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Jumbo Package: Why Have Former Saban Assistants Struggled as Head Coaches?

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Crimson Tide news and notes.

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Louisville v Florida

Happy Friday, everyone. Cyndee has you covered on the softball tournament and the baseball game last night was NSFW, so we will move along to football stuff. David Climer of the Memphis Daily News asks a fair question:

Bobby Williams was running backs coach at Michigan State in 1999 when Saban accepted the LSU job. Williams took over the Spartans and won the Citrus Bowl. He went just 6-15 in Big Ten play over the next three seasons, however, and was fired after a 49-3 loss to rival Michigan.

Williams is now in his second year as special assistant to the head coach at Alabama, where he previously coached tight ends and was special teams coordinator.

With Saban now under contract through 2024, at which time he’ll turn 73, he’s likely not done churning out future head coaches.

After all, everybody is always on the lookout for the next Nick Saban.

One has to wonder if there is something to the idea that Saban’s entire program, from recruiting to nutrition to top-notch analysts to Scott Cochran’s workouts, give the Tide such a profound advantage that the assistant coaches often look better than they are. Regardless, they continue to get offers for bigger roles at other schools. What factors do you believe have contributed to the relative lack of success?

In other news, Saban lost one-third of his 2018 commits yesterday:

No surprise here. If there is one position that might be tough to recruit in this class, it is running back.

Trey Dean’s interest in Alabama doesn’t get much publicity. Read a recruiting article on Dean and it’s usually about Georgia or South Carolina. Those two schools are definitely in that top group for Dean, but Alabama should be mentioned, too.

Dean, a 4-star safety from Dutchtown High School (Hampton, Ga.), is the second cousin of Alabama legend Amari Cooper. The Crimson Tide are one of the top teams Dean is considering before he makes his commitment in late June.

“They have a great chance with me,” Dean told SEC Country. “They have that winning mentality, and that’s what I have.”

On the other hand, there will be an immediate opportunity to compete for playing time in the 2018 defensive backfield. Come on down, Trey.

We saw it last year with Clemson. Clemson spent all of last season focused on the goal of getting back to the national championship and winning it coming off a tough loss to Alabama in 2015.

That will be Alabama this season. The Crimson Tide spent all of 2016 as the best team in the country. That came crashing down on Clemson’s last-second touchdown drive to earn that title.

Alabama has all offseason to think about what could have been in the championship game from last season. Look for that to drive the Crimson Tide’s players this year as they try to prove they’re once again the top dog in college football.

Let’s hope so.

He's Cedric Burns, the guy you've seen on Nick Saban's hip but probably don't know.

Officially, he's listed as Alabama's athletics relations coordinator. Every year since Saban arrived in 2007, Burns has been the one who stands between the few hundred autograph-hungry golf fans and a Saban signature.

Walking up the second fairway, two handfuls of deflated footballs filled his hands. It's a carefully perfected system -- an arrangement between the gallery and gatekeeper. Burns scans the crowd, selects a few items and walks them to Saban between shots.

Saban even has a Process for autographs, folks.

Michael Graydon is the Alabama fan who found Saban's missing Titleist 1. Like Saban, Graydon is a car salesman. Unlike Saban, that's his full-time gig. In July, Graydon's daughter, Wryn, is scheduled to have a kidney transplant that could save her life.

Wryn turns two years old on July 6. The surgery is scheduled for July 13.

"It's really scary," said the 35-year-old father.

Amazing. Joseph Goodman was covering the Regions Pro-Am and ran across this fellow who had fished Saban’s ball out of a water hazard and chased him until it was autographed. Turns out that the man has a little girl who had to have both kidneys removed due to a rare disease. May her transplant go as planned and lead to a long, fulfilling life.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.