Saban's surprising year of challenges

November, 6, 2013
11/06/13
12:50
PM ET


For a guy who's perpetually rumored to be on his way out at Alabama because he's thirsting for a new challenge, Nick Saban has one hell of a challenge right in front of him.

And to really know Saban is to know that his life is lived in that three-foot cubicle right in front of him.

What's right in front of him this season is perhaps the greatest coaching challenge of his career, certainly his greatest since he arrived at Alabama in 2007.

There have been landmines exploding around this program dating all the way back to last February when three players were arrested and charged with beating up and robbing fellow students on campus. A fourth player was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card. All four were dismissed from the team.

It's been a constant drip of the dreaded "C" word for Saban (clutter) ever since, from the Yahoo Sports report that former offensive lineman D.J. Fluker received impermissible benefits from a runner during the 2012 season, to star safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix being suspended for two games after receiving a loan from an assistant strength coach, to the seemingly weekly stories that Saban is bound for Texas.

Regardless of what emails are out there or what's being reported, neither Saban, nor anybody in his camp, is plotting a move to Texas.

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Chris Low | email

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