Who wants 'Bama? No shortage of top-tier candidates could succeed Nick Saban
The GOAT is calling it a career. Who will be the guy to succeed The Guy? Let's take a look.
How about that for a Wednesday news dump?
Nick Saban, the greatest college coach who ever lived, is calling it a career, ESPN’s Chris Low first reported.
To say this is a bombshell is an understatement. (We called it in August, kind of, but we are still shocked.) The Alabama job is great. It will also be a bear for anyone looking to live up to the expectations that Saban is leaving behind.
So who gets the job? In reality, this list could be 20 or more names. Let’s focus in on some of the more likely candidates, because there are plenty.
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Dabo Swinney, Clemson. Alabama born and bred, Swinney was a walk-on receiver on the Crimson Tide’s 1992 national title team. His roots in the state run deep. He and Saban have grown close — about as close as any rival coach can get with Saban — via all of their College Football Playoff meetings, and they both have vacation houses in Boca Grande, Fla. Most importantly: Swinney wins. If Jim Harbaugh leaves for the NFL, the only active FBS coaches with national titles will be Swinney (twice), Kirby Smart (twice) and Mack Brown.
Swinney is a God in Clemson, even after a relatively down year like this 9-4 campaign. That has to be accounted for. He has been slow to adapt to the portal era, too, but perhaps a fresh start is exactly what he needs. As Bear Bryant once said, when momma calls, you’ve got to answer. “If asked, it would be very hard to say no,” said a source close to Swinney.