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Could Nick Saban have had USC football job in 1997?

October 29, 2008 |  1:20 pm

Nick Saban, left, and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

According to Dr. Saturday, a YahooSports! college football blogger, Nick Saban could have had the USC head coaching job in 1997.

He turned it down on the advice of his agent, Jimmy Sexton, who told him:

Man, you don't want to go to Southern Cal. Nobody wants to send their kids to school in south central LA anymore. I don't see them being a power anymore.

Sexton added that, "to this day," Saban reminds him of the USC comments.

"Every time they're No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 3 in the country, he looks at me and says, 'Jimmy, you still think Southern Cal can't win anymore?'''

I have no reason to doubt Sexton, but that is the first reference I've seen to Saban in connection to the USC job at that point in time. The Trojans fired John Robinson at the end of that season and hired Paul Hackett.

The most prominent name mentioned at the time as a potential replacement was Lou Holtz. Others reportedly on the short list were Jeff Fisher, Dennis Green and Dave Wannstedt.

Hackett was followed by Pete Carroll, who, as Sexton mentions, has done just fine.

So has Nick Saban.

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: Alabama Coach Nick Saban, left, and Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt talk prior to a game against the Mississippi Rebels in Tuscaloosa earlier this month. Credit: Marvin Gentry / US Presswire

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