Jim McElwain: I don't think Nick Saban seriously considered Texas

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday January 02, 2014

How close was Nick Saban to leaving for Texas? Depending on whom you ask on each side, you might get a different answer.

While his name was being thrown around, Saban received a hefty raise. Whether or not he was close, Saban is staying in Alabama, and that’s not a surprise to Jim McElwain.

The former Alabama assistant and current Colorado State head coach joined The Herd with Colin Cowherd and was asked if he thought Saban seriously considered Texas.

“I don’t,” McElwain said. “I think he knows where he’s at. I don’t know this for sure, obviously. At the same time, he really, really likes Tuscaloosa. He really likes the University of Alabama and what they’ve given him the opportunity to do. In this case, there comes a time where, ‘I’ve got to start looking off into the sunset at some time.’

“Rebuilding, going through and trying to build The Process again from the ground up is something that takes a lot.”

A second stint in the NFL has always been brought up for Saban’s future. Part of what has made Saban so successful as a college coach is his recruiting. McElwain explained the process of evaluating a recruit with Saban. You have to enjoy recruiting to be a successful college coach, and you have to eliminate mistakes in doing it.

“If you don’t like it, you might want to get out,” McElwain said. “All we can do, that’s our lifeblood. Really, the key is in the evaluation phase, trying to eliminate the fatal flaws in a position. What do I mean by that? There might be an offensive lineman that’s huge, long and this and that. But he has stiff ankles, and still ankles are going to get you beat every time in pass rush, and you’re never going to be able to get your second step in the ground to create movement in the run game.

There are certain things you’ve got to do by position. I think the think that differentiates Coach Saban is there are critical factors for each position. You spend more time than you could imagine trying to keep going through those critical factors. It’s the elimination of the mistakes you want. You’re going to make mistakes in recruiting. The key is, if you’re going to sign 20 guys, you can’t have 10 of them be busts.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.