Nick Saban decided to turn the college football world upside down on Wednesday when he surprisingly called it a career, retiring after 17 years and six national championships at Alabama.
Saban retired with the first most wins of all time at 297 over his 28-year career as a head coach in college football. He came to Tuscaloosa in 2007 and began his tenure with a shaky 7-6 year, but followed that up with a national title and hasn’t had less than 10 wins in a season since.
Alabama hasn’t won the national championship since 2021 and it feels like a long time for the Crimson Tide to go without a title. Saban has authored the most dominant run in college football history, so he’ll certainly be tough to replace.
The 72-year-old former coach will likely be involved in the coaching search as Alabama desperately attempts to keep this train rolling with whoever he hands the torch off to. It’s almost impossible to say who will be the best choice, but oddsmakers and prognosticators have been busy predicting who Alabama will call and these are the most likely replacements for the greatest coach of all time.
DeBoer just led Washington to the College Football Playoff national championship game in just his second year in Seattle and fourth year as a head coach. The 49-year-old has been an innovator on the offensive side of the ball along with his offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb.
While DeBoer doesn’t have any coaching history with Nick Saban, he does have a clear connection. DeBoer and Saban share the same agent, Jimmy Sexton, who is also the agent of Georgia head coach and former Saban assistant Kirby Smart.