There are rumors swirling all around about whether or whether not former NFL coaching guru Jon Gruden will make a long awaited return to the sidelines. The only catch is that Gruden is rumored to be heading back to college to get a head coaching gig, thus over looking all the potential NFL jobs that will undoubtedly become available in the coming weeks.
But should Gruden come to the SEC and take the coaching job with the Vols, the question will be begged: can the man they call Chucky make a run at overthrowing Alabama’s Nick Saban as supreme ruler of the SEC?
Since arriving at the school, Saban has built a power house and a school that is looking like it’s going to be the next NCAA dynasty. Everyone wants to play for him and those who do usually go on to have promising and successful NFL careers. Heck, even when he loses Saban still finds a way to get into the National Championship game or at the very least get more than just a legitimate shot at doing so.
However, Gruden is known for being just as fierce a presence, and while he won just one Super Bowl in the NFL, he’s got Saban’s Super Bowl total beat and it looks like that will be the score for the foreseeable future. The next logical step is to come into Saban’s arena and dethrone the king of the SEC. Saban’s won three titles with two different schools in the conference in the last ten years, and while Gruden’s got work ahead of him, he could give Saban a scare.
Next to Les Miles, Saban hasn’t really had a formidable opponent in the SEC, he’s got no Joker to his Batman, which is one of the main reasons people have a gripe with the conference. It’s a super power conference that really has just two super powers within it and a bunch of really good teams after that. Georgia may be in the title game this year, but even though a National Title shot is on the line the game isn’t being hyped as it would be if it were LSU in the game.
Gruden wouldn’t only bring a prowess to the sidelines, he’d bring knowledge, and if I checked the scoreboard right, Gruden’s knowledge is a lot more professional. Sure Saban’s turned out pro players, but Gruden’s actually done something with them. If he applied a hybrid knowledge of college and NFL styles, he may be the guy who finally gets the formula right.
Bad news (potentially) for Saban.
But there is the issue of pressure. Just because Gruden goes to Tennessee (if he even does), he’s got a long road ahead of recruiting and building before he challenges Saban’s title as king of the SEC.
However, just the fact that Saban will be legitimately challenged by someone other than Les Miles on a routine basis is an exciting enough prospect. Plus, Tennessee will get a lot more fans on board across the country who want to see Saban’s rule over the SEC come to an end with Gruden’s gritty face smiling the whole way home.