Is Nick Saban the greatest college football coach of all time?

You know those articles that ask a question and take forever to answer it?

Yeah, this is not one of those articles.

Let’s just go out there and say it…

Honored by many and envied by most, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is undoubtedly the greatest college football coach of all time.

You don’t even need to be an Alabama fan to know this one, folks.


In the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Saban tallied his sixth career national championship with a 26–23 overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Saban tied legendary head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most titles by a head coach in the Poll Era dating back to 1936 (which if you’re keeping count, most of your grandparents weren’t even alive then).

This historic win for the Crimson Tide also marked Alabama’s 12th AP/Coaches Poll national title in the Poll Era, which is four more than any other school.

With the win, Saban also now has more national championships than all other active college football coaches.

That includes Ohio State Buckeyes‘ coach Urban Meyer (three championships), Florida State Seminoles‘ coach Jimbo Fisher (one championship in 2013) and Clemson Tigers’ coach Dabo Swinney (one national championship in 2016).

So why do critics still argue that Saban is not great?


For those naysayers who for some reason don’t think national championships are important, I beg you to continue to read as to why this man deserves to be recognized as the greatest college football coach of all time.

Let’s begin with the SEC, as it is easily the most competitive and grueling of all the conferences in college football.

With the Florida Gators, LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers to name a few, it’s safe to say the SEC has been stacked for a while now.

When you consider how tough the SEC has been during its run of ten national championships in 12 years, the fact that Saban was able to win five of those in just nine years is incredibly impressive.

And can we talk about those years he was coaching?

Saban began coaching in an era when we started to see arguably the most competitive era in college football filled with some serious athletes.

Need some name dropping?

Now Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry, Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron, former Dallas Cowboys LB Rolando McClain and how about a seriously TBT star — former Pittsburgh Steelers WR Plaxico Burress, from back when Saban was coaching the Michigan State Spartans in 1999.


Hell, even SEC Country gives you a top 50 list of Saban’s elite.

Saban’s teams have been argued multiple years that they could take on the worst team in the NFL (cough, cough — Browns) and win. Honestly, not sure if they could win, but that’s another story.

Did I also mention, he has accomplished all the feats legendary coach Bryant did all while being limited.



This excerpt from Monte Burke of Forbes on Saban and Bryant will explain while also blowing your mind just a bit more…

“Saban’s feats […] are arguably as impressive as [Bryant’s] were, if not more so, mostly because of scholarships.

For the majority of Bryant’s head-coaching career, he had no limit to the number of scholarships he could offer.

In the early 1970s the NCAA limited scholarship numbers to 105. A few years later, they lowered it to 95.

Saban has had to work with the current limit of 85 scholarships—enacted in the mid-1990s—for all but his one year at Toledo.


So for a brief recap, he not only competes in the toughest conference, has competed during the toughest time to compete, done it with limited scholarships and has the most championships among any active college football coach — even the dead ones, too!


With this newfound knowledge of coach Saban, how can you not say he’s the best? Face it — the dude can coach.


Still not convinced? Tell me why in the comments!

— Nicolette


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