Alabama Football: Why Nick Saban is and always will be the GOAT

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Nick S Kids Avenue
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Nick S Kids Avenue /

Alabama Football, Head Coach Nick Saban is college football’s Greatest Coach of All-Time. Saban and UCLA’s John Wooden are the two greatest college coaches, in any sport, of all time. An argument can be made Saban is the greatest ever football coach; surpassing Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick or any other NFL coaching legend a fan could choose.

Among current college football head coaches, only Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney have a higher winning percentage than Saban. Urban is at 85.4 percent; Dabo’s is at 80.9 percent and Nick’s is 80 percent. Few will argue a Saban-coached ACC team would have surpassed Dabo’s success rate. Urban is the modern era winner so far and Nick may never catch him in this one stat.

Thanks to we can compare Saban to all the winningest college football coaches. Besides Urban and Dabo, 11 other college coaches have a higher career winning percentage than Saban. All of them coached in eras with either far fewer teams or nearly, unlimited player rosters. For many decades after it was formed the NCAA did not mandate scholarship limits. It was common in the 1960s for college teams to have 150 players.

Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant’s first Alabama Football class in 1958 was 61 players. Other schools are believed to have added more than 70 players in one season. Half of Bryant’s success came under this approach of stockpiling of players. Bryant was not alone. Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer reportedly was once asked why he brought in a dozen quarterbacks every season. Most of them would never play in an Oklahoma game, but Switzer knew none of them would have a chance to play for Sooners’ rival Texas.

What Nick Saban has built in Tuscaloosa is without parallel. It will never be replicated by any other coach at any other program. Nick Saban’s achievements tower over college football’s most competitive era. Joseph Goodman, writing for described Alabama Football as a

"college football monolith that now towers over the sport like some enormous mountaintop in the clouds.The mountain has always been there, creating its own weather, watching the forest grow and die and then grow again anew"

Goodman poses a question “what peak does Saban have left to conquer?” The writer provides his own answer,

"Saban is the mountain, and Alabama can’t win a national championship every year, but its constant presence atop the sport for longer than college-aged fans can remember has put everything around it in motion."

What keeps Nick Saban going in 2021 and beyond is what has driven him for decades. The work is itself the reward. An unquenchable passion for excellence fuels the work and causes Saban to begin each new, seasonal cycle looking upward, anticipating and appreciating another hard climb.

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Will Alabama Football win it all again in 2021? If not, will Nick Saban ever coach another Alabama Football, National Champion? Whether the future holds more championships or not, Nick Saban is, and always will be, the GOAT.