Nick Saban may well be the one of the best coaches in any sport in any time. Yeah, he might well be in a league with Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne, Phil Jackson, John Wooden, and of course, Bear Bryant.
It is hard to win a championship in any sport. At the highest levels of sport, it is practically unheard of to win two in a row (the last to do so in big-time NCAA football is Tom Osborne of Nebraska in the mid-90’s). To win three out of the last four in the BCS era is unprecedented. That’s the sort of coach Saban is. He now has four of those crystal trophies.
I was wrong. I thought Notre Dame was better than they were, and wanted to win more than they did. Turns out Notre Dame didn’t look much better than a mediocre SEC team, about as good as Ole Miss maybe, except that Ole Miss pummeled the Pitt Panthers last Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. Pitt took Notre Dame to overtime before ultimately losing on an errant kick. They got slobber-knocked by Ole Miss. (I was there–it was a perfect day for football, and for watching my friend’s kid play–all six-feet, seven-inch, three hundred and twenty pounds of him–who is an offensive lineman for Ole Miss).
It is because predictions about the future are so hard (it’s generally easier to predict the past, which is what I did by not picking the Tide to win because repeating as champions is so rare), that I don’t gamble on sporting events or in the stock market. The Tide winning two in a row is a proverbial “fat tail” event, a financial system meltdown due to a crash in home prices, that is so unlikely as to be heavily discounted. But it happened anyway.
Roll Tide Roll!