Alabama Football: Many ways to measure greatness among CFB programs

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

For Alabama football fans, being named the GOAT of CFB programs is a no-brainer. What Bryant and Saban have and will accomplish is even greater.

What Alabama football has accomplished is unparalleled. At the forefront of college football’s 150 season anniversary, sits the unmatched standard of the Alabama Crimson Tide. No other program has so dominated Championship achievements as Alabama football.

Fans of other programs may want to dismiss the paragraph above as a ‘homer’ claim. That is fine, ignore us, but listen to others. In the last several days, ESPN and Sports Illustrated named the Alabama Crimson Tide as the No. 1 college football program of all-time.

No doubt, many fans of other programs vehemently disagree. Let them take it up with the media giants.

In this case, Alabama football fans can remain above the fray. Plenty of deserved notice has been given the 11 Alabama football National Championships won under Crimson Tide head coaches, Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant and Nick Saban. Less attention is given to what extent the pair of coaches has dominated SEC football.

The winningest SEC coach in history is, of course, Bryant. One of the reasons why was his 33-season tenure as an SEC head coach. In those 33 seasons, Bryant’s teams at Kentucky and Alabama won 292 games. No. 2 on the SEC wins list is Steve Spurrier at 208 wins, followed by Georgia’s Vince Dooley with 201 wins. Nick Saban is No. 4 on the list with 192 wins. The other SEC Top 10 head coaches in wins are listed below.

Over the last 10 seasons, Nick Saban’s teams have won 12.7 games per season. Of course, the max number of SEC wins in any given season is probably nine. Though in the CFB Playoff era it could be ten wins in an extraordinary year.

If Alabama football runs the SEC table in 2019 and wins another SEC Championship, Nick Saban will tie Dooley for No. 3 on the SEC win list. Only eight SEC wins would be needed in 2020 to surpass Spurrier. Even if takes Saban until the 2021 season, only unforeseen health problems will stop him from reaching No. 2 on the all-time SEC win list.

Catching up to Bryant as the SEC’s all-time winningest head coach or the all-time winningest Alabama football coach seems improbable. What is highly probable is for the Alabama football program to accomplish having the Conference’s No. 1 and No. 2 all-time winningest coaches.

That is no small achievement. In a whole bunch of lifetimes, it will never be matched.

All-time Winningest SEC Head Coaches

  1. Bear Bryant – Kentucky and Alabama – 292 wins
  2. Steve Spurrier – Florida and South Carolina – 208 wins
  3. Vince Dooley – Georgia – 201 wins
  4. Nick Saban – LSU and Alabama – 192 wins
  5. Johnny Vaught – Ole Miss – 190 wins
  6. Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan – Auburn – 175 wins
  7. Robert Neyland – Tennessee – 173 wins
  8. Phil Fulmer – Tennessee – 151 wins
  9. Mark Richt – Georgia – 145 wins
  10. Frank Broyles – Arkansas – 144 wins

All coaching records sourced from Sports Reference.

Next. Nick Saban's Greatest Games. dark

Does any current SEC head coach have any chance of ever catching Saban or Bryant? It is not impossible but it is highly unlikely. The closest current SEC coach to the historic Bama pair in Florida’s Dan Mullen with 79 SEC wins.