Halloween Special: The Curse of Nicholas Saban


Happy birthday, Coach! (Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE)

“It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You’re paralyzed”
– “Thriller” Michael Jackson

In just four years, Nick Saban has built Alabama into the premier college football program, returning the Crimson Tide to a glory unknown since the 1970’s.

Let there be no doubt. Alabama is a dynasty, and Saban is the king.

The brand of football that Saban has brought to Alabama is of a punishing nature, often making opponents quit before the games end. This type of football takes its toll on opposing teams, coaches, and programs. In fact, over the years, Saban has seemed to do more than just beat teams.

Nick Saban curses teams.

It is an interesting trend that Bama fans noticed in Saban’s second season as head coach. By the end of the 2008 season, three coaches of teams that Alabama had beaten had been fired or resigned.

In 2008, Clemson started out as preseason number nine, a pick to win the ACC title, and the dark horse national championship contender. However, their season derailed quickly after Alabama broke their will in a 34-10 romp in the Chick-fil-a Kickoff Classic. Their coach, Tommy Bowden, resigned after six games. They still haven’t won an ACC championship, and they suffered one of the most embarrassing BCS bowl losses ever in 2011.

They messed with Saban, and they got cursed.

[SEC Power Rankings, Week 10]

Auburn’s coach Tommy Tuberville resigned after losing 36-0 to Alabama the same year, and besides a miracle season known as 2011, Saban has had Auburn’s number. Things are only going to get worse for the Tigers when he has their way with them again in a few weeks.

But the curse doesn’t stop there.

In 2009, Saban put his hex on two more teams.

The 2009 season was a collision course between Alabama and Florida for the SEC title. Florida had the momentum, the Heisman-winning quarterback, and a head coach that had brought the Gators back to national prominence with two BCS titles in three years. Only Bama stood between them and their third BCS title appearance. The Tide answered by playing one of its best games in history in the SEC Championship Game. By the end of the game, Tebow was crying, and Urban Meyer was having “chest pains.”

Meyer needed a break from football after that, but returned to face Saban one more time in 2010. After a 31-6 beat-down, Meyer decided he couldn’t handle the stress that Saban gave him and would rather just avoid him altogether. Florida hasn’t been quite the same since.

However, the curse didn’t stop in 2009 with Florida.

Mack Brown built a BCS title winning program that was one of the best in the country year in and year out at Texas. After losing to Alabama in the BCS title game, the Longhorns went on to post a 5-7 record in 2010 and an 8-5 record in 2011. Texas is currently 6-2 and not in the national title hunt.

Florida and Texas learned the hard way; Saban will curse anyone who stands in his path.

The only team seemingly immune to Saban’s curse is LSU, although the Tigers look like they might be on the verge of imploding in 2012. If Alabama can beat LSU twice in the same year, they may be effectively cursed. Only time will tell if the Mad Hatter can remain immune to Saban’s powers.

Whether Saban’s curse is a supernatural phenomenon or a result of breaking a team’s will through physical and mental domination may never be known.

It is interesting to note that Halloween falls on Saban’s birthday though…

Happy birthday Coach.

And happy Halloween Bama Nation.

Roll Tide.

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