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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 15: Saban leaves again

Oct. 15, 1976 – Who says history doesn't repeat itself? For the second time, Lou Saban resigned as coach of the Buffalo Bills on this day.

Saban had left Buffalo after the 1965 season to take a job with the University of Maryland after leading the Bills to a pair of AFL championships. He came back for the 1972 season and helped put the Bills back in the playoffs in 1974. However, the Bills were headed downhill once again by the start of the 1976 season, and Saban's endless itch for other pastures needed to be scratched.

He left this time with a 2-3 record, including a loss to the Jets in his last game. The move came only two days before the next contest on the schedule.

Saban was replaced by offensive line coach Jim Ringo. It's fair to say the team collapsed at that point. The Bills lost every single game they played for the rest of the season, finishing 2-12. They gave up a total of 103 points in their final two games, and 164 in their last four. In hindsight, it's a little surprising that Ringo was asked to coach again in 1977.

Meanwhile, Bills' owner Ralph Wilson never appeared to forgive Saban for leaving the second time. Eventually, though, Saban’s name was placed on the Bills’ Wall of Fame – a nice tribute to the good times that he brought to Western New York.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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