Nick Saban Smiles Are Counted, Timed By Alabama Reporter Because Week 1 Can’t Get Here Soon Enough

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It’s hard to find stuff to talk about during the offseason. Fortunately, the college football offseason is drawing to a close because once we got to counting and timing Saban’s smiles, you know the well was starting to run dry.

Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide open their season Saturday against Middle Tennessee, and kickoff could not become a moment too soon.

These last couple of weeks before the season starts can be tough for sports media. All the pontificating has been done and now everyone sits around and twiddles their thumbs. The problem is you still have to put out content. That’s the nature of the business. So, one enterprising writer decided to see if the amount of smiling Nick Saban did during camp correlates could correlate to on-field success,

That’s as good an idea as any I’ve had so far this week. I wrote about why ribs aren’t a bowling food yesterday. And that was my big offering for the day.’s Matt Stahl did the dirty work so the rest of us didn’t have to. He confirmed that, yes, Saban has been smiling more recently.

That’s not anecdotal, Stahl has receipts.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban smiling
Nick Saban smiling. Does his smile tell us what the season holds for the Alabama Crimson Tide? (Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)

Science Tells Us Whether Or Not Saban’s Smiling Is An Indication Of Performance

Stahl and the folks at analyzed Saban’s press conferences since 2017 armed with a stopwatch.

Saban has smiled 3.42% of the time during his preseason news conference. That doesn’t sound like much — it’s far less than a smile per minute — but it’s more than double the amount of smiling Saban has done since 2017.

He’s not exactly a smiley guy, but at this rate, in a couple of years, he’s going to be turning the world on with his smile like he’s Mary Tyler Moore.

However, the folks at — in a piece formatted in a way that would make even the stodgiest college professor nod in approval — found that there is no real correlation between Saban flashing his pearly whites and his team producing during the season.

Saban smiled the least in 2020, and that resulted in an undefeated season and a national championship.

So, Saban may be smiling a lot this summer, but it sounds like that doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot as far as predicting this season for the Crimson Tide.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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