl games and season. As per Coach Saban’s comment about the SEC playing a 9 or 10 game conference schedule. With the current membership numbers, the SEC can possess a 9 game conferenece schedule. However, with the current membership, the SEC CANNOT possess a 10 game conference schedule. I have already performed the scheduling grid and a 10 games SEC schedule does not work and cannot be implimented.
As per Coach Saban’s comments about playing a “Division 2” school within his current schedule, maybe he needs to know who is on his schedule and the classifications of those scheduled games before he espouses. During Coach Saban’s tenure at Alabama, he has scheduled and played a lower level classification but not Division 2. That lower level classification Alabama and the SEC plays are called FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) programs. The FCS are or were classified as Division 1-AA. As per Coach Saban’s comment about wanting to play Oklahoma at home on his schedule or playing 10 SEC Conference games and 2 P5 (Power Five Conference) programs. Maybe Coach Saban should take his team to Oklahoma, or to Michigan, or to Palo Alto, or to Pullman, or to Southern California or other FBS P5 program stadiums. That too has already been addressed, solved and can be implimented at the FBS level of college football now. What Coach Saban is asking of is an NFL like scheduling format. I call this a universal, balanced, cross conference, cross divisional and standardized scheduling format. This type of scheduling format and idea is clearly explained in detail in my published book titled “College Football In The BCS Era The Untold Truth Facts, Evidence and Solution” (Siggelow, 2013 & 2016) located in Chapter 16, titled “Balanced Schedule: Possible or Impossible” (Siggelow, 2013 & 2016). This same subject was also published and researched previously in by the same author in the book titled “College Football in the BCS ERA, The Untold Truth: An Analysis of Factors that supports the 16-Team Playoff Model” (Siggelow, 2013) located in the Appendix portion of the literary work.
When Coach Saban speaks out, or claims that someone or someone within college football should address these issues, then I am not sure if they hear him or if someone outside of the college football arena has already investigated this issue. Let me be the first to acknowledge Coach Saban, that these issues have already been addressed, solved and published. Coach Saban and the President of Alabama Dr. Bell both received copies of my book and letters addressing possible copyright protection breach. What the mainstream sports media “experts” believe is that because there are titles attached to names such as; Sports Analysts, Sports Writers, Coaches, Director of Athletics or Commissioners is they must possess the cognitive abilities to address and provide a better solution to the problem of an expanded college football playoff or a standardized scheduling format. However, an academic, with a Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration, Sports Management, Kinesiology and Sports Studies with a research certification from the University of Miami of Florida has already published findings in realtionship to this subject matter and more. The dicotomy is that this academic who used a higher cognitive, problem solving skills set does not have a title attached to his name.
The irony in this post is telling the truth and being investigative enough to read and learn about what has been published or in print by peer reviewed educators. I believe that the character, Colonel Jessup from the movie A Few Good Men; sums it up the best to the sports media, fans and so called “experts” “You can’t handle the truth” (Sorkin, 1992). I believe that the sports media “experts” do not know how to handle the truth or read higher congnitive level thinking from educators, because it possibly challenges their belief system of athletics and college football. Maybe Matthew McConaughey who played lawyer, Jake Brigance, in the movie titled “A Time To Kill” stated it best in his closing arguements “ I had a great summation all worked out, full of some sharp lawyering. But I’m not going to read it. I’m here to apologize. I am young and I am inexperienced. But you cannot hold Carl Lee Hailey responsible for my shortcomings. You see, in all this legal maneuvering something has gotten lost, and that something is the truth. Now it is incumbent upon us lawyers not to just talk about the truth, but to actually seek it, to find it, to live it” (Milchan and Grisham, 1996).
To draw a conclusion on this lengthy post, by providing the facts, evidence and truths against certain college football topics makes me knowledgeable almost expert like within the subject matter. However, since I do not possess a title to my name, i feel that many within social, television and print media feel that I am inadequate to address the problems within college football at the highest level and provide an improved alternative solution which is Utiliatarianistic. I get the sense that those within the media believe I possess a conspiracy theory and an agenda to derail the SEC. My agenda is to bring to light an improved and expanded college football playoff format, an improved college football ranking system, an improved scheduling format and an improved selection and seeding process which is inclusive for all FBS programs and not “exclusive” to a select group. Just becuase I use my brain to address and solve problems in college football and athletics does not make me different. It makes me a viable asset to someone in college athletics.
To the media, I am available for phone interviews or I can plan time to be an in studio guest to discuss these college football matters further and address any questions you may possess. To the media, do not be afraid to say you are wrong, or expand your horizons beyond the World Wide Web and what is being published. Those academics, like myself use the APA/MLA format to support our thoughts, theories, arguments and solutions.
in closing, if any of the sports media or mainstream college football fan reads, and wishes to share my posts; please remember where you read the information and always give credit where credit is due. Always use the APA/MLA citation format.
Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) (2018). First Take; Hosted by Molly Qurim. Found on the World Wide Web. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdrLpzlgraA. Topic Discussed: Alabama Coach Nick Saban Sees Good and Bad With Expanding the College Football Playoff. Airdate: July 24, 2018.
Entertainment Sports Programming Network (ESPN) (2017). SC6; Hosted by Michael Smith and Jemele Hill. Found on the World Wide Web. ESPN.com, http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=20165321. Interviwer: Heather Dinich; ESPN Senior Sports Writer for College Football. Topic Discussed:Nick Saban envisions changing regular-season schedule, College Football Playoff Nick Saban Interview Transcription/theory of a P5 scheduling concept. Airdate: July 26, 2017.
Milchan, A. and Grisham, J. (1996). (Producers). Schumacher, J. (Director). Goldsmam, A. (Screenplay). [A Time To Kill] Motion Picture. Warner Brothers.
Siggelow, Matthew (2013 & 2016). College Football In The BCS Era The Untold Truth Facts Evidence and Solutions. Lulu.com. Print.
Sorkin, A. (1992) (Screenplay). Reiner, R., Brown, D. & Scheinman, A. (Producers). Reiner, R. (Director). [A Few Good Men] Motion Picture. Castel Rock Entertainment.