Nate Gettleman/SEC Country
Nick Saban (left) takes the SEC Media Days stage Wednesday, a day after his former coordinator Kirby Smart of Georgia did.

Alabama football: Two Saban proteges take the stage at SEC Media Days


Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at the long shadow cast by Nick Saban on the SEC. 

Nick Saban hasn’t taken the podium at SEC Media Days yet – that comes Wednesday – but his influence has certainly been felt.

Jim McElwain of Florida and Kirby Smart of Georgia led the day in Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday, two former Saban coordinators (along with Will Muschamp) turned competitors for the SEC East. Smart, in his second year as his alma mater’s head coach, acknowledged that he and everyone in the conference are playing catchup to his old boss:

Smart, McElwain and Muschamp cast Saban’s shadow in one way, the rest of the conference in another. As Joe Goodman of points out, the only coach with more than one victory against Saban in the conference is Hugh Freeze, who may have to vacate those wins thanks to NCAA violations. The two remaining coaches who have beaten Saban with transcendent quarterbacks at the helm, Kevin Sumlin and Gus Malzahn, have found themselves impotently quarterback-less and could relatedly soon be jobless.

It all reminds me of the Les Miles firing. If you’re getting fired for not being able to beat possibly the greatest college football coach of all time consistently, who could possibly replace you?


Built by Bama

Former Alabama All-SEC golfer and all-time-great-name-haver Gator Todd was named the assistant coach at Vanderbilt. A four-year letterman at Alabama, Todd played in 43 tournaments during his Crimson Tide career with a 73.55 scoring average. As a senior in 2008, he helped lead Alabama to its first No. 1 ranking in program history.


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