Alabama coach Nick Saban is 70 years old and has signed a contract extension that extends to the 2028 season.
When Frank Solic retired in Ohio last week, Saban became the second-oldest head coach in the FBS, second only to North Carolina’s McBrown, who was two months old. On Wednesday’s SEC Media Day, Saban was asked what are the main factors that contribute to this longevity.
“It’s very simple,” Saban replied. “You must win. What does it take to win? This is better than anything to answer this question. I think your organization must be cultural.”
“Culture” remains the eternal buzzword throughout FBS Media Day; almost every coach uses this phrase to describe what they are trying to build. However, Saban is what he said.
This culture was established in Tuscaloosa. This is why fans waited for Saban to greet Saban in the parking lot of the Winfrey Hotel in Birmingham, just to get a two-second wave from the coach. This is why Alabama has won six national championships since 2007. This is why Alabama lost six first-round picks and 10 players in the 2021 NFL Draft, but can still expect another national championship, which is arguably the greatest college football team of all time.
“From our cultural perspective, nothing has really changed,” Saban said. “We are helping our players achieve greater success in their lives because they participate in the program.”
This is why Saban is able to adjust and adapt to the new world order of college football, including name, image and portrait.This is the next test for Saban, and maybe he said that the new quarterback Bryce Young is Zero transactions are close to “seven digits” Before making his first photo as a starter.
Talk about display value.
“What we did was create a job opportunity for the players,” Saban said. “The only problem is because it will not be equal-everything we did in college track and field in the past was equal; everyone has equal scholarships and equal opportunities-it may not be the case now.
“How does this affect your team, our team, I really can’t answer the players in the team,” he said. “We have no precedent.”
This is Saban’s next challenge. Will Alabama dominate the NIL era like the BCS era in the past and the college football playoff era now?
Saban adjusted between Michigan State University, Louisiana State University, and Alabama during the BCS era. From 1998 to 2013, he created a 135-42 record, won four SEC championships and four national championships. Most coaches can inherit this legacy and are considered the greatest coach in history.
The difference is that Saban has obliterated the CFP era. Since 2014, Alabama has a 91-8 record, five SEC championships and three national championships. Ohio State University (82-9) is the only other project with a winning percentage of over 90%.
In 2020, Crimson Tide experienced a season affected by COVID-19, and Saban missed the iron bowl after testing positive. The Alabama team scored 13 wins and 0 losses and averaged 48.5 points per game. It can be said to be the most personalized team ever. This may be Saban’s best adaptation to date, but it also leaves new challenges for 2021.
“This is a punishment for success,” Saban said. “You have a lot of good players, good coaches. We lost 6 first-round picks, 10 draft picks, and some coaches. You have to rebuild with new players with less experience.”
Then Saban used a phrase not often used to describe the state of Alabama.
“We will be a work in progress,” he said.
It’s almost as Saban wants it. The new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien succeeded Steve Sarkisian, who accepted the job in Texas. Young followed the first-round rookie Mike Jones at the quarterback position, and there was a “seven-figure” delivery pressure. Crimson Tide still has four-star and five-star talents, which will be tested in the opener against Miami. This school has taken the lead in entering NIL and hopes to regain its former glory.
“So far, I am satisfied with the way our players accept new roles and new responsibilities, and how hard the new faces in our team develop so that they can maintain a consistent performance to achieve success,” Saban said.
In other words, the “process” is developing. As long as Saban continues to recruit and train first-round NFL talent, these standards will not change. The transfer portal, NIL, and conversations about the 12-team college football playoffs are just the next set of challenges for Saban. He made it clear that “90%” of Alabama players have already been vaccinated this season.
The 2020 season is unprecedented. The same is true in 2021. How will Saban adjust?
Saban said: “We want to focus on the daily adaptation work we need to do and try to help our players deal with these opportunities and situations as much as possible.”
Of course it won. It’s that simple.