Call Nick Saban a colorless autocrat. Say he didn’t win in the NFL. But after Alabama’s 45-40 win over Clemson in Monday’s national title game, you can call Saban the best college football coach ever.
The title, Saban’s fifth overall and fourth in seven years, separated him from all the men who have coached the sport, even his legendary Alabama predecessor, Bear Bryant, who won six.
It’s hard to compare eras, but Saban’s achievements trump the Bear’s, some of which came before the sport was integrated.
Saban’s titles came in an era of scholarship limits and a wider talent pool, in the nation’s best conference. Eight of the last 10 national champs came from the SEC. In his title seasons (his first was at LSU), Saban went 39-4 in the league.
I’ve made a similar case for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski as college basketball’s greatest coach. Coach K has five NCAA titles. John Wooden won 10, but when the road to the title was much easier.
Some want Saban to go back to the NFL. He should stay in college where he belongs. Knowing Saban, he’s already hard at work on No. 6.
Power Takes are opinion blasts from Bucky, Sully & members of The News’ sports staff -- three will appear in Wednesday’s and Friday’s sports section.
Today’s Power Takes
Jay Skurski’s Power Take: Evidence shows Henderson had dramatic impact on Bills’ DBs
Bucky Gleason’s Power Take: Kelly wise to avoid NFL temptation, continue growth at Ole Miss
Jerry Sullivan’s Power Take: Fifth title puts Saban in a league of his own