FSU football: 5 MAJOR reasons Mike Norvell should remain at FSU

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How Much Of Alabama Success Depended On Saban?

Nick Saban turned Alabama football into the top program of the past 15 years or so. However, what was Alabama like in the years before Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa?

Here are the football records from 1996-2006:

  • 1996: 10-3(Gene Stallings final year)
  • 1997: 4-7 (Mike Dubose)
  • 1998: 7-5 (Mike Dubose)
  • 1999: 10-3 (Mike Dubose)
  • 2000: 3-8 (Mike Dubose)
  • 2001: 7-5 (Dennis Franchione)
  • 2002: 10-3 (Dennis Franchione)
  • 2003: 4-9 (Mike Shula)
  • 2004: 6-6 (Mike Shula)
  • 2005: 10-2 (Mike Shula)
  • 2006: 6-7 (Mike Shula)

That's a whole lot of mid after Stallings left. Alabama won one SEC Championship under four different head coaches in that span, defeating Florida in 1999. Once Gene Stallings left, none of the following head coaches had the cache Saban brought. Nick Saban won a National Championship while at rival LSU. He had the track record to make Alabama administration and boosters open their checkbooks to invest in the program. He also had a track record with recruits in the southeast area to dramatically turn the program around. If you don't have those things, the decade before proves it's not the easiest place to win at an elite level. That pressure to duplicate Saban's success would be nearly impossible to match.