One of life’s truisms when a youngster takes on their old man in a contest of skill is this: The old man might have taught the kid everything they know, but he didn’t teach the kid everything he knows.

Nick Saban has 2 adult children and a new grandchild, not to mention all the players past and present I’m sure he considers quasi-offspring as well. And Saban’s assistant coaching tree is as leafy as you’d expect given his lifetime of head coaching stops from Toledo to Alabama and all points in between.

But if you think for a hot second that Saban allows any people who fall into one of the above categories a single sliver of hope in any competitive endeavor, clearly you haven’t paid much attention.

The latest in the former Saban assistants tried his hand, yet again, and taking down the boss Saturday when Jimbo Fisher brought his Texas A&M Aggies to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the No. 2 Crimson Tide. And as was the case in the 3 times Fisher had tried before, as well as the 19 times other former Saban assistants had walked that aisle, Fisher was turned away with a handshake, a pat on the shoulder and a humiliating loss.

Why? Put plainly: Saban might have taught these assistants everything they know, he sure as heck didn’t teach them everything he knows.

Fisher’s Aggies came to Tuscaloosa brimming with hope after starting 2-0 and with a shiny No. 12 ranking in the discombobulated 2020 polls. Texas A&M departed the Capstone with their tails between their legs after Mac Jones threw for 435 yards and 4 TDs in a 52-24 blowout victory.

Saban is now an astounding 20-0 against former assistant coaches in his tenure at Alabama. Fisher has taken the L the most times with 4 (Florida State, 2017; Texas A&M 2018-20). Saban has also totaled 3 wins vs. Derek Dooley (Tennessee, 2010-12), Jim McElwain (Colorado State, 2013; Florida 2015-16) and Will Muschamp (Florida, 2011 and 2014; South Carolina, 2019). Saban has 2 wins over Mark Dantonio (Michigan State, 2010, 15), Jeremy Pruitt (Tennessee, 2018-19) and Kirby Smart (Georgia, 2017 CFP National Championship Game and 2018 SEC Championship) and 1 victory over Billy Napier (Louisiana, 2018).

Fisher has what appears to be a perennially young team in College Station, a unit that capitalized on Jones’ lone interception in the 2nd quarter to briefly tie it at 14. But Alabama was undeterred, engineering a 7-play, 66-yard scoring drive capped by Najee Harris’ 2-yard touchdown plunge, and then the Tide defense got a 47-yard pick-6 from Daniel Wright to almost as quickly regain a 14-point advantage.

“Offense we had some opportunities, we had a missed field goal, some dropped balls down in the red zone,” Fisher said after the game. “We (have) got to get that fixed and we will continue to work on that.”

From there on, Jones and the Tide just kept pouring it on — to the point that Texas A&M likely wished they could have put their fabled 12th and 13th man in the game on pass protection. Jones hit Jaylen Waddle on an 87-yard touchdown strike to make it 42-17, and later found John Metchie with a 62-yard dagger for the game’s final points.

Saban didn’t directly address the bagel his former assistants have compiled against the Tide, and that’s OK. Why draw attention to delivering a soul-free beatdown that was manufactured by the fully-functional Alabama Death Star? Yeah, yeah … it wasn’t perfect. Just as in the first act of many of the Star Wars movies, there were a couple of Stormtroopers that met their silent demise while Darth Vader earned an easy W on Luke Skywalker and the boys. Saban likely wouldn’t be looking for the PAT kick on his Alabama career mark against assistants if he didn’t find 20 things to gripe about after every double-digit victory.

Therin lies the principal difference between Fisher, Dooley, McElwain, Muschamp, Dantonio, Pruitt, Smart and Napier. Perfection may be unattainable, but that shouldn’t stop Saban — and everyone else wearing the script A on their person — from trying to get there. Perfection is also hard as heck to get close to, and there are plenty of former Tide assistants now coaching that simply don’t have either the energy or competence to make a run at it.

Next up? Prodigal son Lane Kiffin and his fancy-schmancy Ole Miss Rebels. Good ol’ Joey Freshwater was on the business end of enough butt-chewings in his 3 years as offensive coordinator under Saban that they likely still ring in his ears late at night. But Kiffin was also made an actual big-boy coach in the process, evidenced by his largely stupidity-free tenure at Florida Atlantic and largely positive early run in Oxford.

Ole Miss will pitch it around Saturday, as is Kiffin’s wont, but the Rebels better enlist a small army of Sherpas and some sharp crampons if they want to summit Mount Saban.

Because getting to the top of that mountain is almost impossible for any college football team. And if you’re coached by a former Saban assistant? You might as well forget about it.