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Saban d. Miles

Former Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga had to be wistful watching Alabama's Nick Saban outcoach Louisiana State's Les Miles in the BCS National Championship Game last night. Huizenga did the right thing when paid big money to lure Saban to the Dolphins in 2005. It was a great hire. What more can an owner do than get the best coach available and hand over control to him? Only it didn't work. Saban went 9-7 and 6-10. He (and Miami's staff) picked Daunte Culpepper as QB over Drew Brees. And then Saban bolted for Tuscaloosa, Ala.

In last night's 21-0 victory, Saban threw out the game plan from the November loss to LSU. Midway through the third quarter QB A.J. McCarron had dropped back to pass 34 times and Heisman Trophy finalist RB Trent Richardson had run only 13 times. Miles, meanwhile, showed up with roughly the same game plan he used in the November win, and got similar results. In hindsight, with a month to prepare, LSU should have at least had a specific, small package of plays ready for backup QB Jarrett Lee, the better passer, to unleash on the 'Bama defense. It's a good thing for the AFC East that circumstances and his own misjudgments prevented Saban from succeeding and prompted him to bolt. He coulda, woulda, shoulda been a dominant coach for the Dolphins.

---Mark Gaughan

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