The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 8, 2013

Saban restless in a way rest of us are not

NORMAN — At some point, this much success should have brought joy, or at the very least, a deep sense of satisfaction. It’s only made Nick Saban chase each win more relentlessly than the last.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see him try to top this one.

Alabama’s Crimson Tide slipped on the BCS crown for the third time in the last four years Monday night, crushing Notre Dame 42-14 and almost as impressively, forcing a wide grin from its sometimes dour and always serious coach. Small wonder. The win was Saban’s fourth national championship, which left him tied with Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy for second on The Associated Press’ all-time list, and behind only Paul “Bear” Bryant, the most famed of his predecessors at Alabama.

“I’m satisfied with this team because of what they accomplished,” Saban said afterward.

But he has a rule that celebrations are cut short after 48 hours — and despite the biggest of wins — a rule is a rule.

“Two days from now,” Saban said without a hint of humor, “we got to start on next year.”

The weekend before the championship, more than a few people wondered whether Saban might finally open up, the way Urban Meyer did while still coaching at Florida a while back, the way some of his peers have when their legacy, like Saban’s, was secured. Saban did — just not the way most expected.

He began with a story about inheriting his uncompromising work ethic from a father that he and everyone else in their tucked-away corner of West Virginia always called “Big Nick.”

“There was a bum that used to come to my dad’s service station early in the morning because he’d give him free coffee and doughnuts,” Saban said. “We had had a tough game the night before, I don’t remember whether it was basketball game, a football game or whatever. The guy was giving me a hard time and I sort of sassed him. I was 17 years old. I got the strap right on the spot.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU v ISU 4 Average Owen Field ticket running $150; Red River Rivalry much more

    Starting the season as a national championship contender makes season tickets a better investment for Oklahoma fans....

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neal happy with his new job

    When Michael Neal was a lethal shooter at Oklahoma several years ago, there was no hesitation in his game. It’s a trait that he brought to the sidelines when he became an assistant in Norman High’s boys’ program two years ago....

    July 9, 2014

  • Westmoore Bootcamp Westmoore girls putting in work at bootcamp

     Westmoore girls basktball coach Andrea Guziec is known for her intensity. She is constantly pushing and prodding her players to play at their best.

    July 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • Verplank likes his chances

    EDMOND — As Scott Verplank sat at Tuesday’s press conference for the 2014 U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, he wasn’t even eligible for the tournament....

    July 9, 2014

  • A well-oiled German machine

    BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — With Neymar out injured, just about everyone in Brazil knew it would be tough against Germany. Nobody ever expected this....

    July 9, 2014

  • LeBron holds court in Vegas

    LAS VEGAS — LeBron James worked out and had a meeting agenda Tuesday. In another summer of NBA Free Agent Frenziness, if James knows where he will be playing next season, he still isn’t saying....

    July 9, 2014

  • Brazilian fans crushed by loss

    RIO DE JANEIRO — The tears started flowing before half time, and by the end of a 7-1 shellacking in the World Cup semifinal, millions across Brazil were in dazed, damp-eyed disbelief. The national team wasn’t just defeated by a powerful ...

    July 9, 2014

  • On Tour, it’s still Kittel

    LILLE, France — Giant-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel won yet again on the Tour de France, grabbing his third stage of four in the sprint into Lille on Tuesday....

    July 9, 2014

  • ‘Football 101 for Women’ debuts at Colorado

    BOULDER, Colo. — Some University of Colorado alumni are rolling their eyes at an upcoming “Football 101 for Women” clinic, saying the course plays to gender stereotypes that women don’t understand the game. But university officials insist ...

    July 9, 2014

  • Wie, Lewis leading revival on the course

    SOUTHPORT, England — The friendly matches in South Florida can involve as many as eight players, with teams decided by drawing names from a hat. Michelle Wie would seem to be a great pick, except for the timing....

    July 9, 2014

Facebook