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Nick Saban

In a choice surprising absolutely no one, Alabama’s Nick Saban won AP’s Coach of the Year honors, beating out Texas Tech’s Mike Leach among others. Next up for the Sabanites is a the Sugar Bowl showdown against Utah on January 2. One wonders if the Crimson Tide will show up as a hungry team or a disappointed one, hanging their heads and playing down to the level of their competition — with absolutely no offense meant to Utah.

Bama, when the team is on, is just that good. It’s up to the Coach of the Year to make sure they are ready to play.

As for next season, the Crimson Tide have to be one of the favorites to make the BCS Championship Game. Consider the available talent with next year’s top-five recruiting class thrown in for good measure and you’ve got a stacked, stacked team in Tuscaloosa. The big question is, who replaces John Parker Wilson?

While he wasn’t a Tim Tebow by any means, Parker Wilson played an important “Trent Dilfer” role for Alabama. If Saban continues with his “run the ball and defense” philosophy, he’ll need someone to duplicate, if not succeed, Wilson’s performance. Naturally, Saban has plenty of options and a little time to figure it out.