I love the Back to the Future trilogy (which recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its release). Marty goes back in time to Saturday, November 5, 1955 and interrupts his parents’ first meeting. Thus Marty must save his existence and make his parents fall in love. If Marty hadn’t got his mom and dad to kiss and fall in love at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance on November 12, 1955 he would not be around in the “present day” 1985.
In Back to the Future II, old Biff from the future steals the DeLorean and gives the sports almanac to his younger self on November 12, 1955, creating an “Alternate” 1985. November 12, 1955 was the central date in Marty McFly’s life…all events that happened on that day shaped his life forever. There are other events in the movie that ,as we all know, if turned out slightly different, would have a huge impact and can either send your whole life in a tailspin or the right direction.
We can often look to our own lives at the decisions in life. My central day was August 29, 2003. That day I started the courtship of Mrs. Corbindawg. However, I almost didn’t meet up with her.
Quick story…Ucheedawg, Granite and some other friends were going to visit our friend in Clemson for the UGA game that weekend (my freshman year). Friday night before they were all going to see Hank Williams, Jr. Someone backed out and they had an extra ticket. I almost went to Clemson that night, but the future Mrs. Corbindawg, who was a friend of mine, was coming to town to visit other friends. She lived out of town, and I had originally invited her and some other south Georgia friends to come up. I figured I don’t see these folks all that often, so I decided to skip out on the Clemson trip and stay in Athens and visit with these folks. Well, that weekend is what we trace back to the beginning of our dating and eventual marriage.
What if I decided on the spur of the moment that Friday morning to go Clemson? Why wouldn’t I go? Most of my friends were going. I guarantee you Mrs. CD and I would not have started dating…she was going to school in Valdosta and we wouldn’t have seen each other again for several months otherwise. How different would my life be NOW if I had made a different decision over 7 years ago? I’d probably be sleeping on Ucheedawg’s couch tonight.
Ok, you’re smelling what I am stepping in, so now onto my original point about college football:
December 8, 2006
On December 8, 2006 Rich Rodriguez announced he would turn down Alabama’s offer and stay at his home school West Virginia. We all know what happened next: Nick Saban.
Yes, Alabama is back today due to the REMARKABLE job Saban has done at Alabama in just 3.5+ seasons. Two undefeated regular seasons. A National Championship and Heisman winner. I think Alabama will win it all this year, too.
But it is remarkable to think how close Rich Rodriguez was coaching at Alabama. Think how different the landscape of college football would be today.
For starters, we know that Alabama would not be back to its former glory. On December 17, 2007, Rodriguez would leave WVU for Michigan-and we have seen what happens when he went to a school that didn’t have the athletes to run his system and stubbornly did so anyway. Michigan sucks. And after a brief flirt with glory this season, Michigan is just .500 in his third year at Michigan after two losing seasons. I think it is fair to say that success would not be easy to come by at Alabama with Rodriguez.
Alabama would be in the same state that Michigan is in right now.
I trace the downfall of UGA to the 2008 Alabama game. Alabama wouldn’t have been good with Rich Rod. That wouldn’t have been a big game, one where UGA doesn’t resort to a forced Blackout. UGA wins and goes to Florida undefeated that year…and if down 14-3 to the Gators, maybe UGA has the mental toughness from not being blown out earlier in the season and doesn’t implode. Georgia could have very well kept the momentum from 2007 and won the MNC that year.
But let’s say the likely would have happened…the Dawgs choke against the Gators and Florida marches onto the National Championship in 2008. They also win the MNC last year, as Alabama was the only team on the planet that could have beaten the Gators, and Alabama would have still been in a state of suck.
So Florida would have won 3 National Championships in 4 years.
Tommy Tubberville, who was shown the door following a shut out loss to Alabama in 2008, would have beaten Alabama for a 7th consecutive season and the recruiting that Saban brought to Crimson Tide would not have contributed to Tuberville’s force resignation. Auburn wouldn’t have a need for Cam Newton and Auburn isn’t atop the polls today.
So…Alabama would have Rich Rod, and on December 17, 2007, Rodriguez would not have been named the Michigan head coach.
So Michigan and Lloyd Carr part ways. Michigan, one of the highest profile jobs in college football, would still have been looking for a coach following the 2007 season.
Nick Saban would not leave the NFL ranks to go to just any college job. Les Miles was already not a candidate to go to Michigan due to his success at LSU.
Is it unreasonable to think that Michigan wouldn’t have gone after a proven college head coach? One who brings instant success? We see that Saban isn’t afraid to leave a job at any moment. Yes, Nick Saban would succeed Lloyd Carr as Michigan’s Head Coach. Ryan Mallett, who now fits the scheme in Ann Arbor, would have stayed at Michigan.
Saban, in an easy Big 10 schedule with a great QB, would run through the Big 10. Ohio State would not have its dominance in the conference. Perhaps Michigan is atop the polls today.
Whether the above scenarios played out is just speculation, but solid speculation, I believe. But what isn’t speculation is that Rich Rod was very close to leaving his West Virginia for Alabama, and had he done so a year earlier than he actually did, the landscape of the SEC and college football in general would be DRAMATICALLY different today.
One day can change the course of history.
July 3, 1863-General Robert E. Lee ordered the disastrous Pickett’s Charge, crippling the South and changing the course of the Civil War.
June 22, 1942-Hitler went back on his word with Stalin and the Germans invaded Russia and started the failed Operation Barbarossa. This weakened the Nazi Army and brought Russia in with Allies, causing Germany to fight a devastating war on 3 fronts.
September 11, 2001-The terrorist attacks of 9/11.
November 12, 1955 for Marty McFly.
August 29, 2003 for Corbindawg.
December 8, 2006 for the landscape of college football.