Cheap Heat: NICK SABAN NICK SABAN ERIN ANDREWS NICK SABAN FINEBAUM FINEBAUM PAAWWWWL.

And watch the traffic roll in!

Sometime yesterday, a PennLive.com commenter named "loldaveyjones" posted a comment to a Penn State coaching search story. [For those of you visiting from elsewhere, Dave Jones is a Harrisburg Patriot-News sports columnist. PennLive.com is their online presence.] Here is loldaveyjones' comment in full:

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"I told you yesterday Jones that it was not Munchak. If you want the truth and not the usual garbage you spew, it's Nick Saban. How do I know? Someone in my family recently donated $$,$$$,$$$. The contract is for 6 years, $48million. The school is paying $5m/yr, and the rest is coming from the Nike contract. He'll be making 60% more than anyone in college football.

Sounds ridiculous right? No it's not. Saban and his wife are from West Virginia and Nick grew up going to Penn State games with his dad. Saban also never really wanted to leave Michigan State as his closest friends are Tom Izzo and Dantonio. From what I was told, it was Lubert, Parker, and Delaney who were the power brokers behind this deal. This is a huge power play for everyone involved...Penn State, Nike, and the Big Ten.

I keep hearing theres going to be an announcement on Jan 3rd or 4th. That's not true either. The official announcement won't happen until the middle of January. Saban will have two weeks to try and salvage this recruiting class, but from what I was told this is of no concern. I'll be back in January to remind you once again I was right."

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[I rather enjoy that loldaveyjones' relative donated $$,$$$,$$$. Reminds me of when Sean Connery wagered "Texa$" on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy.]

After jokingly tweeting a screencap of this comment last night, I noticed that it was quickly retweeted by our old buddy kleph from Roll Bama Roll (who undoubtedly found it similarly hilarious), then retweeted by the Roll Bama Roll account itself. From there, the rumor quickly spread throughout the nation without anybody ever stopping to realize that it was started by an anonymous PennLive commenter. If you have Twitter access right now, do a search for Saban. There's a chance your timeline will be throttled as if you were watching "To Catch A Predator".

Now, I like PennLive and the Patriot-News and many of the people who currently or used to work there. Their commenters, however, could turn a story about a cat stuck in a tree into a racist anti-Obama thread in four comments or less. On average, a crazed, disheveled man wearing a "THE END IS NEAR" sandwich board is more reliable than your standard PennLive comenter.

As our Jeff Junstrom pointed out via email, there are other people to blame for this. Penn State premium message boards are in a frenzy with news that Penn State's football coach search committee has its guy, it's a really big name, and PSU is just waiting until the end of that coach's season to make the announcement. It has led, as these things so often do, to boasts of "I know this really awesome information but I can't/won't share it with you because I don't want to blow up the deal, but TRUST me, I'm super-connected to the program." And hey, maybe those people are privy to information about the most secretive college football coaching search in the internet age. However, they're creating an environment where information-starved fans are filling in their own blanks with the craziest stuff imaginable. It's not helping. This mystery man is not helping. This post probably isn't helping.

So, people. Seriously. At the risk of looking foolish when Nick Saban is totally coaching Penn State in two weeks, slow down. To drive this point 20 feet into the earth, we reached out to RBR's kleph last night. Here's his response:

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a few weeks ago there was a similar big "scoop" among UT message board "insiders" that saban would be the next coach of the longhorns after agreeing to a $100 million, ten-year deal. needless to say, that report turned out to be completely imaginary.

saban is the focus of these rumors because he's perceived as the most successful coach in college football at the moment. as such, he's going to be the name that pops up in this type of situation by default. is it possible it could happen? sure, anything is possible. but is it probable this will come to pass? of course not. and there a number of reasons alabama fans feel confident in that regard.

right now coach saban is one of the best paid coaches in the sport. so throwing a few more million at the guy isn't going to be the incentive people want to think it is. his lake home is reasonably close to where he works and his ties to the community are extremely strong. moreover, there aren't any extenuating circumstances that would seem able to sway him to happy valley (like urban meyer's connections at ohio state). there are a lot of teams saban put time working at in his years as an up-and-coming coach but none of them were penn state.

over the course of his career, saban has undertaken a revitalization of several programs - michigan state, LSU and alabama among them. his skill at that is what drives many fanbases to clamor for his hire. but he just saw his 60th birthday and the likelihood of more than a decade more in the sport is slim. the one thing he hasn't achieved is building a program to sustained success and that seems to be exactly what he is striving to achieve at alabama.



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To which I say, HATERS. ELITISTS. PAAAAWWWWWLLLL. (And thanks as always, kleph.)

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