TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s funny how the offseason works when discussing Alabama football and Nick Saban.
Each offseason, everyone spends countless hours trying to think of reasons why the Crimson Tide won’t win the national championship next season. Whether it’s a quarterback competition, NFL turnover or a completely revamped coaching staff on their minds, those outside of the program like to nitpick at anything they can to declare Alabama’s dynasty dead.
When it comes to Saban, the over-discussed topic is when will Saban retire.
Think about this: During Saban’s early coaching tenure, all of the talk was about how he wouldn’t be at Alabama long. His “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” comment while working for the Miami Dolphins was something detractors used to support their arguments.
Now more than a decade into his Alabama tenure, Saban isn’t leaving for any college program or NFL job (sorry Tom Arnold) so the next best thing to do is to talk him into early retirement. It’s been a talking point for the last three or four offseasons. The question even came up the day after Alabama beat Georgia for Saban’s fifth national championship in Tuscaloosa.
You hear stories about how opposing coaches mention that Saban won’t be around forever on the recruiting trail. It makes sense to a degree. Coaches are looking for whatever advantage they can to land these 4- and 5-star prospects.
Saban is 66 and isn’t slowing down. It wouldn’t be a shock if he coached for another six to 10 years, if we’re being honest. It’s not like Alabama is going to force him out, barring unforeseen health issues.
Bill Synder is still doing a great job at Kansas State at 78 years young.
Saban just seems like a coaching lifer. He doesn’t strike me as the type of man who would be fulfilled working as an analyst in a studio or calling games. He gets the most joy out of the process rather than the result, and there are few jobs that require more attention to detail than coaching.
A Saban quote relayed by ESPN’s Chris Low backs up my assumption: “Nick took it a step further with me saying, ‘It’s something I couldn’t even imagine, me not coaching football,”’ Low said on The Paul Finebaum Show on Friday. “So I think the guy is going to coach well into his 70s.”
So, it’s the offseason and we understand people need something to talk about, but maybe it’s time to change the conversation. Don’t expect Saban to hang it up anytime soon.