When you are Nick Saban and Alabama crimson tideanything less than a national championship is considered a failure.
Despite making it to the 2021 title match, it has been an uncharacteristic year for Saban and his team. There was that rare mid-season loss to Jimbo Fischer and Texas A&M. They had close calls throughout the season with convincing wins over Florida, LSU, Arkansas as well as Auburn. In addition, they also allow Tennessee stick around until the fourth quarter.
And, after all, it was the Georgia Bulldogs who toppled the Tide in last year’s national championship. a 33–18 win and sending Bama home in second place.
During a speech at McElroy and Kubelik in the Morning On Wednesday, Saban looked back at last season and called it a year of recovery.
“Last year,” Saban said, “we had a year of recovery.”
On Thursday, Paul Feinbaum of the SEC Network discussed Saban’s comments, saying “it’s not good.”
“It’s very predictable… Whenever he (Saban) loses a game, like a national championship game, that’s an excuse,” Finebaum said. “Here comes the Nick Saban complaints tour.
I mean, sometimes I don’t know if Nick Saban is trying to be the greatest coach of all time or if he wants to take Jimmy Kimmel’s place.
I mean, I really don’t get it because, frankly, it doesn’t look good at some point.”
Finebaum went on to recall Saban’s past complaints after losing a game or, in the case of this offseason, losing some recruiting battles.
“But first he was complaining about the NIL over and over again, and now he is nitpicking about what happened last year,” Finbaum added.
“In the past, you could go back in the record book every time he lost one of those games, a couple of years ago he called the Sugar Bowl a consolation game. He blamed the NFL Draft for the loss to Ohio State when Ezekiel Elliott was there. There’s always something going on with Nick Saban, but we still love him, don’t we?”
In 2021, Saban had to replace 10 NFL draft picks, eight of whom were drafted in the first two rounds, including wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and quarterback Mack Jones.
In addition, his offensive coordinator Steve Sarkeesian traveled to Texas and took offensive line coach Kyle Flood and special teams coordinator Jeff Banks with him.
But at the end of the day, is this any different from just about any other off-season for Saban and his team? When you build a great program, players and coaches leave and you rebuild. Almost every year in college football is technically a recovery year.