Saban Sixth Active Coach to Win 2 Titles
- The Associated Press
January 8, 2010
PASADENA, CA. -- Nick Saban became one of six active coaches to win
two national titles when Alabama beat Texas 37-21 in the BCS
championship game Thursday night.
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with
the BCS Championship trophy after winning the Citi BCS National
He’s also the first to do it at different schools, winning the 2003
title with LSU.
“He’s just a coach that is driven, and he has a vision, and he tries
to do his best to instill his characteristics in us,” Alabama tailback
Mark Ingram said.
The other active coaches with two titles are Penn State’s Joe Paterno;
Arizona State’s Dennis Erickson, who won them at Miami; Oklahoma’s
Bob Stoops; Southern California’s Pete Carroll; and Florida’s Urban
SEC RULES: With Alabama’s victory Thursday night, three Southeastern
Conference teams have combined to win the past four BCS national
The streak began after the 2006 season, when Florida beat Ohio State.
LSU beat the Buckeyes the following year, and the Gators knocked off
Oklahoma last year. The SEC has won half of the first 12 BCS titles,
with the last winner from outside the league being Texas in 2005.
Crimson Tide players weren’t ready to claim that they’ve supplanted
the Gators as the dominant team in the nation’s top conference, even
after they whipped Tim Tebow and Florida 32-13 in the SEC title game.
“I don’t if we surpassed them, but we beat them,” Ingram said, “and
we won the national championship, so now we’re on top.”
ANDERS’ FINALE: Senior linebacker Eryk Anders came to Alabama without
much attention, but leaves in a far different situation.
His blindside hit on backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert knocked the
ball loose near the Longhorns’ goal line, and Courtney Upshaw
recovered to set up Ingram’s 1-yard run that made it a two-score
game with 2:01 left.
Saban called the forced fumble “the difference in the game.”
Anders, a San Antonio native, was mostly overlooked in the recruiting
process before then-Tide coach Mike Shula came in with a late
scholarship offer. He had only 32 tackles in his first three seasons
combined but started 10 games as a senior and more than doubled that
The final play was the capper on an unlikely success story. He
considered transferring after the 2007 season but stuck it out at his
father’s urging. Later that night, retired Air Force Capt. Gayle
Anders died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack. He was 65.
GROUND HUGGERS: Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy completed 6 of 11
passes for 58 yards. The six completions are the fewest by a winning
quarterback in a BCS title game.
The previous low had been seven, by Ohio State’s Craig Krenzel in the
Buckeyes’ 31-24 double-overtime victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl
after the 2002 season.
“You know, we could have thrown the ball more,” Saban said. “It was
really in our plan to throw the ball more, but the entire third
quarter, we had a lead, and we never had field position, ever, outside
the 20-yard line.
“Greg did a good job of managing the game today, got us in the right
GAMBLIN’ MAN: Alabama’s defense bailed Saban out after he took an
uncharacteristic gamble on the game’s first possession.
The Longhorns had forced a fourth-and-23 from the Alabama when Saban
called a fake. Punter P.J. Fitzgerald’s badly underthrown pass was
picked off by Blake Gideon at the 37.
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy left the game with a shoulder injury a
few players later, and the Crimson Tide stopped the Longhorns three
times inside the 3. Texas ended up kicking a short field goal.
QUOTE, UNQUOTE: “I think they always enjoy dumping on the
coach.” — Saban on the Gatorade bath he received at game’s end.
FOURTH AND INCHES: The game drew 94,906 to the Rose Bowl, pushing
college football’s overall postseason attendance to 1,769,886, a drop
of 708 from a year ago. … Texas fell to 7-1-1 against Alabama. …
McCoy finished his career 45-7. He played only five snaps in his
final college game. … The Longhorns averaged 40.7 points per game,
third in the nation. But in their last two games, against Nebraska
and Alabama, the Longhorns scored a total of 34 points.