2015 Sugar Bowl is the Coaching Duel of This Generation
The 2014-15 college football bowl season is full of intriguing matchups. But no game offers the coaching duel that the Sugar Bowl does. The battle between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer is a matchup of the two most successful coaches of this era, and two of the top football minds of all time.
Since 2006, Urban Meyer and Nick Saban led teams have combined for 5 national championships. If you are doing the math in your head, that is 5 championships in 8 years. If you go back a little bit further, to 2003, these two coaches have won 6 national titles in 11 years. To put those numbers in perspective, both Urban Meyer and Nick Saban have more national championships as head coaches than any of the head coaches in the Big 12 and Pac 12 Conferences, combined.
In 13 years being a head coach in college football, Urban Meyer has lost exactly 26 games. Meyer coached teams win 84% of the games that they play and are 7-2 in Bowl Games. Since arriving at Ohio State in 2012, the Buckeyes have lost only 3 games, they enter the Sugar Bowl as 9.5 point underdogs, but if history is any indication, betting against Meyer will usually end in disappointment.
Nick Saban has been the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide 7 years. In those 7 years Bama has played for the national championship 3 times. If he is able to beat his rival Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes, Saban will have led the Tide to the title game in 50% of the time while the head coach at Alabama.
Nick Saban is known for being one of the top defensive minds of this generation. Following the 2013 college football season, the Crimson Tide lost defensive stars C.J. Mosley, Ed Stinson, Deion Belue, Adrian Hubbard, HaHa Clinton-Dix, and Vinnie Sunseri. Coming into 2014, Bama was looking to replace more than half of their defensive starters, and the talk was of a rebuilding year for the Crimson Tide. Instead of focusing on the future, Alabama held teams to 21 points or under in 10 of their 13 games, and only once gave up more than 30 points.
Where Nick Saban is known for the defensive side of the ball, Urban Meyer is an offensive mastermind. He has had top offenses everywhere he has coached, going all the way back to Bowling Green. Despite losing Big 10 all-conference quarterback Braxton Miller to start the 2014 season, and backup T.J. Barret before the Big 10 title game, Meyer and the Buckeyes have put forth one of the best offensive seasons in school history. Ohio State has averaged 45.2 points per game, currently ranked 5th in the country for points per game.
Median ticket prices to the 2015 Sugar Bowl reflect this iconic matchup. As of 12/30/2014, the median ticket price was $320 an increase of almost $100 from the 2014 Sugar Bowl matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oklahoma Sooners.
The 2015 matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Alabama Crimson Tide is lacking for little. It is legendary program up against legendary program. Offensive genius, versus defensive guru. No matter which team wins, we are all in for one heck of a show.