Paul Finebaum identifies areas that are alarming for Nick Saban in recent losses
As losses continue to happen for Alabama against the likes of Auburn, LSU and Clemson, the questions begin to bubble up, is Nick Saban being out-coached?
SEC Network host Paul Finebaum answered that question during a regular segment on Birmingham-based 95.4 FM radio station WJOX and the show “The Roundtable.”
“You have to say yes, Lance, I know I made some comments yesterday about the window closing and there’s some push back, what if, what if Tua hadn’t been hurt,” Finebaum said. “Listen, those are all legitimate questions and you can turn some things around in a game and Alabama wins at least two of those three. But the point is this is not the Alabama we’re used to. We’re used to Nick Saban’s teams playing pretty flawless offense and defense with the exception of special teams. You expect a kicker to have trouble at Alabama. That’s baked into the DNA of the Saban era, but not what we saw with the penalties, 13 penalties, false start across the board, undisciplined, and that’s coming from players. We’re not talking about pundits here.”
Those 13 penalties were the most for Alabama ever under Saban. That’s when Finebaum took a broader view of Saban’s recent struggles.
“The greatest coach in college football has been out-coached in his last 3 significant games and you guys know the stats as I say them, he’s lost 2 out of 3 to Dabo, that’s a fact, he’s lost 2 out of 3 to Gus Malzahn and that’s the one I think is difficult for a lot of people to digest,” he said.
Finebaum then shifted to the Gus Malzahn situation at Auburn where he said before the game hanging around Auburn people, there wasn’t a lot of positivity. He called the dynamic “perplexing.”
“A guy that’s out there hanging in the wind, there’s a tug-of-war about his future depending upon the outcome of this game, he beats Nick Saban for the second time in 3 years. I mean what does that say,” Finebaum said. “Gus Malzahn, for all the uneasiness has a knack to, he is not afraid of Nick Saban. I give him all the credit in the world.”