BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from FOX6 Sports Director Rick Karle:
Allow me to do the math: The SEC has fourteen head football coaches. Thirteen of those coaches have Twitter accounts, their combined Twitter following (as of this morning) stands at 1,323,900.
That's a lot of football fans following a lot of SEC coaches, and a lot of eyeballs on coaches bent on promoting their product, giving shout outs to recruits (Twitter yes, texts no) and rallying their fan bases.
The one coach who does not have a Twitter account and has no plans on joining? The man known by many as college football's top coach.
Nick Saban does not tweet. Oh, you can bet his people monitor Bama players and media who are on Twitter, but the lone SEC coach who wants none of it is the league's most successful.
Why the refusal to join? Said Saban during a weekly news conference, "I've never considered joining Twitter nor do I know why anybody would."
News flash: Coaches join Twitter to stay relevant, to stay "hip", to relate to recruits and fans alike. Why no Saban on Twitter?
The fact of the matter is that he doesn't have to. I think you would agree with me that Nick Saban is doing well without Twitter. Multiple national championships, a long string of #1-ranked recruiting classes, unmatched facilities and consistency in performance.
Twitter, Schmitter- the coach may just view it as more clutter.
Still, while Saban remains a Twitter hold-out, the other thirteen SEC coaches are deep into Twitter. Here's how the numbers read (Twitter followers in thousands):
193.9k: Butch Jones of Tennessee
176.5k: Mark Richt of Georgia
168.5k: Les Miles of LSU
129.1k: Bret Bielema of Arkansas
124.8k: Gus Malzahn of Auburn
105.7k: Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss
92.9k: Mark Stoops of Kentucky
80.1k: Dan Mullen of Miss State
68.5k: Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M
59.3k: Gary Pinkel of Missouri
59.2k: Steve Spurrier of South Carolina
49.2k: Jim McElwain of Florida
16.3k: Derek Mason of Vanderbilt
0: Nick Saban of Alabama
My first reaction to the numbers? Who knew that Butch Jones was so popular? And another thought: What if Nick Saban DID join Twitter? Would it break?
They say that when you're bigger than big, Twitter is dispensable, it's for the little people. Why doesn't Lamborghini advertise? It doesn't have to. Why doesn't Tiger Woods have a hybrid in his bag? He doesn't have to. Why isn't Charles Barkley on Twitter? He doesn't have to be (although he once told me. "I'm not going on Twitter- I'm trying to run away from people in my past, not reunite with them.")
Twitter, therefore, is for mere mortals, people looking to push a brand, a viewpoint or themselves (sometimes all three, and by the way, you can follow me, a mere mortal @rickkarle, but I digress).
Nick Saban? Let's see: Four national championships, five SEC titles, fourteen Coach Of The Year awards and an annual salary of over $7 million. Saban on Twitter? C'mon, man, he'd rather relax with a Little Debbie, a black coffee and some Joe Walsh music than fuss with that Twitter thing. And ya know something? Who can blame him?