Wiedmer: Let Nick Saban's 'Process' lead nation

Wiedmer: Let Nick Saban's 'Process' lead nation

November 7th, 2012 by Mark Wiedmer in Sports - Columns

Nick Saban

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Maybe you voted Tuesday to extend President Obama's stay in the White House. Or maybe you voted for challenger Mitt Romney, convinced that only a change at the top can make the next four years better than the last four.

But whether you voted to press forward on Obama's self-professed change you can believe in, or Romney's five-point plan to rebuild America, you voted wrong. We all voted wrong.

We should have all cast write-in votes for Alabama football coach Nick Saban, and it's only slightly because switching Saban from the Capstone to the Capitol is the only way the rest of the Southeastern Conference is ever going to compete again for national championships.

OK, so Saint Nick's probably never going to run for the highest office in the land. Who could blame him? He'd have to take a pay cut of roughly $5 million a year. Any guy dumb enough to do that is probably too dumb to lead the free world.

Beyond that, Saban is king in Alabama these days, at least within the Crimson Nation. If he were president, nearly half the public would want to fire him from day one, and that's before he truly upset them.

But forget all that, as well as the stranglehold he currently has over the rest of the SEC. He's won 13 of his last 14 league games, two of the last three BCS titles and an astounding 57 of his last 63 games.

We need Saban on Capitol Hill because he gets results, and we need results over rhetoric in the worst way these days.

And for all of you hung up on the need for slogans, Saban has "The Process." He's all about The Process, though befitting a strong leader, The Process is ever-changing.

Not the principles of The Process, mind you. "Process guarantees success" is Saban's mantra, his philosophy, his ace in the hole. But he'll also tweak his game plan to take full advantage of his personnel and circumstances.

Still, Saban's process is built on repetition, hard work and a daily focus on the task at hand rather than the long-term goal, which may be victory, though he never discusses it.

So it would be easy to see Saban never discussing the national debt, all the while adhering to a formula that would shrink it by small percentage points every day. Because the little things will always lead to big achievements if you stay the course, if you stick to the process.

We could even change "In God We Trust" on our currency to "In the Process We Trust," for all those determined to push prayer and faith to the curb, though I'm not personally in favor of that.

You say it's college football, that he has a captive audience motivated to do what he says because they all have a long-term goal to get to the National Football League and he's proving to be better at that than most.

But shouldn't we all be that audience? Shouldn't we all be more focused on a shared goal while understanding that it will take an entire nation working hard and working together every day to achieve it? Shouldn't we all have some blueprint to make the nation a little stronger, a little more responsible -- OK, maybe a lot more responsible -- and much more unified toward a common goal of lower debt, lower unemployment and higher self-esteen?

And that's what Saban's process is all about. Little victories -- writing the best term paper you can, lifting the most weight you can, watching the most film you can -- lead up to big victories, especially if you never change your focus to the distant goal.

No, it's not going to happen. Saban's probably going to keep running roughshod over the SEC until he becomes bored and takes his Process to another college, the NFL or some $100,000-an-appearance speaking tour.

But if he did run for office, he need look no further for his vice president than Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who's pretty much rolling through SEC hoops the way Saban is SEC football.

Heck, Coach Cal even said something about "the process" to UK's media after the Wildcats' exhibition win over Transylvania on Monday night.

One other thing about Calipari: He presumably wouldn't even need an entire four-year term to make a difference. Cal's a one-and-done guy. He moves fast. And just like Saban at Bama, he took just three years to win it all.

So if you're from every SEC school except Alabama and Kentucky, how could you not support a Saban-Cal ticket in 2016?

You'd get your championship dreams back -- even if the Process would preach one win at a time -- and the nation might have a game plan it could not only believe in, but could return America to the same global dominance that the Crimson Tide and Wildcats are enjoying in their small worlds.

Before you shout No, consider this: Can you think of any two people on the planet who've made more of the last four years than Saban and Cal?

Contact Mark Wiedmer at mwiedmer@timesfreepress.com