Over 107, 000 fans provided an incredible atmosphere in Penn State’s Beaver Stadium. But, when it was all said and done, it was the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide that made the impression.
Alabama’s defense was smothering as the Tide rolled to a 27-11 road win with a young quarterback in a hostile environment.
There also may have been a coaching passing of the guard on Saturday. Since 1966, no one has done it better in coaching than Penn State’s Joe Paterno. He has compiled a record of 402-136-3 and has won two national titles.
But, now no one in the country does it better that a native of Marion County, WV, Nick Saban at Alabama. The former Monongah High School star has a record of 40-11 in Tuscaloosa and an overall mark of 131-53-1 in his 16 years as a head coach which includes stops at Toledo, Michigan State and LSU.
He also has two national championships, one at LSU and one at Alabama, and he has the Tide in the hunt for another title again this year.
When his coaching career is done, Saban is on track to go down as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game. Right now, he is doing it all.
He is playing in the best conference in college football and is winning and competing for national titles. He already has a statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
He is also producing an incredible coaching tree. The new head coach of the Cleveland Browns Pat Shurmer and the second year head coach at Tennessee, Derek Dooley are former Saban assistants. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher is also a former Saban assistant as is new Florida head coach Will Muschamp.
Saban’s current style is also the style that brought incredible success to Paterno in 46 years of coaching. His teams play with incredible toughness, they pound you with the running game and they don’t beat themselves. Paterno is famous for saying in the fourth quarter, he likes for his team to make the other team say "ouch." On Saturday, on a drive that featured the pounding rushing attack of Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacey, Saban’s team made Penn State say "ouch."
College football has produced many coaching legends and incredible college coaches. None better than a native of a tiny coal camp in Marion County, WV, Nick Saban. That point is being proven every Saturday.