Comments on: Alabama gives Nick Saban a contract extension through 2017 News and commentary on the world of sports. Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:33:12 +0000 hourly 1 By: James Joyner James Joyner Sun, 30 Aug 2009 12:18:04 +0000 There’s not much doubt Alabama fans have high and unrealistic expectations. Gone are the days when the Alabamas and Notre Dames can stack their rosters three deep with talent. The combination of scholarship limits, early eligibility for the pros, and the rise of Florida, Texas, and California as the key recruiting hotbeds make that impossible.

Saban is the first great head coach since Bryant, though. Ray Perkins was mediocre and Bill Curry didn’t fit the culture. Gene Stallings was quite good and won a national title, although infractions toward the end of his tenure put the school in a bind for years. Mike DuBose was lousy, Dennis Franchione left for Texas A&M (how’s that workin’ out for ya, Fran?), Mike Price never coached a game, and Mike Shula was too green.

It’s remarkable, really, how many nobodies were hired to coach in the post-Bryant era.