With Saban winning his 5 National Championship following Alabama’s victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff debate is again raging at to whether he should make the leap to the Pro’s. Our writers debate if this would be the right move for the Crimson Tide Head Coach.
To cement his legacy, Saban needs the NFL
says Nathan Hards
With the Crimson tide claiming another title – the fourth in 7 years – after a very risky onside kick play that paid off, and effectively drove them on to win the game, Nick Saban is the hot property in College coaching right now. With Texas reportedly considering an offer he couldn’t refuse, it’s time for Mr Saban to take stock, and look at what he really wants from life. One of the options he needs to consider heavily is the NFL. I’m here to tell you why it’s his best option. It’s perfectly logical With his history set within the college community, having dominated with nearly every college team that he has coached, there aren’t many places for him to go. He can be passed around from college to college, and be happy with what he’s achieved, or he can go for the next tier. Don’t get me wrong, College football is good, but it’s not the NFL. That’s the dream, that’s where people want to go, the highest level of the game. With everything done, and a hall of fame seat in the bag at Alabama, it’s time for Saban to set his sights on the big one. Trying to set up a legacy team, and light things up – just like Belichick is doing with the Patriots right now – so that he can go for a HOF spot in the big game. A few Lombardi trophies would really set that up, and Saban has proven that he can do it. Nobody wants to be the ‘tried and failed’ guy Saban has history in the NFL. He coached the Browns as a defensive coach under Bill Belichick, he coached the Dolphins between 05 and 07, before he went to Alabama, and didn’t do very well. With a poor roster, and injury issues holding him back, it was logical that he stepped back to College ball when he did. It was better to jump than be pushed, and with a head coach results page like his, it can’t have been fun for him to start losing. The point is, there are many coaches that have stepped into the NFL, and have failed to get results, most of them just not being able to cut it in the big leagues. Saban needs to prove he is not one of these guys, he needs to come back in and prove that he can do what he did in College football at the highest level. He’s got the weaponry needed Saban worked with Bill Belichick at the Browns. The same Belichick that has used Tom Brady to drag the Patriots back to the top of the pile, and set them up as a legacy team. Saban knows how he coaches, and he knows how he ticks. With the Patriots being the team to beat at the moment, Saban could well be the coach to bring that challenge to Belichick. The openings are there There are several teams that are struggling at the moment in the NFL. Lots of HC positions are up for grabs, and Saban could have his pick of them. He could leverage his position and record in ‘Bama to take a sweet position, and grab some boys out of the draft, just based on his name. Who better to know what players to take from College, than a College coach? He could take on the 49ers, and fix that broken offense. He could step into the Eagles, and take them back up the rankings with a couple of signings. The point is, he could turn around any team, if he’s given the freedom with the roster that he needs. He’s got the name, and the rep
Legacy assured, Saban should stay in College and chase immortality
says Jarleth Eaton
There’s no doubt that Nick Saban is the best college football coach of his generation. Normally, his championship wins come from the Alabama defence utterly destroying their opponents and their offence managing the game. Monday’s national championship though, was probably the sweetest. The onside kick call by Saban with the game at 24-24 completely changed the game and gave Bama the momentum to go and win the game 45-40, giving Saban his fifth national title. Every off-season, his name is always circulated amongst the vacant NFL head coaching jobs, but here is why Saban should remain in Tuscaloosa: He’s one away from tying Bear Bryant’s national title wins record. If you don’t know Alabama’s football programme, then Bear Bryant is their, and college football’s, equivalent of Sir Alex Ferguson. In 25 years at the Tide, the man won 323 games, the most ever by a coach in college football history, and 6 national titles. Whilst he has some way to go to beat Bryant’s all time win record, it would be ludicrous now if Saban didn’t go and try to equal, and then better, Bryant’s national title record. He’s won 4 at Bama, with one coming in his pre Miami Dolphins days (more on that later) at LSU. Bryant is revered and adored in Tuscaloosa to a level no-one thought could be touched. Saban is starting to get to his level, and could, and more likely will, surpass that in the next five years should he remain in the college. He’s already been to the pros – and failed. Of course, a lot of successful college coaches will get a shot at coaching in the pros. However, more likely than not, they don’t provide the success. For example, Jim Harbaugh. Brilliant at Stamford, and took the 49ers to three NFC title games in four seasons, but in the end just couldn’t bring the title the city by the bay craves. Another example, Chip Kelly. Fantastic with Oregon, he was brought to Philadelphia to supposedly revolutionise the way offense was played in the NFL. Three years later, he’s out of a job. Saban has already been to the NFL and done that. Once he left LSU, he signed to be the Miami Dolphins head coach in 2005. In his first season, despite a slow start, he managed a 9-7 record and just missed out on the playoffs. In 2006, hopes were high. Saban was desperately trying to sign Drew Brees who had just been released from the San Diego Chargers, but team doctors were unsure that his shoulder was fully ready to go. They urged the team not to sign him, instead suggesting Daunte Culpepper. Yep, the Dolphins passed on Drew Brees for Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings. Ridiculous then, even more ridiculous now. Culpepper struggled to remain injury-free throughout the season, and the Dolphins finished 6-10, Saban’s first and so far only losing season. What angered Saban most is that he did not have control over player personnel (more on that very shortly), and that remains the sticking point. He wouldn’t have full control of players, whereas he would at Bama where he can continue his dynasty. Although, a head coach not being in charge of player personnel isn’t necessarily a bad thing (yes, that is a dig at Chip Kelly). Most teams who need a head coach are usually terrible. No one can make a team that sucks great overnight, so why at 64 years old, when he is the best college coach in the nation, would Saban go and continually lose with teams such as the Titans and the Browns? It doesn’t make sense. Alabama shows no signs of slowing down. Once a college program wins a national title, they usually follow up with three or four poor years as they try to get their recruiting right for their next chance to win the big one. Not the Crimson Tide. For the last five years, they have had the best recruiting class in the nation, and as long as they have Saban as the head coach, they probably will continue to do so until he decides to walk away from the organisation. The fact he can control exactly who he wants and what he wants on his team, albeit from a far greater range of the players than if he were to go to the pros, is part of why Bama are as good as they are. Saban is undefeated in national title games, and has won four championships in seven years as the coach of the Tide. Alabama’s draft class looks set to be another beautiful one, and it would not surprise me if Saban and his team won back-to-back titles for the second time in his career. In short, Saban should not walk away from this Bama side. They are far too good and he has a legitimate chance of being the most successful coach in terms of titles won in college football history. In a much more competitive era, where teams rise one season and then fall away the next, the one team that has consistently been pushing the top 5 in the rankings every season every year this decade has been the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban can walk away from this organisation whenever he wants, and probably get any job he wants. However, if he is got half a football brain (which he obviously does and more), he will stay and become the greatest coach college football has ever seen.
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