Preview 2017: Alabama, Nick Saban & The Process Keeps Rolling
Alabama and Nick Saban keep on rolling with The Process about to crank out yet another national championship-level team.
Nick Saban, Alabama, if you’re really about The Process, then just blow off the last few minutes of the College Football Playoff National Championship.
That didn’t happen.
From the legendary voice of Mr. SEC himself, Tony Barnhart, in his article about Saban and Alabama’s Process …
“The Process is simply Saban’s core belief that the willingness to prepare in a methodical, daily basis is the key to success. Saban believes those who focus on the result and not the consistent preparation that is necessary to achieve the result are doomed to be disappointed.”
First of all, The Process works a whole lot better with an unstoppable pipeline of NFL and five-star college football talent flowing through Tuscaloosa – and that’s, of course, part of the deal.
Get the players to keep coming in top five recruiting class after top five recruiting class, and The Process can revolve around methodically eating Hostess fruit pies on a daily basis and it’ll still produce SEC championships.
But more importantly, The Process means that everything revolves around preparing for what’s next, and never, ever being satisfied with what was just accomplished. And that means it doesn’t matter one lick to 2017’s potential success if the Alabama defense was able to stop Deshaun Watson in the final 2:07 in Tampa or not.
Let’s say the Tide did it. Let’s say that phenomenal national championship game will forever be remembered for the dynamic Jalen Hurts touchdown run to seal up title No. 6 for Saban.
Would that have changed anything about how Saban and his staff prepare for this year? Nope, not at all. The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship is a self-contained end result. In the case of The Process, just getting to that point is the accomplishment.
Now, The Process is supposed to work well enough that the team is prepared to win that game. But it didn’t, and this year’s version has to move on and keep playing regardless of what happened
But even though the coldly analytical, robotic way Saban might go about running Alabama works at the highest of college football levels, that only goes so far. From an emotional standpoint, process, schmocess – the loss might be one of those things that might stick out to a guy like Saban more than the national title wins.
Why? It was a breakdown that struck right at the heart of what Alabama is supposed to be able to do because of The Process.
The Crimson Tide didn’t play their best game on either side of the ball, but they had that thing won a few times.
They dominated the first half, they were up by ten going into the fourth quarter, and they were up with just over two minutes to play and needing the best defense in college football to come up with one final stop.
Alabama overcame the adversity. It took a big punch in the mouth, and responded with a brilliant touchdown drive in the final moments to take the lead back. Get up three, turn the game over to that killer D, and …
Deshaun Watson popped that balloon with a bang.
So was that a glitch in The Process? Nope. The machine keeps on humming.
Hurts is back, and if he’s not great, there are more big-time talents waiting their turn. Leading rusher Damien Harris is back, along with Bo Scarbrough, and if they’re not great, there are more big-time talents waiting their turn.
The receiving corps and offensive line loses some key pieces, and the defensive front has to uncover a pass rush after losing most of the stars, but there are more big-time talents waiting their turn.
And next year, Saban will bring in more big-time talents who’ll wait their turn, and he’ll do that the year after that, and he’ll keep this whole amazing thing going as long as he’s there.
The Process keeps on rolling, and despite how the calendar year started, so will the Crimson Tide.