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Ryan Fowler, Tide 100.9 Afternoon Drive Host

JR Sports Brief / JR
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January 11, 2024 8:47 pm

Ryan Fowler, Tide 100.9 Afternoon Drive Host

JR Sports Brief / JR

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January 11, 2024 8:47 pm

Ryan Fowler joined JR to discuss the reaction around Tuscaloosa to Nick Saban's retirement and which potential candidates could become the next Alabama head coach. 

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Get six times longer lasting freshness plus odor protection with Downy Unstoppable's in wash scent beads. It's Ryan Fowler. Hey Ryan, thank you for taking the time to hop on and talk some Alabama football with us. Absolutely. It's an honor to be on with you. And I tell you what, it's been a busy 24 to 36 hours. I was live on the air yesterday when the news came down that Nick Saban was retiring via Chris Lowe.

And I'm kind of excited to dive into it and kind of brainstorm with you for the next couple of minutes. Absolutely. I guess my first question to you is, it's always been when he signed a contract that was going to take him to 2030. I said, come on now.

I don't think this is going to happen, but I didn't think he was going to just retire yesterday. Were you shocked that this took place? Absolutely. I won't pretend and lie to you and tell you, because there'll be a lot of people that'll tell you, hey, I knew this was coming. I knew this was going to happen. I didn't. I cover Alabama. We're the flagship station of Alabama Crimson's football in Tuscaloosa.

Think about this. I'd often talked about how, and I think this is more of a Nick Saban type way of going out. He's not a victory lap coach. He's not a guy that would do a distraction for his team, but I also didn't expect it would be January the 10th of 2024. I still think there was years left in the tank, but I think the chaotic environment of college athletics was something that just became too much.

It became at his age. It's not the football that drove him away. I think the time consuming hiring coaches, parroting in college football, the NIL transfer portal, the calendar. I think you're going to see a lot of coaches that are going to step away and not come back to the game. And I don't think that's good for the game of college football that you and I love.

You heard from Nick Saban. He said that that was not the case. Do you think that was a little bit of a dishonesty from him?

I just think it has to be a factor, right? I mean, every coach will tell you, just knowing his opinions. He shared, you know, it's not name imaging like this. This is pay for play, right? That's what he called it.

That's his words. And that's what this is. Name imaging like this is just a name that we've attached to it. You know, when you have a player go out and score a touchdown and the next morning he's in an office asking for more money.

Is that name imaging like this? I mean, I guess you in one way you could spin it that way. But to me, it's more pay for play. But the only difference is there is no contracts. Though, unlike the, you know, some guys who were locked down for a couple of years, you're literally turning over your roster every few months. That's the part that I think it wasn't the deciding is it?

72. I believe what he said. He's being honest, but I also think that there's more to it. And I think that when I think about this era of college football, it's chaotic when you've got one of the greatest ever walk the sideline, the greatest ever walk the sidelines. I think it needs to be a note for us in college athletics. We've got to clean this up, but we're going to lose a sport that you and I and many others love. Ryan C. Fowler is joining us from tied one hundred point nine out in Tuscaloosa. You know, it's easy to look at Nick Saban stepping down as a head football coach and just attribute it to football. But this has so much more of an impact on the university.

Correct me if I'm wrong. So I would I would I'm a grad here at the University of Alabama when I was a part of Nick Saban's arrival, about eighteen thousand. We're now about 40 something. Forty two.

Forty three thousand. I've watched this town grow from a devastation in 2011 with a tornado. I live here. I have a job because of Nick Saban. I mean, I have a job because of the interests around Alabama football. But I've watched this town explode economically. We have factories that probably we would not have when Robert Witt, which was the former president when Nick Saban was hired, said it's the greatest investment the University of Alabama has ever made. I mean, think about twenty thousand additional students. Somebody's got to house them.

Somebody's got to feed them. That growth would not be possible without Nick Saban. Economically, I mean, I'm looking at two brand new sky rise hotels here. Those would not have been possible.

There wouldn't have been a demand. Alabama football has always been Alabama football. But Nick Saban took this monster.

It was a perfect marriage. His work ethic, the environment of Tuscaloosa, the fans are simply the most passionate sports fans in the entire country. And they embraced what his work ethic was all about. This town has exploded since I was an undergrad at the University of Alabama. Now, when you think about what's in store for the future, it's it's difficult to talk about this guy replaced this guy. This guy replaces this dude.

What what could be the next logical step to try to maintain some of the same success? Well, I think you're not going to be able to get the next Nick Saban. And I think that's where Alabama fans are going to have to go back and understand there's only one Nick Saban. There's only one Nick Saban. This next coach is not going to win three out of the next four. He's not probably going to win one out of the next four. You almost have to reset your standard of where Alabama is.

This program has 18 national titles, 30 SEC titles. You're not going to be able to continue at that pace. So you almost have to recheck. And I'm actually here at the airport right now. There's a major plane coming in now. I'll let you know if I if it's something that's significant. So if you hear that noise, that's what that is. OK, I've made my way because there was scheduled to be a plane that was going to be coming in from Washington. Now, we don't know. I mean, listen, it could be bringing a box of cookies in the city of Tuscaloosa.

It could be bringing another student back in. But we're watching that because I think all of us are watching it and see if Kayla the Boar is a possibility. That name has grown wildfire here in Tuscaloosa, a name that 24 hours probably was not on the surface, but it is today. That that's one of those that you think about the fit. I think he would be a big name.

You know, I look at Lane Kippen and Dabo is two other options, but I don't know what those are real options. And at this point, I have to trust Greg Byrne. He's never lied to me. I have a great relationship with him. When he says something, he means it. He said, if you didn't hear it for me, don't believe it. We have to take him for his word. He's that type of guy. I no doubt he's hunting for that big fish, but I also don't think he's going to tip his his hand to anybody else.

And I think that's the part that you have to step back a little bit and understand what he's selling. Alabama is going to move into a role where Nick Saban is going to be a support role in a lot of ways. You can't tell Nick Saban no, but that also creates another demands on this job. You know, what role would he play?

Fundraising. You know, it would be weird to have him in that same facility. Understanding is he's going to move to Brighton. He said he but he's still going to be in a support role for Alabama. That's good thing.

But it can also complete. You know, it would make the easier transition, but it also could create some distractions as well. Ryan Fowler is here with us. Come in. Joining us from Tuscaloosa. When you think about who comes in as coach, let's let's forget whoever the hell that might be. You named some of the potential candidates there we've seen over the past couple of years, even with Nick Saban and his recruiting power and the coaches that he's able to attract that Alabama has come back down and not down to the pack, but they're not head and shoulders above everybody, just stomping the living hell out of teams.

And so when things move forward and you talk about the changing landscape of college football, are we, in your opinion, just in a general sense, on pace to see more parity as we move forward? Absolutely. No doubt about it. No doubt about it.

I think that's where this is organized design chaos. Listen, I mean, I'm going to tell you, I cover Alabama football four hours a day, five days a week. I talk nothing but Alabama football. Basketball does it, but it doesn't do it.

I mean, it's 95 percent there. We talk about the sport that is is growing to the NFL model. Right.

Where you almost have to separate yourself. And let's be honest, Nick Saban's model was I have better players than you. I'm going to beat you on National Signing Day where I can beat you in September, October, November. That's changed. I don't think you're going to see a run like Nick Saban. It's just not designed because of the bureaucrats in college football didn't want it to be that way. And if you look at Greg Sankey in the FCC, he'd rather have multiple schools competing for that FCC title than just one school.

Financially, it just makes sense when you can engage a lot of other fan bases rather than just one. It's healthy for the game. I know Alabama fans don't want to hear that.

It hurts. Right. But I think when you look at the overall health of the game, it's probably going to be good for college football that the FCC didn't have a role. I'd love to see Alabama there. I'd love to see Nick Saban especially go out on top.

But I also think when you look at the overall backside of it, you're going to engage. And Jack Swarbrick, I mean, he told us this, the athletic director from Notre Dame a couple of years ago, he said, we cannot allow this sport to become a geographical region sport. We've got to get those other fan bases to grow. This is probably one way 12 teams will be able to say they had success.

Yeah, we're certainly moving on and not even moving on. We are in a different era of college athletics. And we've seen it not just on the football side over the past couple of seasons. We've seen it with college basketball as well. Coach K, Baham, Williams. He's these dudes are moving on.

And so now we have the biggest name and college football, Nick Saban. He moves on as well. Hey, I want to thank you for taking the time to hop on and join us. And let's have some more chats, Ryan, as as things kind of get hashed out here. Appreciate you. You got my number, Jr. Any time I can help. I appreciate you guys for the invitation.

We'll try to cover it wall to wall here in Tuscaloosa. Thanks for the invitation. Have a great week. Where can people follow you to keep up with you directly?

Yeah, just Ryan C Fowler. You can find me on Facebook. I mean, I do a show for four hours every day at Tide. One hundred point nine at Tuscaloosa. And like I said, with the flagship space of Alabama football and we'll cover it. We love college football just like you do, man. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-11 22:47:45 / 2024-01-11 22:52:57 / 5

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