By Taylor Sturm @TSturmRS on July 18, 2014
When Nick Saban abandoned LSU for an unsuccessful stint in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, very few expected him to have the kind of success he’s enjoyed with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Now, seven seasons later, he’s seen as one of the greatest coaches in University of Alabama history with three national championships to his name. With the 2014 season looming, here is a look at five reasons why Saban is the best coach in college football.
If you discount Saban’s first season at Alabama where the school had to throw away victories due to NCAA violations, he is 72-9 in his time with the Crimson Tide. That’s an 88 percent win record in the most difficult football conference in all of college football.
As one of the top national college football programs in the country, everything Saban does is scrutinized by the media, yet he finds a way to handle it. Despite constant attention, criticism and a somewhat crazed fanbase, Saban comes out on top time and time again. Most coaches would literally go insane dealing with some of the things Saban has to, which even includes a comparison to Hitler by a fan on national radio – as a compliment.
Perhaps the main deciding factor in determining elite college football coaches is how many national championship wins they have to their name. Saban has three national championship wins in just seven seasons at Alabama.
If you look across college football, when a star player gets into trouble, his team tends to suffer. Therefore, a majority of the time at big programs we see the players given fairly tame punishments. Not with Saban. Because of the plethora of talent at Alabama, he can afford to bench a key player for a few games, essentially teaching that player a lesson and deterring others from following in their footsteps.
You can be the best coach in the entire world, but you’re not going to have success in the upper echelon of the NCAA unless you can consistently recruit the top players in the country. Love him or hate him, Saban is one of the best recruiters in the history of college football. More importantly, he doesn’t just recruit based on the stars next to the players’ names, but recruits based on the best fit for his team’s needs.
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