Just running some Nick Saban numbers here from Alabama’s game notes.
Hugh Freeze is 2-2 in four meetings against Saban, who began the Alabama part of his SEC coaching career in 2007.
By my count, only one other SEC West coach – Les Miles of LSU – has gone 2-2 in his first four meetings with Saban as the Alabama coach.
Going back to Saban’s LSU tenure (2000-2004), Houston Nutt went 2-2 in his first four games against Saban. Nutt was at Arkansas when he led the Razorbacks to wins over LSU in 2000 and 2002. Nutt would eventually go 2-3 vs. Saban at LSU and 0-5 vs. Saban at Alabama. Four of those last five losses were as the Ole Miss coach.
As Alabama coach, Saban is 5-3 against Auburn, but no Auburn coach that he’s faced as coach of the Crimson Tide has beaten him more than once. Tommy Tuberville was 1-1, Gene Chizik 1-3 and now Gus Malzahn 1-1.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will be 2-2 after four meetings if the Aggies win against Alabama on Oct. 17 in College Station. Johnny Manziel and the Aggies won in Tuscaloosa when Manziel was a redshirt freshman in 2012, A&M’s first season in the SEC.
Malzahn has a chance for a second win too. It’s not trending that way right now, but a lot can change between now and the end of November.
Here are the numbers for SEC West coaches in their first four meetings with Saban as the Alabama coach unless noted otherwise:
LSU’s Les Miles 2-2 (3-5 overall)
Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze 2-2
Arkansas’s Bobby Petrino 0-4
MSU’s Dan Mullen 0-4
Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin 1-2
Auburn’s Gus Malzahn 1-1
Auburn’s Gene Chizik 1-3
Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville 1-1
Arkansas’s Bret Bielema 0-2
Arkansas’ Houston Nutt 0-1
Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt 0-4