Is the end really near?

Ordinarily, if I saw something like this on a college football message board, I’d brush it off as a rival fan’s fever dream.

A person close with Nick Saban speculated to The Athletic recently about the possibility of Saban retiring after his next national title, an observation that was met with an eye roll. After seeing Saban uncharacteristically call out multiple schools by name last week, though, that scenario is suddenly easier to imagine. The 70-year-old has never really shown signs of slowing down, or shown interest in doing much of anything besides coaching football. Could this era of player empowerment and roster turnover be enough to wear on him, though?

But it’s from a piece at The Athletic co-written by Bruce Feldman ($$), who’s pretty well connected in the coaching ranks.  Has the way certain programs appear to be taking advantage of the lax NIL regulatory environment brought Saban to the brink of being at the point of no return?  Or, to put it another way, does Nick Saban feel like he has to deal with this shit?

40 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

40 responses to “Is the end really near?

  1. mg4life0331

    Did he seem like a control freak lashing out? Yeah. Could I see him retiring soon cause of this? IDK, I’m pretty sure he would miss telling people off in press conferences. I think he enjoys that more than winning, just to keep his ego afloat.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. debbybalcer

    I could see it because at some point you realize that your time on earth is getting closer to the end and realize that you want to focus your energy elsewhere.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. He’ll retire when he starts losing, and that does not look to be any time soon. If I had to guess, barring any unforseen medical issues with him or his wife, he will be there another 10 years.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Darin Cochran

      He lost three times last season…first to Texas A&M, then to us, then he lost to TAM again when they bested them in recruiting. So, now the whole 0 for assistants thing is gone. What’ll be next?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. unionjackgin

    Father Time is undefeated. Given his age, I would assume he has less than double digits left in his tenure. Maybe even less than five.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. moe pritchett

    I don’t think that old fuker has ever done or said anything that he hasn’t weighed, measured, and anticipated beforehand every possible cause and effect. He is literally playing chess while most everyone around him is playing checkers. I met him once while he was at LSU. I thought he was arrogant, aloof and really short; Napoleonic.
    I may dislike that dude, but I damn sure respect him. He knows exactly what he’s doing. But I believe he’s 3-5 years of hanging up his whistle.

    Liked by 7 people

    • HirsuteDawg

      “Or, to put it another way, does Nick Saban feel like he has to deal with this shit?” Saban absolutely knows he doesn’t have to deal with the crap. However, he enjoys the challenge and most of all BEATING his peers. He’ll leave when he is good a ready.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jim1886

      Totally agree. You hit the nail on the head.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Derek

    I think Satan has two agendas:

    A) going out on top
    B) being seen as some sort of savior/protector of college football which really means protecting A.

    If A appears to be in jeopardy, I say he moves on.

    Also he’s got arguably the best offensive and defensive player in 2022. Either way it ends for him, it makes sense to wrap it up.

    Like

  7. [conspiracy theory/“I know a guy” trigger warning]

    A few years ago I was visiting a friend in Birmingham—from a family of big-time Auburn boosters, but with connections all over the state, someone who knows where quite a few of the bodies are buried. He told me a big part of the reason Alabama has almost completely avoided any kind of NCAA scrutiny over the past decade and a half is because Mark Emmert protects his friends, and Saban, whom Emmert hired at LSU while he was chancellor, is most assuredly one of those friends. And he speculated that Saban wouldn’t retire until Emmert did.

    I took it with a grain of salt at the time, but now I’m wondering if he was on to something. It is remarkable that Bama, a program that didn’t exactly have the most sterling reputation for ethics when Saban arrived, has been able to grab a natty literally on a biennial basis since 2009 with barely more than a cursory sniff from the NCAA infractions police. With Emmert retiring at the same time that NIL and collectives are poised to upend the recruiting status quo that Saban has long dominated, maybe Saban decides to ride off into the sunset before things get significantly less fun? I could still see him coaching until he’s 100, but it’s something to ponder for sure…

    Liked by 5 people

    • jcdawg83

      What is the NCAA going to go after Bama for, paying players? Everyone is paying players now and the NCAA is a toothless lap dog. The only reason the NCAA is going to continue to exist is so the people who work there can continue to get paid.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. jim1886

    By the way, I believe Saban is good for college football. He is the GOAT.
    Gives the rest a higher goal to shoot for.
    AND, he helped develop Kirby, fir which we will be eternally grateful

    Liked by 4 people

  9. fisheriesdawg

    May the University of Georgia continually extend his career on an annual basis if his goal is to go out on top.

    Liked by 16 people

  10. I typed it last week…I think Saban and the entire Bama program and fanbase is exceptionally fragile…when the slightest amount of criticism and scrutiny are applied. It’s surprising that a program that has won so much recently would be that ungracious in defeat of just 1 championship game. And then seeing Saban lash out and appear to not be in complete control makes me think the grind is getting to him. Coach Luke, who wasn’t under nearly as much pressure, and considerably younger, left coaching. The grind of recruiting and coaching is a young man’s job…I think the burnout pushes more “seasoned” coaches out earlier…Saban bolts in a couple years when a “few” surprise losses pile up and the media feed on him like a pack of hyenas. He won’t/can’t deal with the criticism…he thinks he’s above it. Once those GOAT has lost it headlines start being printed…he gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • fisheriesdawg

      The comments he made in private to one of our players in passing this spring really surprised me. He seems rattled.

      Liked by 1 person

    • godawgs1701

      It’s surprising that a program that has won so much recently would be that ungracious in defeat of just 1 championship game.

      It wasn’t surprising to me in the least, we’re talking about Alabama here. These people sing about “we just beat the hell out of you”: whether they beat you by 50 or squeak by on a field goal in overtime. This is a group of people who refuse to acknowledge any other team as being anywhere approaching their level in a given year, much less at a program level. And this is a coach who bases his entire self-worth on the most recent performance or practice or day’s work to the extent that he doesn’t even seem to enjoy winning (and only recently began pretending he enjoys winning because he realized it turned off recruits). The Metchie and Williams jokes around here are funny, I guess, but they bely this sense of surprise that Alabama’s coaches, players, and fans aren’t lining up to shake our hands and my response is, why in the world did anyone think they would?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think anyone expected the 2 fan bases to start taking warm showers together, but the level of their bitching and whining is beyond the pale. For a program that literally has the words No Excuses painted in their athletic rooms to be so ungracious in defeat is surprising (and to invent excuse after excuse)…I don’t recall former Bear Bryant teams being so dickish…but I respect that others see the world differently than I do.

        Liked by 3 people

    • unionjackgin

      Andy Staples made a comment on the special podcast about the initial Saban/Jimbo kerfuffle that there is a 3rd unnamed party here and its CKS.

      Staples said that Saban has long considered UGA to THE top football coaching job in the US. He thinks that some of Saban’s nervousness is rooted in the fact the CKS has basically taken the process from Alabama and replicated (maybe even tweaked it to be better) it in Athens which has more resources, a more fertile recruiting ground and he is younger etc.

      Liked by 5 people

  11. Biggen

    I mentioned to my Bama father-in-law last week when the the A&M stuff was happening that perhaps this upcoming season is Saban’s last. Him calling out opposing coaches name like he did isn’t his normal style.

    Like

  12. stoopnagle

    I tend to agree with the idea that Saban was all cuddly and soft with his team last year because he read them so well; but that he thinks he can go hard on them now and that’s why he’s acting more like his old self now. He likes his team in 2022, so he can go back to riding their asses and, in turn, rant at his press conferences/public appearances.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A couple of years ago, Saban (finally testing his social media chops) had a vid where he bragged that recruiting was just showing off the trophy room. Now the kids on that tour are unimpressed and asking about how big their NIL check is going to be (Nicky complained about this recently). The world has changed, and is moving on from Saban’s style. My guess is he stays as long as getting a Natty looks probable and then exits when he sees it’s over. I also think he leaves the cupboard bare…no true successor ready to take over. The Bama legacy is his and his alone. I’ll take the under on 5.5 years.

    Like

  14. godawgs1701

    “After his next national championship.” Give me a break. Seriously, screw this guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. practicaldawg

    Prediction: Jimbo “retires” before Saban

    Liked by 2 people

  16. californiadawg

    I hope Kirby ensures he never wins another one.

    Liked by 7 people

  17. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m sure hall-of-famer SOS wanted to continue coaching … until Grayson Lambert & Co gave him a firm boot from cfb.

    I don’t believe saban ever tucks his tail and runs for the exits in the middle of a season like that, but some losses have the effect of instantly changing one’s perspective. An unexpectedly tough season and/or seeing Kirby walk away with some more trophies might be all it takes.

    Liked by 7 people

    • jcdawg83

      A season or two with a couple of indisputable losses, ones where the opponent beats Bama without question, crazy luck, a rash of turnovers or some excuse, and Bama misses out on the SECCG and the CFP will lead to some serious questions about whether or not Saban has lost his edge. I think when that happens, he will walk away. As long as he truly believes he can win a national championship every season he will continue to coach. When he starts to doubt that, he will retire.

      Liked by 4 people

    • RangerRuss

      Extra points for mentioning Spurrier’s demise.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Tommy Perkins

    The last time Saban found himself in a locker room in which he wasn’t the only millionaire in the room, he lasted a year.

    Liked by 9 people

  19. RangerRuss

    Maybe it has finally dawned on Saban that he is wasting his talent and GOAT status in a shithole town and state filled with broke dick losers. It didn’t matter until $$$, or lack of, became a swollen turd in his pipe/sewer line to 5⭐️ recruits.
    After next season ends and Texas fires Sark then hires Saban for $25 million per? All of us old Cold Warriors will have to dig out our manuals on radioactive fallout prediction to prepare for the inevitable rain of skull matter from all the heads exploding in Bama and A&M. Prevailing westerly winds should carry the very light and variable brain particles harmlessly out to sea.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Sweet D

      I often wonder if he’s not kicking himself in the ass for not taking the UT job the last time around. But I think you could be on to something, RR. It would be diabolical, and if you squint your eyes just right, Saban resembles the joker so…

      Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        It would be worth the price of admission just to watch the Tide faithful turn on Saban the way they did Kirby. Painting his statue UT Orange.
        The perfect scenario would be for both programs to crumble. Admittedly UT wouldn’t have as far to fall. Saban quitting in the middle of the season and Kirby hiring him as an analyst. Tennessee going on a 5 game win streak against Bama and Vanderbilt shutting them out in Tuscaloosa.
        I can see Saban sitting on a park bench on North Campus, wearing a Georgia cap pulled down to his ears, feeding the sparrows and screaming at squirrels.
        I’ll settle for the Dawgs kicking that Bama ass on a regular basis and sending Saban out as the loser he is.

        Liked by 2 people

  20. archiecreek

    Y’all ain’t going to believe this shit (all good southern stories begin this way),
    but the same thing happened to Boobie Dudd (Bobby Dodd) at the north ave. trade school in 1966. Young coach came to Athens, the Dudd was dismissive as hell, slyly smiling that this “young guy from Auburn” couldn’t dethrone his aura in the State of Georgia. But alas, the “young coach” kicked his ass three years in a row, out recruited him, out hustled him, out coached him, and sent him packing into retirement.
    UGA has lived happily ever after.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. Saban can GTH for all the media nonsense he has engendered. I believe (and VERY much hope) that UGa stands as his Waterloo and will likely push him out to the golf course, if he knows how to swing anything other than his micro-weenie.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Nick Saban knows he’ll probably pass on to the other side within a year of retirement like Bear Bryant did. I can’t imagine Saban being happy on the back porch at Lake Burton, being the curmudgeon on College GameDay or SEC Nation, or going to his and Miss Terry’s grandchildren’s ballet recitals or baseball games.

    Like