Nick NITELITE Saban routs Tommy Bowden
for Gods Among Men: Coaches and Coordinators in the SEC
No, that was your future flashing before your eyes....
Clemson came into the Georgia Dome Saturday with the confidence of an annointed champion. The preseason hype had centered on the returning starters, on the talent at the skill positions including the best running back tandem in the entire country in CJ Spiller and James Davis. Tommy Bowden's 10 years at Clemson had finally culminated in the kind of team that justifies taking a decade to assemble, and some were whispering "National Championship" as the payoff.
Equally, Alabama was being heralded for many reasons, even if many thought them to only be a middle of the SEC team to start out the season, there was little doubt that Nick NITELITE Saban would be able to recruit players and out-coach his opponents. Overcoming the glut and decay of the Mike Shula era should take some time, but more than just the Alabama faithful had a feeling that the Alabama recruiting class might make an immediate impact. Forbes Magazine's recent profile on Saban is on it's third printing, and the message from the article was that Saban is the Czar of Alabama, top to bottom, and with that type of control, the price is immediate results.
The Most Powerful Coach In The History of Human Athletics, Nick NITELITE Saban, made good on his steep salary Saturday as Alabama destroyed Clemson 34-10 in the ACC's third consecutive national television debacle of the first weekend of the college football season.
Bowden was the Great Hope of 2008 for the ACC, if only to prove that the BCS bearth earned via the ACC title was legitimate. Very few if any prognosticators around the nation were picking Alabama to upset Clemson, and certainly, not so one-sidedly.
"Our players played with confidence," Saban said. "I didn't see anybody scared out there. I didn't see any fear."
"I cannot remember us getting physically beat that bad in at least three years," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said.
"It's one game," Saban said. What our players, fans, everybody needs to understand is it's one game. We need to keep playing better and improve."
Early Sunday, Coach had this to say regarding Bowden's future, "Talk about a disaster, Tommy Bowden’s Clemson team didn’t even bother to show up to play against Alabama. Is anyone coaching this Clemson football team, which entered the game against Alabama with four times the experience and twice the talent of the Tide? What a complete and total letdown by the Clemson Tigers, and their fans should be storming the Clemson football complex on Sunday morning once they get out of church. What exactly is Clemson paying Tommy Bowden $1.85 million a year to do? He is not coaching the Clemson football team, so it couldn’t be that, and this incredible no-show by Clemson in this game against Alabama raises some very serious questions...What an embarrassment Tommy Bowden and Clemson are to the great Tiger fans, because Bowden and his football team basically just laid down on the field at the Georgia Dome and let Alabama run all over them with impunity....If Tommy Bowden and his staff think they can coast in ’08, put up a losing season, and still keep their jobs, they are badly mistaken. With all of the talent on this Clemson football team anything less than 10 wins would be coaching malpractice and a losing season would have to be followed by the immediate firing of anyone involved in running the Clemson football team...Right now, it looks as if no one on the Clemson coaching, or on the football team gives two rips about representing their university in the appropriate way...."
Many had thought that there was a chance Bowden would abandon the obvious gameplan and attempt to air it out, like some amateurish video game player. Which, incidentally, is exactly what happened. Alabama, on the other hand, never once gave any indication that they saw themselves as the "underdog" in this game.
John Parker Wilson looked vastly matured, the Alabama defense was absolutely stifling, and Mark Ingram and Glen Coffee seemed to average at least about 11.4 yards per carry.
Clemson as a whole played Saturday like a team impervious to the preseason rankings to the point of not caring whether they represented themselves and their conference in any positive manner. All of those sorts of problems begin with the coaching staff.
earlier this summer Tommy said, "Yes, there is a really logical reason I am golfing and not coaching my team. We're gonna run over Alabama with our eyes closed....".
"The biggest thing was the point of attack. Our offensive line couldn’t handle their defensive line and our defensive line couldn’t handle their offensive line. They are a very physical offensive line and defensive line." Bowden said, describing his teams most obvious failing.
Bowden on the bull's eye his Top 10 team had prior to the game, "When you start out ranked as high as we did and you play a pretty good team you better understand what you have to do to defend that right and it looks like we didn’t understand."
Bowden on questions arising that his practices are not tough enough, "Toughness wasn’t a question last year. Toughness hasn’t been questioned for three years and we haven’t practiced any different. I would think things like this would kind of pop up when you lose like that."
Tommy Bowden, on immediate plans to improve his now demoralized and retreating program, "We will probably have to take Bobby Hutchinson out of his coach career a little early. Everybody else is here. We will have to work with what we got…. Wilson Norris, Mason Cloy, and on down the line..might possibility take a redshirt year off Matt Sanders."
Alabama Head Coach Nick NITELITE Saban regarding his feeling after the game, “I am really pleased and happy for our football team. We talked about finishing and playing with a purpose and focus on each play and play hard. Our defense did a great job against a really good running back tandem. I thought our offensive line did a great job tonight. We ran the football, which seemed like the right thing to do. We averaged four or five yards per attempt. I thought both running backs did a really nice job. John Parker Wilson did a great job. This is just one game of a long season. We have a lot of improvement [to make] as a team and hopefully we can build on what we did here tonight." Then, going back to Wilson, "John Parker Wilson did a great job. He gets us in the right formations and gets us in the right plays. He did a nice job throwing the ball tonight and had no turnovers. He made some really good third down throws. I am really pleased and happy with his performance. He showed great leadership tonight.”
Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson later said, “We came out and started strong. We’ve talked about finishing and this time we did. The offensive line did a great job and we ran the ball well. Everything just fell into place. If we can [continue to] run the ball the way we did tonight, we can be pretty good. Our defense did a great job in stopping the run.”
"I wonder if JoePa is going to retire soon....Or I could always go to Pitt...."