Saban making own legacy
by Joey Martin - posted Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 @ 9:01 am
So when all is said and done, there will be Nick Saban holding up another crystal ball.
Yep, the team that basically started out on top of everyone else at the start of the season will be standing on top at the end.
And LSU fans will once again be left gnashing their teeth, cursing Saban while thinking what could have been if the fiery coach would still be detouring traffic accidents on Interstate 10.
For the record, it will be Saban's fourth national championship.
So why does this man seem so unhappy?
And why do those people who work for him seem even unhappier?
Because the man does not spend a lot of time enjoying his success, he's waiting on the next challenge.
Saban led LSU to the 2003 BCS National Championship and Alabama to the 2009 and 2011 BCS and AP National Championships, making him the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Saban and Paul "Bear" Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools.
And there's the other rub.
Mention Saban and Bear Bryant's name will find a way of sneaking in there.
Never mind fielding a team that can play for a national championship. That's gravy.
Gettting people in Alabama to forget Bear Bryant is another beast of burden.
But he's doing it.
But it hasn't been easy.
During his 25-year tenure as Alabama's head coach. Bryant amassed six national championships and thirteen conference championships.
Upon his retirement in 1982, he held the record for most wins as head coach in college football history with 323 wins.
At the University of Alabama, the Paul W. Bryant Museum, Paul W. Bryant Hall, Paul W. Bryant Drive and Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Maybe they can drop the Denny part and make it Bryant-Saban.
Or find a trademark for Saban to compare with the houndstooth hat.
Never mind, can't mess with the hair.
The good news for Saban is that he recently signed a two-year extension that will run through Jan. 31, 2020. He'll receive $5.32 million in 2012 with a $50,000 raise next year and $100,000 annually after that.
By then, most of the Alabama fans will not have lived through the Bear years.
But still there are reminders.
You won't find any Charles McClendon Museums in Baton Rouge. Heck, Gerry DiNardo's restaurant went belly up, kind of like his coaching career.
You would have a hard time convincing me LSU would not have two more national championships if Saban would have stayed on.
Then again, who knows what would have transpired along the way.
Who would have gotten under his skin, how would he have handled the possibility of two losses in one season, would there have been any other distractions?
And I believe the road is going to become more of a challenge with the recent hirings of highly-respected coaches in the conference. Gus Malzahn versus Saban will be fun to watch.
Not to mention the changing landscape of college football. And who knows how a playoff format will change the landscape.
But Saban will keep winning as he'll continue bringing in the best college football players in the nation.
Does that become boring? I have to wonder how the wound-up-tight Saban can keep improving on what he has done.
And this person who seems to thrive on turning programs around has to miss that kind of challenge.
Well, he probably misses it except on that day he's holding the crystal ball.
And he'll be holding up a trophy at the end of a four-game playoff championship soon after that goes into effect in 2014.