It is without question that Nick Saban is the best coach in college football. The real question is, is he the greatest coach in Alabama football history?
Since taking the job, Saban has drawn comparisons to legendary Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, for whom Bryant-Denny Stadium takes its namesake. Bryant was successful in winning six national championships and turning Alabama into a dynasty during the ’60s and ’70s.
Alabama fans have long worshiped the legacy of Bryant, but have recently become increasingly admiring of Saban, and with good reason. Saban turned a down Alabama program into the greatest active dynasty in college football, winning three national championships since his arrival in 2007.
So the question remains: Has Saban done enough to surpass Bryant as the greatest head coach in Alabama’s history?
Saban currently holds four national championship victories, including one with LSU previous to his tenure with the Tide. However, one could argue that the level of competition in the modern day game is far superior to the Bryant era and that Saban’s four are even more impressive.
The dilemma Alabama fans have when evaluating the two coaches is an envious one in the eyes of rival fans. The Crimson Tide have been fortunate to have two of the best coaches in college football history guide their program to dynasty runs.
If Nick Saban can win his fifth national championship (fourth with the Tide), it would be difficult to argue his legacy is anything short of immaculate. However, Bryant’s six championship victories and decades of prestige in the eyes of the Alabama faithful may still push him past Saban as the most popular coach in Crimson Tide history.