Tommy Tuberville won an Alabama Senate seat on Tuesday, defeating incumbent Doug Jones. Despite some metaphorical setbacks, Tuberville won easily. So, this is the future of the Republican party, right?
College football coaches are tailormade for politics. Despite the increased actual real world importance, it's somehow easier than being a football coach. It's a job that pays well and has a lot of security if you play to your base, and you don't even have to be in the office at 4 a.m.
Politics can get heated, but in the South, people are just as passionate about football. Tuberville had a nice run at Auburn where he won five bowls in six years and coaches are used to people openly hating them or blindly supporting them. And they've experienced that all in person. Angry constituents will not phase a former college football coach.
There is no downside. As a football coach, you experience loss, so even losing an election isn't a new feeling. Nick Saban would be a slam dunk as Governor of Alabama, but if he lost, would it be any more embarrassing than his time in Miami?
And that is the real advantage of the football coach. Name recognition. That is half the campaign. Maybe more. The people of Alabama were familiar with Tommy Tuberville. Even if they didn't root for Auburn, they know the man. Or at least feel like they do.
Tuberville is an example of what can be done with a small effort and a lot of money and name recognition. For guys who have considered football their lives, it might be a nice little break. What does it mean for our country? Who knows. It's obviously more important than however Auburn does this weekend, but will more people care?