Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
By now, every one and their mother have heard the latest rumors about Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas, courtesy of an email Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, sent in January. This is a follow up to a story released by the AP in September that the Texas regents were speaking with Saban in January about replacing current Texas head coach Mack Brown. After it was reported that Terry Saban was house shopping in Austin in October, the rumors reached an all-time high that the four-time BCS National Championship winner would be leaving Tuscaloosa for the Longhorns.
Is there reason to worry in Tuscaloosa that Saban is leaving the program he rebuilt from the ground up? It’s a safe bet that fans can rest easy knowing their coach will be with them for the forseeable future.
As you’ll note, this story all began in January, when Saban’s agent reportedly met with Texas regents about the possibility of Nick Saban leaving Alabama for Texas. Saban denies that he had any personal contact with Texas officials, so this is likely limited in terms of contact to his agent, but that’s not the important part of the story.
The story was 10 months ago, supposedly after Alabama took down Notre Dame. If Nick Saban wanted to take the job in Austin, he could have easily left in January. But he did not. He’s still coaching at Alabama, winning games like he usually does and grabbing recruits like they are candy in a bowl. There’s no signs of him letting up. If he hasn’t left now, he won’t.
And some will claim that he might have discussed taking the job after Mack Brown would be let go at the end of this year. But that may not even be a possibility if he ends up winning the Big 12 this year, which is entirely possibly since the team has gone undefeated since the story broke.
One thing is for sure: Nick Saban and his family are happy in Tuscaloosa. I don’t think there is any indication that Nick has any displeasure in his job. Terry Saban also has said on multiple occasions that she and Nick are very happy where they are. They recently just completed their goal of building fifteen houses for the fifteen national championships as part of their Nick’s Kids Fund. Nick has also been very candid to fans during the weekly coaches show at the local Buffalo Wild Wings every Thursday during the season. There’s no outright indication that the Saban’s want to leave.
“Every year it’s something. Last year it was the Cleveland Browns,” Saban said in his weekly show. “The year before it was somebody else, the NFL. Terry and I are very happy here in Tuscaloosa. We really love the University of Alabama. We feel like a part of a community here and we have lots of good friends here.”
The job at Texas is an appealing one, but Nick might have a few issues with the program as a whole. One of the major red flags that Saban would have to look at is the Longhorn Network. It’s no secret Saban isn’t a major fan of the media. With the Longhorn Network getting weekly access to coaches, practices and one to two games a season, that may be a big turn off when if comes to the job. Plus, he doesn’t want another clean slate.
“I’m just too damn old to start over somewhere else,” Saban said, again at the same coaches show.
Indeed, Saban is getting to that point in his life where moving makes no sense at all. He just turned 62 in October, and retirement is slowly looming for the Crimson Tide coach. Saban said in 2012, after his contact last got extended to it’s current 2019 end date, that Alabama would be his final stop for him as a coach.
It’s time to squash the rumors right now. If this story had been released back in January when this supposed contact occurred, this would be a much bigger story. Saban isn’t leaving Alabama anytime soon. And while Texas is an appealing job for any coach, for Saban, it presents more challenges than advantages in the long term. So do us all a favor and let this all go.
Follow Chris on Twitter.