If you believe that Nick Saban is the greatest coach in college football today, you’re either an Alabama fan or you pay attention to facts.
Saban has led a team to a five national championships since 2003 (LSU after 2003 regular season; Alabama after 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 regular seasons).
He started at LSU in 2000 and led the Tigers to the title in 2003 (game in 2004). He started at Alabama at 2007 and led the Tide to a title after 2009 season. Granted those are two schools alway have a lot of talent, but that is still quick work. And Alabama has been consistently among the top 5 recruiting schools since he has been there.
He’s done so well that a few years ago Saban reportedly turned down a lucrative offer Texas. He later denied it and said, “I’m just too damn old to start over somewhere else.”
But what if, for the 2017 season, Saban indeed started over with a new school? In fact, what if you traded him with the coach from another team? Which team would win a national title first?
Saban has proven he can win a title in three years. And he also has proven he can collect 5-star talent with ease. If he were to take over at, say, Michigan and Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh took over at Alabama. If you gave these coaches three seasons, who would be the first to win a national title within that time frame?
Would Harbaugh win the title with Saban’s talent immediately? Or would Saban get there sooner by having Michigan even stronger than it is now in Year 3 or 2 or, sure, 1?
You decide! Give each coach three seasons and select which coach would win the national title first.
What about Nick Saban vs. Lane Kiffin?
Yeah, Kiffin would be reunited with Jalen Hurts and the offense likely would continue to roll. But remember his time at USC with some top talent (yeah, he had a couple of NCAA-sanctioned recruiting classes, but still …)? Saban certainly would be challenged with a Florida Atlantic roster.
Nick Saban vs. Gus Malzahn?
Malzahn already has proven he can take a team to a national title game in one season. But Auburn also has been a team that consistently recruits top talent, so it might not take Saban more than one season, either.
Nick Saban vs. Ed Orgeron?
You might consider this a no-brainer, but Orgeron has shown success when he inherits talent (USC in 2013 and LSU last season). And players, especially defensive players, often state they would run through a wall for Coach O. Players respect Saban, but that wall thing? Uh … yeah, I don’t know about that.
Nick Saban vs. James Franklin?
James Franklin won at Vandy. I said he won at Vandy! And now he has Penn State on the right path. Imagine what he could do if he landed in Tuscaloosa with a team loaded with talent.
Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer?
This is as close to even as it can get. Meyer also has won national titles at two schools and it a consistent top recruiter. This is likely a one-season race. In fact, it might all come down to who has the better team on paper entering the 2017 season.
Nick Saban vs. Bob Stoops?
Another even-Steven swap? You tell me.
Nick Saban vs. Mark Stoops?
Mark Stoops got Kentucky turned around last season after a rocky start. Kentucky is not an easy program to turnaround. Because of that, it likely would have to be a three-season race for Saban to win.
Nick Saban vs. Bill Belichick?
You could say these two coaches are cut from the same cloth, especially since Saban was Belichick’s defensive coordinator when Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. And, in this race, Saban would have to win a Super Bowl before Belichick could win a national championship. Remember: Saban’s last foray into the NFL didn’t work out so well.
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