Alabama Football: Nick Saban could reach an unthinkable goal

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

Nick Saban has achieved so much, future milestones are limited in number. One previously unthinkable achievement could be within his reach.

In the minds of many Alabama football fans, Nick Saban is already the greatest college football coach of all-time. There is some generational divide among older Crimson Tide fans, favoring Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant as the greatest. Such a family dispute is a byproduct of doubtlessly having a program with the two college football ‘Goats.’

For decades, SEC football historians have believed a Bryant record would never be broken. That record is 159 SEC victories. Nick Saban has 125 SEC coaching victories. It would take Nick another five seasons (four seasons is mathematically possible, with SEC Championships included.)

The next SEC wins milestone for Saban could come in Baton Rouge next November. If the Alabama Crimson Tide, 2020, SEC regular-season record hits six wins against LSU, Saban will tie Steve Spurrier at 131 SEC wins.

Once Nick hits the 132 SEC wins milestone, he will be No. 2 all-time, behind Bryant. Nick Saban is already the winningest SEC coach by winning percentage in conference games. Nick’s 81.1 percent in SEC wins makes him unique. No other SEC football coach, having coached a minimum of 50 SEC games has ever achieved an SEC, career, 80 percent success rate.

Looking at a list for SEC winning percentage suggests no SEC coach may ever catch up to Saban.

  1. Nick Saban; LSU and Alabama; 122-28; 81.1 percent
  2. Robert Neyland; Tennessee; 62-15-5; 78.7 percent
  3. Frank Thomas; Alabama; 59-16-6; 76.5 percent
  4. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant; Kentucky and Alabama; 76.4 percent
  5. Urban Meyer; Florida; 39-13; 75 percent
  6. Phil Fulmer; Tennessee; 98-36; 73.1 percent
  7. Vince Dooley; Georgia; 105-41-4; 71.3 percent
  8. Steve Spurrier, Florida and South Carolina; 131-54; 70.8 percent
  9. Johnny Vaught; Ole Miss; 106-41-10; 70.7 percent
  10. Gene Stallings; Alabama; 38-16; 70.4 percent

Having four Alabama football coaches in this top ten list is one of the most impressive Crimson Tide accomplishments.

In the category of these same stats and ‘fun facts’ check out these two.

  • Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant still has the most wins (all games) for the University of Kentucky.
  • Three Auburn head coaches have better winning percentages than Gus Malzahn. They are Terry Bowden, Pat Dye and Ralph ‘Shug’ Jordan.

Most of the stats in this post were provided in the 2019 SEC Media Guide.

Next. Alabama Crimson Tide Remains the CFB Standard. dark

For the pessimists among our readership, it is possible an unexpected, precipitous decline in Nick Saban’s coaching success could drive his percentage down. Having acknowledged such a slim chance, that potential calamity can be ignored.