It’s Friday, the SEC Championship game is tomorrow, football talk is in the air, and time for me to unburden myself of something that has bugged me for a week. Time for Friday fun.
Birmingham News reporter Kevin Scarbinsky wrote in Sunday’s News:
As good as he is, as much as he’s done, Saban still has to prove he can win a great majority of his games when he doesn’t have a decided edge in talent.
This season, in games decided by a touchdown or less, Alabama is 1-2. During his four years in Tuscaloosa, that record is 10-8.
Now look at Gene Chizik’s Auburn record under the same parameters. This year, the Tigers are 6-0 in close games. In Chizik’s two years, they’re 8-3.
This was a small part of a larger article, but someone at the News made it a bigger deal by putting a teaser on the front page above Sunday’s masthead, “In close games, Saban only average.”
Folks, it just doesn’t follow that great teams will necessarily have great records in close games. When really good teams win games, they tend to win by bigger margins – because they are really good teams. When really good teams lose games, they tend to lose by smaller margins. Very good teams tend to have good won-loss records, but their records in close games tend to be not as good.