By the Numbers: Miles and Saban
Les Miles and Nick Saban (US Presswire)
Les Miles and Nick Saban (US Presswire)
Publisher, TigerSportsDigest
Posted Nov 1, 2013


Since Nick Saban took over at Alabama in 2007, the Tigers and Crimson Tide have developed a potent rivalry. Before the two teams kick off next Saturday in Tuscaloosa, TSD's Ben Love measures Saban and Les Miles by the numbers.

Before we dive headfirst into the minutiae of LSU-Alabama next week, and lose ourselves in Xs and Os breakdowns and personnel matchups, let’s take a detailed numbers-based look at the head coaches for the Tigers and Crimson Tide.

No matter how much games are decided by players, the public focus of this particular game – which has arguably become the hottest rivalry in college football over the past three to four years – never seems to shift from Les Miles and the man who used to have his job, Nick Saban.

Here’s an updated look at Miles vs. Saban.

Head-to-Head

Miles: 3-4
Saban: 4-3

- Miles won the inaugural “Saban Bowl” in Tuscaloosa in 2007 en route to a national title for the Tigers. The two men’s teams then traded two-game winning streaks with the Tide winning in 2008 and 2009 (securing a national title in 2009) and the Bayou Bengals prevailing in 2010 and 2011, part one that is. Part two in 2011 – technically played on Jan. 9, 2012 – went the way of Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. The crimson clan won a tight one in Baton Rouge last year to give Saban the 4-3 edge. It’s worth noting that the road team has won the last two matchups in this series and four of six overall (excluding the bowl game meeting in New Orleans).

Record Coaching LSU

Miles: 92-23 (50-19 in SEC; 5-3 in bowl games) from 2005-Present
Saban: 48-16 (28-12 in SEC; 3-2 in bowl games) from 2000-04

- For those counting at home, here are those winning percentages for each during their LSU tenures: Miles is 80.0% overall, 72.5% in the SEC and 62.5% in bowl games; Saban was 75.0% overall, 70.0% in the SEC and 60.0% in bowl games. And in case you’re wondering, here are Saban’s metrics from 2007-Present while leading Alabama: 76-13 overall (85.4%), 44-9 in the SEC (83.0%) and 5-1 in bowl games (83.3%).

Recruiting Class Ranks Since 2007

Miles: 5th (2007), 7th (2008), 3rd (2009), 7th (2010), T-8th (2011), 6th (2012), 9th (2013)
Saban: 22nd (2007), 1st (2008), 2nd (2009), 4th (2010), 7th (2011), 2nd (2012), 4th (2013)

*Per Scout.com’s Team Rankings

- The main thing that jumps off the page is the fact that, save Saban’s 2007 class (one which he had only about a month’s hand in), both have landed top-10 classes every single year. For reference sake, no other program in the country was in Scout.com’s top 10 team rankings every single year between 2008 and 2013. Just these two. Schools like Oklahoma, USC, Georgia and Ohio State came close, but in the end, they haven’t been able to match the consistency of the Tigers and Crimson Tide.

NFL Draft Picks Since 2008

Miles: 39 overall (7 first-rounders)
Saban: 33 overall (14 first-rounders)

- Success for Alabama in the first round has come lately with the Crimson Tide placing four players in the top 32 picks of the 2011 NFL Draft, four more in 2012 and three this past April. LSU, during that time period, has never had more than two first-round picks, but the Tigers have had at least one every year but 2010. LSU has also been more consistent overall, with an average of 6.5 players drafted over the past six years to Alabama’s average of 5.5 players drafted.

Championships Since 2007

Miles: 1 national title, 2 SEC titles and 3 SEC West titles
Saban: 3 national titles, 2 SEC titles and 3 SEC West titles

- In the BCS era it’s pretty amazing that Saban’s Tide have won three national titles despite only winning two conference ‘ships, but that’s how it went down in 2011, when Alabama won its rematch with LSU in the Superdome. The other SEC West title for ‘Bama, in case you’re wondering: 2008, when the Tide lost to Tim Tebow and eventual national champs Florida in the SEC title tilt. As for Miles and LSU, the Tigers picked up division and conference championships in 2007 and 2011. The purple and gold also won the West in 2005, Miles’ first season in Baton Rouge, before falling to Georgia in the conference title game.

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