There's no doubt that Saban's improving Bama's overall talent level and generally whipping the Tuscaloosa Tuskmen into shape. My question is, is there a coach in the SEC who's future is more tied to doubtful quarterback play?
Look at what he's working with--John Parker Wilson. The guy's one of the more erratic passers in the league, and even when he's on he's not exactly Snake Stabler. To be fair to the kid, he's working on at least his third OC this year.
What I'm looking at even more, though, is Star Jackson, Greg McElroy, Nick Fanuzzi and the battle to follow John Parker. While Jackson and Fanuzzi were both decent QB recruits, frankly, I haven't heard anything out of Bama's camp that makes me think either of them is the man to lead Bama back to the promised land. They've got AJ McCarron coming in next year and he's the most highly rated guy out of the bunch, but he won't be able to contribute meaningfully until 2010 at the earliest.
I know Saban won it all with Mauck in the Sugar and LSU did it again last year with Flynn BUT
1. the 2003 LSU team was, in my opinion, a pretty poor national champion and
2. last year's LSU defense was overwhelming and Bama's a long way away from fielding a defense like that.
In short, Saban may face the cold reality that everyone else in the SEC is discovering. Unless you have the 85 Bears on defense, you'd better have a pretty damn good quarterback under center if you want to be successful in the best conference in the country.