Alabama head coach Nick Saban is widely regarded as the best coach in college football, but he won’t be named coach of the year in 2016.
Saban was not included among the finalists for the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, one of the nation’s top coach of the year awards. But his opponent in the Peach Bowl, Washington’s Chris Petersen, is a finalist.
According to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, the other finalists for the award are Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck, Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre and Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo.
Finalists for Dodd Trophy for Coach of the YR: Paul Chryst; PJ Fleck, Mike MacIntyre, Ken N & Chris Petersen… Surprised no James Franklin.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 14, 2016
Fleck is the only coach among the finalists whose team went undefeated this season. And Saban is the only coach of an undefeated team in the Power 5. Fleck and Petersen were the only coaches in the group to win their conference.
SEC Champion Alabama is 13-0 and has been ranked No. 1 in the country every week since the beginning of the season. And with Jalen Hurts, Saban is trying to become the second coach to ever win a national championship with a true freshman quarterback. Barry Switzer did it at Oklahoma with Jamie Holieway in 1985.
Saban won the award in 2014 when Alabama went 12-1 in the regular season and won the SEC. Only two coaches have ever won the award twice: Kansas State’s Bill Snyder (1998 and 2012) and Penn State’s Joe Paterno (1981 and 2005).
Alabama plays Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal in Atlanta on Dec. 31.