Skip to content

Saban responds to Spurrier’s spring jab

Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban AP

Way back in the spring, a feisty Steve Spurrier took a little jab — replete with a John Calipari dig — in the general direction of Nick Saban and how “easy” the head coach has it at Alabama.

“He’s got a nice little gig going, a little bit like Calipari,” the Ol’ Ball Coach told back in April. “He tells guys, ‘Hey, three years from now, you’re going to be a first-round pick and go.’ If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”

Four months later, Saban has gotten around to responding in kind.

Speaking during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Saban tweaked his SEC rival a bit, pointing out the fact he has been elsewhere besides Alabama — and been successful as well.

“LSU wasn’t winning when I went there. Michigan State wasn’t winning when I went there. Toledo wasn’t winning when I went there. And Alabama really wasn’t winning when I came here. I guess I gotta go someplace else. I don’t know.

“I think it’s great, I love Steve. I’m always anxious to hear what he has to say – it’s always funny.”


Saban, though, actually has a point as well.  Here’s a look at how LSU, Michigan State and Toledo in the five years prior to Saban’s arrival and how they did during the three-time title-winning coach’s tenure at the school:

— From 1995-99, LSU went 33-24-1; under Saban from 2000-04, the Tigers went 48-16, including the 2003 BcS championship
— From 1990-94, Michigan State went 27-29-1; under Saban from 1995-99, the Spartans went 34-24-1.
— From 1985-89, Toledo went 26-28-1; in Saban’s lone season at the school in 1990, the Rockets finished 9-2 and claimed its first MAC title (co-champs alongside Central Michigan) since 1984.

So, yeah, I think Saban has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he can coach regardless of the locale.  But, please, keep tweaking OBC; it’s good for the game.

Permalink 51 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Alabama Crimson Tide, Rumor Mill, South Carolina Gamecocks, Southeastern Conference, Top Posts
51 Responses to “Saban responds to Spurrier’s spring jab”
  1. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Aug 22, 2012 12:37 PM

    I’m not sure if LSU was the BCS champ in ’01.., but I’ll take!!

  2. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Aug 22, 2012 12:39 PM

    JT.., you do know that I’m just jabbing?

  3. brewcrewfan54 says: Aug 22, 2012 1:10 PM

    Spurrier is still awesome. “Can’t spell Citrus without U-T”. Why did Peyton Manning come back for his senior year? I guess he wanted to be a 3 time Citrus Bowl MVP.

  4. abrellbama says: Aug 22, 2012 1:12 PM

    Coach Saban: You stay right where you are. Spurrier is just trying to level the playing field by asking you to leave the SEC. He knows Alabama doesn’t win all the time. If they did, they would have won with Bill Curry and Mike Shula because both were decent coaches and both had problems against Auburn.

  5. floridacock says: Aug 22, 2012 1:16 PM

    OBC is quite a character. He and Saban are both very good for the game, which I can not wait to start!

  6. jonkybon says: Aug 22, 2012 1:29 PM

    Like anybody outside the state of South Carolina gives a crap what THE OLE BALL SACK rants.

    Q: What do Gamecock fans do after winning an SEC football Championship?

    A: They turn off they Play Station and go to bed.

  7. jaggedmark says: Aug 22, 2012 1:30 PM

    I was hoping for a before and after comparison of his Miami Dolphins gig.

  8. gopokes0714 says: Aug 22, 2012 1:39 PM

    Saban is a great coach, but the writers for this blog embarrass NBC. LSU won the 2003 Championship, not 2001. That was Miami.

    My only complaint with Saban is he sat on ESPN for two hours talking about how good we were and how both schools had a case to be #2. Then he voted us #4. it was a coward move. I know it didn’t change anything, but he didn’t know that at the time.

    If you think Grundy would have done the same you would be wrong. He very fairly said Bama should be #2 until we beat OU. Saban pulled a dick move and got praise from ESPN and a shot at the title. Grundy was fair and honest and got ridiculed. but yet everyone wonders why there is a lack of ethics in sports…

  9. Crazy Diamond says: Aug 22, 2012 1:56 PM

    I hate Spurrier, but damn I love Spurrier. This is coming from a guy who grew up in Tallahassee and graduated from Alabama – he is good for the game and I have always rooted for him to stay in the SEC and keep coaching. And Saban, of all people, understands the man’s competitive fire.

  10. dmvtransplant says: Aug 22, 2012 2:02 PM

    47% win percentage with Dolphins enough said

  11. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:02 PM

    but had Spurrier said something about not lying out right about taking a new job, Saban wouldn’t have much to say would he?

    I respect Saban’s record, but looking back to when Nebraska went up there and BLASTED him and his Spartans makes me smile. Especially since no NFL team will hire him again. As a Phins fan, I really don’t give him any credit as a honorable person.

  12. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:05 PM

    @Crazy Diamond

    Do you hate and love Lane Kiffin too? He also has “man’s competitive fire.”

  13. jets12 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:07 PM

    Jonkybon what do Clemson fans do after having 70 hung on them in the bowl game?

  14. mountaineer50415 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:08 PM

    I have never figured out what I truly think of Spurrier. I know when my team played his, I hated him. However, he is funny and he is a good coach. I do not think that Alabama or coach Saban is worried about him the way I was in his Florida days. As a Mountaineer, I am not as worried about him now. I believe WV can hold their own these days. We are a lot different team now then we were.

  15. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:10 PM

    gopokes0714 says:
    Aug 22, 2012 1:39 PM

    Who is us? Grundy, do you mean GUNDY as in Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy?

    Little strange you bash the blog writers for mixing up a year and you misspell the head coach of the team you root for, presumably. You never actually say. Just assume we know I guess?

  16. gopokes0714 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:20 PM


    There is a difference between continually getting facts wrong and a typo on a phone. My phones spell check changes Gundy to Grundy. I have no idea why but it does and I didn’t catch it.

  17. gopokes0714 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:23 PM

    @bender4700 And yes from my username I figured it was fairly obvious who I rooted for.

  18. florida727 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:32 PM

    Hey “jonkybon”, want to know why they don’t have a college football team in Irmo, SC? Because then Columbia would want one too :)

    BTW, I’m using yours, okay? No copyrights on it are there? Classic.

  19. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:36 PM

    gopokes0714 says:
    Aug 22, 2012 2:23 PM

    It wasn’t.

    It was just funny that in the same comment you spelt a name wrong. Name of a coach you root for. Come on, you can laugh at that.

    I like these guys more than the PFT guys honestly. Ben even interacts with the reason they exist, the fans. JT does too sometimes. They also don’t censor as much.

    The point is, if you’re going to be critical of something, shouldn’t be guilty of it yourself. Because to us, all we see is you typoing and them mixing up a year. Not all these numerous other things you later spoke of. Just messing with, certainly you can get a chuckle out of that irony.

  20. gopokes0714 says: Aug 22, 2012 2:49 PM

    Yes I understand the irony, and it is a little embarrassing because I didn’t catch it until you pointed it out.

    My original comment is meant to be matter of fact, not angry. It comes across different in text.

    Lately there have been several mistakes by CFT. One was with my team when breaking down the Big 12. They talked about Lunt having a tough game on the road at WVU. That may be true but it wont be until next year. This year WVU comes to Stillwater. They have since fixed the mistake but I don’t understand how they get made in the first place.

    I take typo’s or incorrect grammar in the comment section lightly because it’s every day people on a phone or whatever.

    But you would think a writer with the NBC Logo attached his name in front of a computer and doing it for a living would have some fact checking.

  21. bamatide21 says: Aug 22, 2012 3:04 PM

    He is still the best coach in college football and I do believe the highest paid. You dont think he gives a crap about that NFL do you. At least not enough to keep him up at night

  22. tlmoon2112 says: Aug 22, 2012 3:17 PM

    If I made a trip to the Crossroads and sold my soul to Satan, I’d be the best coach in college football too.

    What Bender said is absolute truth. This man is corrupt and has no honor and is not deserving of any honor. When you sign a contract, you keep your terms of the contract Mr “Im not interested in being the head football coach at Alabama”. But, I dont expect Harvey Updyke-like folks to understand the word “honor” so I know the toothless-inbred “Roll Damn Tide” fans will start piling on my post here pretty quickly:)

  23. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 4:29 PM

    gopokes0714 says:
    Aug 22, 2012 2:49 PM

    I hear ya, I like em a lot more than the crew running the pro site.

    and as a Husker fan, I’m definitely pulling for OSU, it’s pretty good to see them doing so well lately. Especially since they are off the schedule. Gundy’s beat down of the Huskers in 07 sparked a change that got rid of the crap AD and Callahan.

  24. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 4:32 PM

    I held no grief against okst leading up to the final bcs rankings last year. They wanted the same thing us bama fans wanted, that dont make us enemies. Okst should have had a shot, so did bama. The problem was the system.

    As for Gundy, he is not pure. Remember the I’m a man rant? The kid he was defending had plenty to say about Gundy’s integrity. The fact is, all coaches, hell all people, do things others disagree with. Saban works for his employer, and owes no one anything else. Bama fans are happy with our coach. I say again, if fans of other teams like your coach, you probably need a new coach.

    Fish fans, take it to pft, this is cft. Saban was not a great nfl coach, that is a fact, but he is a great college coach. Nfl and college are totally differant worlds. Coaches usually dont thrive in both. Ask pete carroll. Saban has an awesome college track record, at multiple teams and levels.

  25. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 4:34 PM

    bamatide21 says:
    Aug 22, 2012 3:04 PM
    He is still the best coach in college football and I do believe the highest paid. You dont think he gives a crap about that NFL do you. At least not enough to keep him up at night

    Money isnt the issue with these guys. It’s ego. Yes, the NFL does keep him up at night. I guarantee he’s still thinking about it.

    It’s not about $ but titles and accomplishments. That’s how those guys make it. They hardly make any money, they survive on drive to be the best. Urban Meyer could have stayed with ESPN for years, made good money to sustain what he already made, and retired a great coach. Instead, he choose a new challenge. Happens all the time.

  26. paudaw says: Aug 22, 2012 4:35 PM

    Maybe Coach Saban needs to go to South Carolina so they can win a title

  27. bender4700 says: Aug 22, 2012 4:36 PM

    normtide says:
    Aug 22, 2012 4:32 PM
    I held no grief against okst leading up to the final bcs rankings last year. They wanted the same thing us bama fans wanted, that dont make us enemies. Okst should have had a shot, so did bama. The problem was the system.

    How do you figure? We already saw LSU vs Bama. They lost. Okie State’s loss wasn’t LSU but still…
    The title game was so boring. LSU basically wizzed it down their leg. Or should I say Jordan “don’t call me felon” Jefferson.

    Oklahoma State v LSU would have been better for the fans, especially since we really don’t get a true title.

  28. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 4:45 PM

    I dont think saban worries about his short nfl stint. Nfl coaches have little power over their team, the players hold all the cards. Owners always take the players sides. The union ensures it stays that way. Belichek is the nfl standard, but he sucked in cleveland.

    Tell me one successful coach that passes YOUR honor test. Do you pass your own test? Or like most, do you hold others to a higher standard then yourself?

  29. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 5:02 PM

    Bender, your confusing wwe with real sports. This isn’t sports entertainment, championship games are not set to what fans would enjoy more. It is the two best teams. The loss to ISU cost you a shot, nothing else. That is on your team. Let me ask you, how many arena league games have you attended, out even watched? Pure offense is what you want, right? Okst getting shut out vs lsu would have bored you. I say again, do not let ISU best you if you want a title shot. Bama proved they belonged. As for jordan jefferson, no one was downing him before that game. He was well regarded. I dont think he sucked, he was just out played by Bama that game. For the record, he had burned Bama plenty in the past. Tbh, if the big12 had a title game, giving okst another chance to shine, they may have jumped Bama. Most saw the okst vs ok game as a case of stoops laying down. So instead of blaming others, accept that you cost yourself a shot and learn and improve, like everyone else has to do. Nothing will be handed to you.

  30. gopokes0714 says: Aug 22, 2012 5:16 PM


    lol your pathetic

  31. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 5:21 PM


    Here’s the issue: I thought Alabama was the best team in the country before they lost to LSU. I still thought they were the best after they lost to LSU. However, they still lost to LSU. OK State, even though I believe they were inferior to Alabama, deserved a shot at LSU. Bama had their chance and blew it.

    “I say again, do not let ISU best you if you want a title shot.”

    Considering this logic, then USC deserved to be in the BCS championship in 2008. LSU lost to unranked Florida 17-9 that year. Oklahoma lost 35-7 in their own conference championship game. And USC lost to Cal @Berkley in 3 OT. Just have to face the fact that the BcS favors the SEC and even the Big12 (in some cases, but not last season).

    “As for jordan jefferson, no one was downing him before that game. He was well regarded. I dont think he sucked, he was just out played by Bama that game.”

    This statement is absolutely ludicrous. Jordan Jefferson!!!!!! He looked like JaWalrus Russell 2.0 out there. The 2011 Alabama defense was very good, but not even the best D in the last 5 years. Jefferson was awful and the gameplan for LSU might have been even worse.

    So, while I thought Alabama was the best team throughout the whole season, they blew it vs LSU in the first meeting. They didn’t deserve a second chance. Leave it to a broken system like the BcS to match the two teams again. Had Alabama not lost to LSU (or had they not even played LSU in regular season) and instead lost to some other high ranked team, THEN I would agree that Alabama deserved a shot at LSU in the NC game

  32. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 5:42 PM

    Pappa, you said it, if bama lost to a high ranked team. Isu was not a high ranked team. The fact that bama win the title game moots other points. On jefferson, he was the same qb when lsu was being considered as perhaps the best team ever. Your comment about our defense last year is ludicrous. Nothing short. This sec bias you speak of, it must be media wide, hence west coast/northern/all media must be involved. That is not bias, it means the sec has been better. Where was this bias in 2004? Usc was included, auburn was left out. The sec has not been beaten in the title game, that its not bias, just fact. Expect more from your teams, not a hand out. If any sec team had not belonged in any title game, would not at least one team had lost the game?

    Poke, explain. Cheap put downs are used when you can not argue against anothers point. Are you saying the isu loss was excusable? Isu? No, it is always someone keeping you down. I guess they fly black helicopters too. Maybe ancient aliens set this in motion five thousand years ago. Dont be that guy who never sees what really went wrong, and instead blames others. Everyone region gets votes, not just the south. The majority stated that bama was better then okst. Blame them if you prefer to. I still say blame Iowa state, they kept the title out of your grasp.

  33. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 5:55 PM


    Not my”out of my grasp.” I’m not an OK State fan. By the time OK St was left out of the NC game, I knew how boring the NC game with Bama and LSU was going to be. And turns out, it was one of the worst ever NC games. Extremely low ratings.

    Yes, Bama did lose to a team ranked VERY HIGH (#1) compared to OK State’s loss to ISU. HOWEVER, and this is a big “however,” that team that Bama lost to happened to be the same team in the BcS championship. Let’s say Bama lost to USC or Oregon or some other non-SEC but high ranked team. And let’s say that was Bama’s only loss. (Never would happen because the SEC rarely schedules strong FBS schools OOC). Then if Alabama won every game except for vs USC or Oregon or Ok State, then there is a strong argument to be made for them to meet LSU in the BcS title game. However, they lost to LSU already. That was their chance. Too bad if they were the best team in the nation. They already played LSU. Already had that chance and blew it. Some people thought 2005 USC was one of the greatest all time teams (I disagree, 2004 USC was). But guess what? They lost to Texas. They don’t get a second chance at that.

    I am ABSOLUTELY blaming the BcS and other polls for putting them in the BCS title game. I’m not blaming Alabama. This is why the BcS is no more in 2014. They left out Oregon in 2001, USC in 2003, and Utah in 2008, and Cal in 2005 (out of Rose Bowl). Excited for the playoffs.

  34. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 6:10 PM

    You still make the sched argument I see. They are made years in advance, so hard to predict who well be good. Bama scheduled psu when they were good, also we played vt (top ten when we played), clemson (top 5 at the time), mich (top ten atm). Lsu played a rough ooc slate last year. Break it down for me tho. Show me usc’s monster ooc slate, let me guess ND… Then, compare bama’s overall sched to usc’s this year. Usc has a cake walk division a well, and your entire league has one bcs title, won by you. And yea, vacated or not, you won out on the field, even though the media bias left auburn out. It is sull yours.

  35. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 6:21 PM


    I just hope to see a time when the conference that claims itself to be the best doesn’t play FCS schools anymore. Especially when, of the four or five major conferences, they play the most FCS schools. USC plays Hawaii this year for game 1. This game was scheduled after Hawaii’s 2007 season when they went undefeated before losing in the Sugar Bowl. Had no idea June Jones was going to leave, especially to SMU. USC scheduled their 2017-2018 home and home series with Texas after Texas went to the BcS championship in 2009.

    You are right. Never know what team you are going to play when you schedule far in advance. I just think FBS teams should only play other FBS teams.

  36. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 6:38 PM

    Lets not leave out the fact that the pac backed out of an ooc deal with the b1g.

  37. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 6:45 PM

    As long as we don’t leave out that it has been reported that numerous SEC teams have run away from USC’s phone calls. USC, in fact, plays the B1G on a pretty consistent basis. Played them in 2003, 2006, 2007, twice in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Haven’t lost yet. USC is pretty tired of the B1G.

  38. novoodoo4409 says: Aug 22, 2012 6:47 PM

    so sick of rednecks and rull terd rull…please go back to your trailer parks….

  39. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 6:49 PM

    I have not seen that report (which does not mean it is not true, just not seen it). I would like to see the list. Btw, I, would love to see the number of sec vs fcs games compared to the number of pac vs fcs. Do not act like west coast teams dont play fcs.

  40. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 7:04 PM

    SEC plays more FCS schools this year than the PAC does. Don’t have time to put a list together for you. Check yourself.

    USC plays zero and has never played any.

    UCLA plays zero and had never played any.

    Only Notre Dame can make the same claim.

  41. chalmette77 says: Aug 22, 2012 7:32 PM

    ISU argument is over. Bama 2011 National Champs. AP, UPI, Coaches Poll, BCS. Crystal Ball’s in the case. USC fans Bama kicks your butt, 5-2, and you go back to your plastic, useless, bankrupt state….Please break off and float away. Join a gang!

  42. chalmette77 says: Aug 22, 2012 7:34 PM

    People hate Saban because he’s a winner, and he’s at the best University in the country…

  43. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Aug 22, 2012 8:47 PM

    @ Fans of PAC12
    Yawnnn!! Yawn … Please wake me up when your get a National Championship team not name USC.
    I predict USC vs Oregon in this season’s PAC12 Championship game
    I’ll predict USC vs Oregon in 2014 Pac12 Championship game
    I’ll predict USC vs Oregon in 2015 pac12 CG
    I’ll predict USC vs Oregon in 2016 pac12 CG
    I’ll predict USC vs Oregon in 2037 pac12 CG
    I’ll predict the next pac12 team to win the National Championship to be USC..
    I’ll predict USC vs Oregon in 2018 pac12 CG..
    I think your getting the point.., your conference is pretty predictable. Yes I might be wrong in one of my prediction, but are you willing to bet against it?
    USC is a great program, please don’t get me wrong, but please!
    In the last six years: Alabama, Auburn (also in freaking Alabama), Alabama, Florida, LSU, Florida…
    And three years before that: Texas, USC, LSU
    I added the three years before, because I just wanted to put LSU in there also, along with Florida and Alabama, as the teams that won the BCS two times ( with LSU being the first team to do it, of course your knew that already).
    That’s four different teams in six different years, how many teams from the PAC 12 have won the National Championship in the last 100 years? Don’t say Colorado because they were in the big12 when they won. Anyway I don’t want to do the research please tell me how many!!

  44. WingT says: Aug 22, 2012 8:55 PM

    “I am ABSOLUTELY blaming the BcS and other polls for putting them in the BCS title game”…

    So are you suggesting that LSU and Bama were not the two best teams at the end of the year? I’m confused by your post. Normally I agree with you but I can’t follow your logic by suggesting that the 2 best teams did not play in the NC game. Isn’t that the goal of having a NC game? Didn’t the two best teams play in the NC game last year?

  45. papabush88 says: Aug 22, 2012 9:58 PM


    Definitely wrong. USC will always rule the PAC. Something Trojans are proud of and something no SEC team can do. They’ll have rebuilding years like everyone does but overall they will own the conference. Too much history at USC. However, lot of good coaches in PAC. Leach, RichRod, Sarkisian, Kelly, Whittigham will produce some great teams. Oregon won’t always be on top next to USC.


    Actually I’m suggesting that Alabama was the best team. LSU was the third best team, at least at the end of the season. However, no matter how good I thought Alabama was, they still lost to LSU and therefore did not deserve to play them again. I actually thought that Alabama was 1, USC was 2, LSU was 3, Oregon was 4 and Oklahoma St was 5. However, it didn’t matter. Even if USC was bowl eligible, they still lost two games, Oregon lost two and LSU got lucky beating Alabama who played a terrible game. But that’s not how it works. Even so, Alabama didn’t deserve another shot at LSU.

  46. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Aug 22, 2012 10:40 PM

    Please don’t let me spell it out. What did you think I mean?

  47. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Aug 22, 2012 10:42 PM

    Please read the post first before commenting.

  48. normtide says: Aug 22, 2012 11:18 PM

    First, understand the system. Before the bcs, the top 2 did not always play. Hence the bcs was created to match the two best teams. No stipulations, just identify the two teams and match them up. Even you agree that the two best, available teams were selected. Second, dominating the game proved the right choice was made. College football fans were just as excited for the bcs to start as we are now for the playoff. And, the issue of who belongs will only get worse. Every team in the top ten will have a case. Even with a playoff, we will still have to accept the results.

  49. tlmoon2112 says: Aug 23, 2012 8:38 AM

    At least with a playoff, a team actually has to WIN to get there…..and then there’s Alabama and Saban’s check book.

  50. thegeneral7694 says: Aug 25, 2012 6:34 PM


    Again with the “Saban’s checkbook” thing…I’ve called you out on that before, and as to my recollection you’ve never responded. How do you deduce that Saban, Alabama, the SEC, or anybody “bought” their way into the BCS title game? On what facts are you basing this pretty scandalous accusation?

    (cue the sound of crickets chirping….)

  51. Deb says: Aug 25, 2012 11:38 PM

    Nothing like a little genial back-and-forth between Nick and the Ol’ Ball Coach to get us in the mood for Kickoff 2012!! 😀

    @thegeneral7694 …

    That twit won’t answer you because he can’t. He’s just a hit-and-run troll who hates Bama. Sad lil thing. Ignore him. Saban would.


    chalmette77 says:
    ISU argument is over. Bama 2011 National Champs. AP, UPI, Coaches Poll, BCS. Crystal Ball’s in the case.

    Yep. That just about covers it. ROLL TIDE!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!