Is the Nick Saban Era Over?

Is the Nick Saban Era Over?

Overtime. Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide have become accustomed to winning in clutch moments throughout the years. No moment was quite as needing of Alabama’s late-night magic as their battle against No. 1 ranked Michigan in the 2024 Rose Bowl. Michigan running back Blake Corum needed only 2 attempts for 25 yards to dramatically give the Wolverines a 27-20 lead late in the game. However, Alabama fans had no reason to be fearful. As the season progressed, Quarterback Jalen Milroe became one of the most reliable leaders in these situations in college football, having guided the Tide with late-game heroics in the Iron Bowl and SEC Championship game. Yet to no fault of his own, Milroe failed to convert on 4th down due to a questionable play call by Alabama Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees, losing the Tide the prestigious Rose Bowl. This loss would mark the 4th straight year without a National Championship in Tuscaloosa, which seems like a lifetime in the Saban Era. Questions that had been meditating under the surface before the season about how much longer Saban could continue his unprecedented coaching run seemed more real after yet another loss on the national stage. 

Saban is now at the age of 72, much older than most of his competitors at the top of college football this season. When most Americans are considering retirement, Saban has continued to provide evidence that he has yet to slow down his level of success. Much like his friend and coaching legend Bill Belichick however, there have been calls for a look to the future. 

Unlike Belichick, The Alabama coach’s success has shown no sign of slowing down. While being interviewed on the Pat Mcafee Show after the loss to Michigan, Saban laughed off calls for his retirement like most old men do: “I’m just getting old I guess.” He went on to say that while it is impossible to know what the future may hold, he is committed to “improving the life of the players in his program.” 

It is difficult to deny that Saban has done wonders for the young athletes in his program, sending more former Bama players to the National Football League than any other head coach in the program’s history. The success of Alabama in the 2023 season is only a testament to how proficient Coach Saban has been in developing talent and toughening his men. Staying committed to the challenge of coaching is in his nature, as seen through Bama’s ability to even come close to hanging with Michigan after how the season began for the Tide. 

The fact of life is that we all age. There will be a point when Saban will be unable to coach, or unwilling to. But today is not that day, and it is hard to imagine that there is a program in the country that would not love to have Nick as their head ball coach heading into the 2024 season. Only time will tell how long that will be the case.

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About the Contributor
Ciaran Greer, Editor in Chief
Runner, Singer, Writer, and believer in God.  A strong belief in supporting the working class and the Average American.