Like Father, Like Son: For Nick Saban, There's No Greater Compliment

Just when you think you have the Death Star of college football all figured out, that he's an obsessive, controlling, meticulous perfectionist, along comes a refreshing reality to knock it all sideways. "If I break down crying while I'm talking about Nick Saban and his dad, well, I'm not a damn bit ashamed of it," says Tom Hulderman, a childhood friend of Saban’s. "That's how much those two men have meant to me and so many others."

Football Is Only the Latest Triumph for Blind USC Long Snapper Jake Olson

Long before he captured the world—yes, the world—this weekend on social media by becoming the sport's first blind long snapper during USC's victory over Western Michigan, and long before Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called to congratulate him and sobbed on the phone, and long before a crush of media attention came to make him the feel-good story of 2017, Jake Olson was doing things that make snapping a football in a college seem, well, routine.

Lane Kiffin's Last Chance: 'This Is a Defining Job, One Way or the Other'

The past decade has been a frenzied, convoluted ride—an unthinkable and improbable career line of unimaginable highs and self-destructive lows—for Kiffin. A coaching life equal parts charmed and jaded pushing him further and further to the back of the line and into reality's cold embrace. Long story short: fired, left for another job, fired, fired. And now here he is, coaching the last FBS school that would have him as head coach.

The Unlikely Inspiration of Clemson's Bad Boy

He always had this idea of what it would look like and how he'd respond, a mental snapshot of something he never wanted to see. And then it happened. His brother was facedown and unconscious in the mud last spring in a full grand mal seizure, his body contracting and contorting while the very air he needed was blocked by thick, rust-orange South Carolina clay and dirty water. "I thought he was going to die," Ben Boulware says now.

Cheat or Go Home

Dysfunctional hell. Welcome, everyone, to the world of inheriting a college football program. It's not all million-dollar contracts and attaboy slaps on the back. The situation this coach found himself in is as familiar as it is ugly. He needed the recruit to help him win, needed to win to attract more quality players, needed to attract more quality players to change a program spinning its wheels and eventually swap the narrative from the coach's begging players to the players' begging to play for him.