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Pickin’ On Nick: Ex-Assistants Jab Their Former Employer?

We told you yesterday that Florida’s Will Muschamp disagreed with Nick Saban’s assessment that the loser of the SEC Championship Game between his Alabama team and Georgia should land in the Sugar Bowl rather than drop down the bowl pecking order to make room for a Gator team that didn’t win its division.

In all honesty, he’s right.  If you win your division, you shouldn’t be punished in the bowl selection process for having to play an extra game.  But Muschamp’s response was as follows:

 

“Well, I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta and play the Dawgs.  Be careful what you ask for, Nick.”

 

Hardly fighting words from the ex-Saban assistant, but the remark made national news just the same.

 

Meanwhile, Muschamp’s buddy at Florida State and another ex-Saban assistant, Jimbo Fisher, said something yesterday that could be construed as more of a direct shot at Bama’s coach.  Discussing rumors that he might land elsewhere this offseason, Fisher was reminded that his old boss once stated clearly and plainly that he would not leave the Miami Dolphins to become the head coach at Alabama (only to do so shortly thereafter).  The response from FSU’s coach:

 

“It goes back to your integrity.”

 

Hmmm.  That sounds like something an Auburn man — or someone headed to Auburn — might say.  (Just funnin’ with that last line, folks.)

 


9 comments
AllTideUp
AllTideUp

And actually, isn't it a moot point?  If Florida finishes in the top 4 of the BCS then they get an automatic birth right?  Whoever loses the SEC title game will surely finish below Florida so the decision is made for them I think.

XEN610
XEN610

 @AllTideUp That is probably correct that the K State rule will kick in. 

XEN610
XEN610 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I remember in 2007, Mizzou lost to OU in the Championship game and got a trip to the Cotton Bowl.  Kansas went to the Orange Bowl-why supposedly because MU had two losses and KU one.  Problem-MU's were to OU and KU did not win division because it had lost to MU.  Personally, I agree that Georgia should get the trip to the Sugar Bowl over Florida.  Programs should not be penalized for losing in conference championship game.  Look at last year, if Georgian had won, the SEC could have had three teams in the BCS bowls.

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I understand where Saban is coming from, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have made that argument this time a year ago when his team was in the exact same place as Florida minus Notre Dame, meaning he got to go to the National Championship game despite not even winning his division.  I know it's a diffrent situation every year, but he was "blessed" by the same scenario he's criticizing last year, and I don't hear him saying for that exact reason Alabama shouldn't have been in a BCS bowl, let alone championship game, last year.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @alamoaggie08 It's a different situation though.  Saban was lobbying to get to the national title game last year whereas he's not really lobbying for anything right now other than a different view on selecting teams for the other bowl games.  Outside of the BCS title game, none of the other games matter except for difference in prestige.  Whether the loser of the SEC title game or Florida gets into a BCS game doesn't mean anything as far as hardware goes.  The process for selecting BCS teams is far more subjective to begin with when compared to selecting the teams for the championship game.

 

A comparable situation would have been Saban lobbying last year for Alabama to go to the BCS title game instead of LSU.

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08

 @AllTideUp

the point is he doesn't think someone who didn't win their division should even be in a BCS bowl (it wouldn't matter if it weren't for the two per conference rule), but it's an odd point coming from him considering he benfited from it just last year.  the only difference this year is unlike alabama, florida can't get into the national championship because of notre dame.  if the irish had a loss, florida would be playing the conference championship for the national championship.  the fact is they'll still get into a BCS bowl even thought they didn't even win their division, and saban doesn't like that because it would affect where his team lands should they lose to georgia.  the fact of the matter is if there's something that hurts his teams chances (fast-paced offense, etc) he'll speak out against it hoping people think highly enough of him to change it in his favor.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

 @alamoaggie08 I don't think that was his argument.  I don't think he said Florida didn't deserve to be in a BCS game, but that the SEC Championship loser shouldn't be punished for playing the extra game.  It's a fair point.

 

Does Saban complain in the public when there's something going on he doesn't like?  Yeah he does, but he's harmless.  It's not like he whines incessantly about it.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

@alamoaggie08 Saban does make a good point but you're right, every coach is paid to represent the best interests of his school and program. Year to year, that certainly makes for some interesting conflicts in logic.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

I also agree teams shouldn't be punished for going (and losing) in the Conference Championship game. But, in reality, they are hurt. My guess is whoever loses in the Championship game will be ranked below Florida in the BCS rankings. So, should a lower ranked team go to a BCS game vs. a higher ranked team?



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