Hot Reads: Could a Billy Joel song be Nick Saban's exit music? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Hot Reads: Could a Billy Joel song be Nick Saban's exit music?

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Nick Saban is saying goodbye to AJ McCarron after this season, but is he also parting ways with Alabama? (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications) Nick Saban is saying goodbye to AJ McCarron after this season, but is he also parting ways with Alabama? (Source: Alabama Athletics Communications)
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(RNN) - Hot Reads once again feels the need to bring you a rendition of game previews, little-known statistics and commentary to the theme of a world-famous recording artists.

Last time it was Michael Jackson, but this time around I'm feeling me some Bill Joel.

Why, you ask? Because there are too many sports writers in the world, and I'm bored. Plus, it's just good fun.

So let's do this - wearing shades and with a drink sitting on the piano, of course.

Movin' Out… As Mr. Joel might put it, Nick Saban leaving Tuscaloosa for Texas does not exactly seem like trading in a Chevy for a Cadillac-ac-ac-ac-ac. But Texas, even without as many national titles, is the most prodigious revenue machine in the country. The state has a higher population than Alabama, which means a wider recruiting base.

Any coach who is honest will tell you someone who doesn't at least consider leaving for that type of opportunity is either stupid or crazy. We know Saban is neither.

The thing you have to understand about uber-successful men is that they constantly need challenges. The thought of getting bored running a team so dominant that it is expected to win every year is preposterous to you because all you do is watch the games. It's a little different when you're inside the machine.

And the whole "he's 62, and he's too old to start over" argument doesn't hold water, either. There is a long list of coaches as old as Saban or older who took new jobs because they wanted to build a group with potential into a winner - Bill Snyder (Kansas State); Bill Parcells (Patriots, Jets, Bills); Larry Brown (Charlotte Bobcats, SMU); Jim Leyland (Tigers). I could go on.

If you think it makes way too much sense for Saban to stay put, you're right. But if you think it makes a whole lot of sense for him to jump ship, that's a correct assumption as well.

Big Shot… It's funny, we don't hear as much talk coming from the folks in South Carolina as we did this summer. There are no opposing quarterbacks with wet underpants and no Clowney for Heisman campaign. Instead, the Gamecocks are sitting on ready for an SEC East title for reasons we didn't expect - the conference's best rusher (Mike Davis) and a complete fall from grace by Georgia and Florida.

Always listen to Billy - less talking, more doing.

The River of Dreams… You know what I like about Missouri fans? There is none of that bragging and "we want Bama" mess that other people spout. Just more proof that Midwesterners are salt-of-the-earth, humble people. Or they could still be hung over from that loss to the Red Sox in the World Series.

Either way, there is no denying the Tigers are on a collision course for some exciting things in the conference championship race. Texas A&M may have gotten its Heisman, but Mizzou has a real chance to take a more meaningful trophy.

The Entertainer… AJ McCarron might the be the most significant thing that has ever happened to the University of Alabama - aside from a certain tall, gravel-voiced man who wore a houndstooth fedora.

I had no idea that McCarron was anywhere close to becoming the school's all-time passing leader (don't lie, you didn't either) because he quietly racks up the only numbers that matter - wins. If he isn't invited to New York as a Heisman finalist it'll be a shame. There aren't many like him, and not many more will follow. But you don't have to believe me. Billy Joel said it best:

"Today I am your champion, I may have won your hearts/ But I know the game, you'll forget my name/ I won't be here in another year/ If I don't stay on the charts"

SEC vs. SEC

Georgia at Auburn, 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday

It's Still Rock and Roll to Me…Let's get our obligatory nod to Aaron Murray's statistical greatness out of the way. If he has a really good game he can break the SEC record for completions (needs 26). If he has a really, really good game he can break the Georgia record for pass attempts (needs 35).

Glad that's done. Now we can talk about the odd lack of home-field advantage in the last two decades of this series. Auburn has won 10 of the past 15 games in Athens, and Georgia has won six of the last nine on The Plains.

Pressure… It's crunch time for Auburn, and this game could not have come at a worse time. My advice to Tigers fans is take bathroom breaks and go channel surfing when Georgia has the ball so as to save a couple of ticks on your blood pressure.

I was puzzled why a team that averages 320 running yards per game only held on to the ball for about 29 minutes. Then I found out Auburn rips off 6.5 yards per carry, which puts the team behind only Oregon and Northern Illinois. There are some teams that don't trust their quarterbacks to throw the ball seven yards, let alone getting that much in one play on the ground.

Statistically, Georgia's run defense is pretty good - third in the SEC and 20th in the country - so they seem up for the task.

Keeping the Faith… If you just want to watch Murray and Todd Gurley shred Auburn's almost nonexistent defense, then go right ahead. Just covers the kiddies' eyes, and hope for the best.

This game didn't look much like a matchup given the way their respective seasons have gone, but it will expose weaknesses for the Tigers and could put a halt on their hopes of overtaking Alabama in the SEC West.

There's Life Outside the SEC?

Troy at Ole Miss, Noon ET Saturday

Only the Good Die Young… This season has not measured up to the expectations that were dangled in front of Ole Miss fans, but they become a lock for some type of bowl with a win over the Trojans. That's assuming that Troy doesn't muster some unknown power and pull off a stunning upset.

Don't get mad at me for regularly insinuating that an SEC team could fall to an opponent that doesn't seem worthy of the paycheck for making the trip. Crazier things have happened.

Who are we kidding? It probably won't happen, but if it does here's how.

The Rebels' run defense is not exactly stellar, and Troy is sneaky good at moving the ball on the ground. Now, Troy gives up about 462 yards per game. That sounds like a lot, but if Ole Miss makes mistakes - like, say, forgetting to take the field for a couple of series - lemme tell ya, this one is going to get interesting.

Stat of the Week:

87-0: Georgia and Alabama both clinched trips to the SEC title game with shutout wins against Auburn last season. The Bulldogs won 38-0 in Week 11, and Alabama won 49-0 in the Iron Bowl. We're going out on a limb by saying the chance of all that happening again in the next few weeks is slim to none.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • KTRE Online Poll

  • Do you think Nick Saban is leaving Alabama for Texas?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    No, his situation now is too good
    53%
    1142 votes
    Yes, there's nothing else to prove at Alabama
    33%
    708 votes
    No, but only because Mack Brown is staying at Texas
    7%
    158 votes
    Yes, because Texas can force Mack Brown out
    7%
    150 votes
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