Ever since Nick Saban scorned the Miami Dolphins for Alabama in January, I've been toying with a gimmicky question: Is it possible to know the likelihood that your college coach will eventually bolt for greener pastures? This is the age of technology, people. Shouldn't we be able predict this sort of thing like the Weather Channel does precipitation?

I say yes. America, meet the SABAN Scale.

What is the SABAN Scale?

The SABAN Scale rates coaches in five key areas on a scale of zero-to-five (whole numbers only) and computes the probability that a head coach will leave a given college for another job at some point in the future. "SABAN" is a symbolic acronym for the factors that are taken into consideration.

What are the factors?

There are five mutually exclusive attributes derived from the life and times of Nick Saban that factor into this scale:

Shadiness -- How deceptive has your coach been when dealing with the media, team issues, or other head coaching vacancies? Slippery coaches tend to stray.

Ambition -- How driven is your coach to become the best in college football? Overly ambitious coaches sometimes become greedy for more power and prestige.

Boldness -- Does your coach have the fortitude to make brash decisions that seem selfish or short-sighted? This is essential to any coach and imperative to leaving a program without remorse.

Achievement - What has your coach won? A national championship? A conference title? Nothing at all? Accomplished coaches are always candidates for other prominent positions.

Nomadism --Does your coach have a track record for moving around with multiple head coaching stints? History tends to repeat itself.

How does it work?

The five factors (S-A-B-A-N) are added together and multiplied by four. Quite simply, the product of your calculations is the probability that a coach will vacate his position, better known as the "probability of vacation" or "POV." Given the lackluster mathematical skills of the scale's inventor (yours truly), only addition and basic multiplication are required.

Are any assumptions made?

Yes, the SABAN Scale takes for granted a "Saban Constant" of 100% POV in all Nick Saban head coaching ventures -- it is assumed that no other coach can ever achieve the Saban Constant. Additionally, the scale assumes no coach with less than 60% POV is willing to leave his position.

Is the SABAN Scale limited to college coaches?

No, the scale can also be used to determine whether a new girlfriend/boyfriend will eventually cheat on you, though it has yet to be approved by Dr. Neil Clark Warren. And other stuff, too. Since it's entirely subjective, you can tweak the system to determine POV for just about anything -- that is, as long as you establish a token "Nick Saban" beforehand.

What is the POV for some current coaches?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Here are a handful of examples ...

Bobby Petrino (Arkansas) Shadiness: 5 Ambition: 4 Boldness: 5 Achievement: 3 Nomadism: 3 POV: 80%

Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)

Shadiness: 3 Ambition: 4 Boldness: 4 Achievement: 3 Nomadism: 2 POV: 64%

Joe Paterno (Penn State)

Shadiness: 1 Ambition: 1 Boldness: 1 Achievement: 5 Nomadism: 0 POV: 32%

Dennis Erickson (Arizona State)

Shadiness: 5 Ambition: 4 Boldness: 5 Achievement: 3 Nomadism: 5 POV: 88%

Jim Tressel (Ohio State)

Shadiness: 2 Ambition: 5 Boldness: 0 Achievement: 5 Nomadism: 1 POV: 52%

Pete Carroll (USC)

Shadiness: 1 Ambition: 4 Boldness: 2 Achievement: 5 Nomadism: 5 POV: 68%

The decision by CBS Sports to replace commentators Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery with James Brown and Len Elmore in the later rounds of this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament was a critical blunder that may have slowed the rotation of planet Earth with sudden onset boredom. But at least they're smart enough to admit it.

In what can only be seen as a victory for all mankind, Johnson has been reinstated in his previous capacity. Perhaps a year off from the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight has allowed Johnson to suck down some warm honey and heal his vocal cords for another Road to the Final Four.

Need a reason to love Gus? Witness Exhibit A.

In looking over the bowl pairings, a random thought came to me: finding a bowl bid could be much less stressful if you just hosted your own game. I mean it -- if you could secure the necessary funds from some desperate dot-com, what'd stop you? Heck, Hawaii's been doing this for years, notching all seven of its previous bowl appearances inside the limits of its home state. New Mexico's doing it this year. I'm sure others have in the past, as well. No travel expenses. No neutral field. Just a bevy of built-in advantages. It'd be like an extra home game but with a different name. It's bulletproof.

Anyway, there are six games on the docket between tomorrow and Christmas, my picks are underlined ...

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Utah vs. Navy

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

Papajohns.com Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Cincinnati

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada vs. New Mexico

Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl: UCLA vs. BYU

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs. East Carolina

Before I get to last week's winner, I just want to thank everyone for participating. My inbox saw a deluge of messages, and I personally read every entry. By comparison, the creativity you showed in your answers makes me look like Ben Stein doing stand-up. That said, let's send out some props to Shane G. (from parts unknown) who threw enough random words against the wall to win our Michigan Mad Lib Contest. In return, I offer semi-anonymous recognition! Behold his work:

Upon learning that Lloyd Carr had resigned his post as Michigan's head football cobbler, Ann Arbor swam knowing that it'd have a legitimate chance at beating Ohio State next season. But once Les Miles eluded the position, things started getting sloppy. And after Greg Schiano rebuked an offer, fans started fearing a tsunami the way Charlie Sheen fears rehab. Now north is east, up is down, and Michigan is no closer to finding a coach than Puck is to becoming a lounge singer . So unless Mark Mangino feels like offering any recommendations, the Wolverines may be forced to turn to the only consultant who can help -- a bottle of Dr. McGillicuddy's Mentholamint Schnapps.

1. More overplayed Christmas carol? Jingle Bells / All I Want For Christmas Is You

2. More curious bowl sponsor? Roady's / Gaylord Hotels

3. Better 80s game? Excitebike / SimCity

4. Likelier Orange Bowl winner? Virginia Tech / Kansas

5. Better New Year's Eve adjective? Overrated /Exhilarating

6. Better Capital One Bowl bet? Michigan (+10) / Florida (-10)

7. More devastating work stoppage? NHL / Writer's Guild

8. Better coaching hire? Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech) / David Cutcliffe (Duke)

9. Hotter Brad Pitt girl? Jennifer Aniston /Angelina Jolie

10. Better "Long"? Jake Long (Michigan) / Chris Long (Virginia)

After doing some research on Tila Nguyen and trudging my way through her library of music, I think I've finally discovered the reason her stage name is "Tila Tequila:" it'd take any mammal with ears at least eight shots of Jose Cuervo to make her songs enjoyable. Hot or not, her thought-provoking singles -- I Love U, Stripper Friends and F*** Ya Man, among others -- lack any real traces of lyrical talent, and nearly every track feels like a watered-down, more monotone version of Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl. I'd rather listen to an a cappella trio of Kevin Federline, Ron Artest, and Carl Lewis. Yet through some glitch in the Matrix, she prevails as the most popular "artist" on all of MySpace. God bless America ...

On second thought, perhaps I should've compared the Georgia fan base to The Ultimate Warrior instead of the football team. Dawgs fans have been in a lather over my comparison for two full weeks, and the e-mails keep rolling in. (But I'm not taking it back, so deal with it.) "Laurie E." was one of those fans:

Seriously, Jack, why don't you ask Georgia if they're content not being THE team to beat in college football? I think that the coaches, the teams, their families, the fans, their pets, probably, and everyone else in the Bulldog Nation would disagree. Couldn't you have come up with something more creative, or at least compelling, to write about Georgia, or any other team (or any other topic, as is usually the case with you)? Wow. Guess you missed the second half of this season and all of your peers who are discussing the "short list" for next year and Georgia's presence on it, once they WAC Hawaii. I am sad that you have a job that is so desirable, and that you squander your opportunities with low, boring blows. Hmmm ... I'm just trying to think how many other two-loss teams have been praised by you, or maybe how many teams with puff-pastry schedules are exalted in your (tiny) mind. Bet two of 'em play on January 7th. That's it, I've had it with your "flat" column.

For those interested, Laurie's e-mail address is LaurieE@Hell.com.

Ty Hildenbrandt writes Campus Quick Slants every Wednesday. E-mail Ty at tyhildenbrandt@gmail.com with your comments, questions, and random observations.

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