After the National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia, I could not help think of the quote from Whiplash in Iron Man 2, "If you could make God bleed, people would cease to believe in him.". It is not often that Nick Saban's Alabama team loses to an SEC opponent more than twice a season. Since 2010 when Alabama lost to South Carolina, LSU, and Auburn, the Crimson Tide have only lost two SEC teams in a season twice, both times coming within the last three years. We have seen Alabama bleed
Alabama is not going anywhere and will continue to be one of the biggest names in college football. Still, with teams like Georgia and LSU slipping through the cracks and winning a few titles, it does make you wonder how long Alabama's dominance can continue. Nevertheless, it is hard to debate against those that say Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all time. It is also challenging to foresee a future that as long as Saban leads the Alabama Football team, the Crimson Tide will continue competing for National Title's year after year.
Nick Saban will have to retire at some point. So how do you replace somebody like that? How do you replace a man who has created the most dominant football team in the history of ever? Luckily for the Crimson Tide, Saban recently signed an eight-year deal for $84.8 million in 2021, so the school has until 2028 to find the next Nick Saban.
In 2028, the Alabama job will be the hottest in the sport of football across all levels, assuming Nick Saban will retire at the ripe age of 76 and the University of Alabama will undoubtedly be in a position to hire whoever they wish. It will be then that Alabama's dominance will come into question. So, again, how do you replace a Nick Saban?
It is no question that the SEC attracts some of the most talented football coaches in the United States. Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fischer, Brian Kelly, and Josh Heupel are all among the Top-20 winningest active coaches by percentage. When Nick Saban leaves this elite group of coaches, there will be a race to be the team in the SEC.
Will Alabama continue being the Alabama most people my age know, or is Alabama Alabama because of Nick Saban? Before Nick Saban took the reigns of Alabama, believe it or not, the team was average at best after Bear Bryant's departure from Tuscaloosa.
With the landscape of the NCAA turning towards teams being as good as the correlated NIL deals and how well the coaches can recruit in the transfer portal, Alabama will need a tenured and proven winner to take over. With the most recent example of Oklahoma and Brent Venables, it is clear what high-profile recruits and athletes are after. While Venables has the resume and will likely make a great head coach, players want the security of a tenured coach. For this reason, I believe Alabama will go after someone huge, potentially someone that has or will have won a National Championship by 2028.
Saban is a Unicorn, and if I had to bet money on it, Alabama would not be the same once he leaves. With the biggest names in college football playing in the SEC, I fully predict that Saban's departure will result in the conference being like the 2000s and multiple teams earning the conference title.