Alabama Football: Less acknowledged but astounding Nick Saban records

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Across the Southeastern Conference, football coaches and athletic directors yearn for the seasons after Nick Saban retires. Despite the fact Alabama Football, Head Coach,  Nick Saban has done more than anyone else to build the SEC brand while being the most powerful engine in the SEC’s cash machine – at least 12 other SEC programs dream of his eventual exit. It might be all 13, but Vanderbilt, knowing it can’t compete on the field may actually appreciate what Saban has meant to the SEC.

Alabama football fans can’t imagine anyone challenging that Nick Saban is college football’s GOAT. Crimson Tide fans are not wrong. What Nick Saban has achieved in Tuscaloosa is astounding. Those who disagree are blinded by jealousy.

One reason for the collective Saban angst is how his teams have dominated other SEC programs.

Going back to Saban’s first Alabama season in 2007, every school has a losing record against the Crimson Tide. Auburn and South Carolina have had the most success at 5-10 and 1-2, respectively. LSU is next at 4-12, followed by Georgia at 2-7 and Texas A&M at 2-8.

Ole Miss is the only other program to have beaten the Crimson Tide at least twice, with a 2-13 mark. Florida has one win over the Tide against eight losses. Mississippi State is 1-14 with Alabama alum, Sylvester Croom getting the lone victory.

Since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky are ‘zero-for-the-Tide.’ The Vols and the Razorbacks are 0-15, Kentucky is 0-5, Missouri is 0-4, and Vandy 0-3.

Nick Saban’s Alabama Football Winning Percentage

Two Astounding Numbers

  • In 15 Alabama Football seasons, Nick Saban’s record against SEC teams is 116-18; 86.6%
  • Take away the 2007 rebuilding season and the record is 112-14; 88.9%

Even More Astounding

Take the most successful college football coaches in history and track their winning percentages at their primary school – and Nick Saban is No.2 for coaches with a minimum of 10 seasons at their primary schools. The safest prediction in college football is during the 2022 season, Saban’s 87.9% Alabama winning percentage will increase, making him No. 1.

  • Knute Rockne – Notre Dame (13 seasons) – 88.1%
  • Frank Leahy – Note Dame (11 seasons) – 85.5%
  • Barry Switzer – Oklahoma (16 seasons) – 83.7%
  • Tom Osborne – Nebraska (25 seasons) – 83.6%
  • Fielding Yost – Michigan (25 seasons) – 83.3%
  • Robert Neyland – Tennessee (21 seasons) – 82.9%
  • Bob Devaney – Nebraska (11 seasons) – 82.9%
  • Bud Wilkinson – Oklahoma (17 seasons) – 82.6%
  • Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant – Alabama (25 seasons) – 82.4%
  • Jock Sutherland – Pittsburgh (15 seasons) – 81.8%
  • Dabo Swinney – Clemson (14 seasons) – 80.6%

Saban can pass Rockne with 2022 wins over Utah State, Texas and Louisiana-Monroe.

Admittedly this stat exercise has been a dive into minutiae. But the numbers, and what they show about Nick Saban’s Alabama Football success are far from trivial. Importantly they are a tribute to the entire Alabama program, going back to Mal Moore.

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The coaching records in this post were retrieved from The framing of the historical record of college football coaches was borrowed from