With five coaches who have won national championships in the SEC, there are no shortage of opinions around the league as to what it takes to win one. But many SEC coaches who have climbed that mountain say it’s even tougher to get a team ready to compete the year after hoisting the hardware.
“You dealt with entitlement, you dealt with youth, you dealt with guys who were wearing those national championship hats (when) they should have (gone) and bought them at the store because they didn’t really earn them,” said Florida coach Urban Meyer, whose Gators won the national title in 2006.
“The good thing is that the bar has been set. The good thing is they got a little taste of it, they witnessed it. The bad thing is the human element gets involved and that’s entitlement, that’s peo ple telling them how good they are. When if you lose that hunger, that edge, then you’re basically not competitive.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban said he saw some of the same problems in 2004 at LSU, the year after the Tigers won a national title.
“I think the word that gets thrown around here — and I’m only speaking for that team — but guys get complacent,” Saban said. “They’re so pleased in terms of what they’ve accomplished, which they should be, that it gets much more difficult for them to focus on the things they need to do to play better, continue to improve, remember the things that got them there. It’s just human nature.”
Current LSU coach Les Miles, whose Tigers won the national crown last season, said he doesn’t see that as a problem in Baton Rouge this year.
“I think maybe some of the young guys are trying to make too big a plays and maybe have stepped in and played outside the scheme at times,” Miles said. “I don’t think it has to do with the idea that they just won and are not as hungry.”