Former SEC coach says Saban could never measure up to this coaching legend

It's probably closer than he believes.

There are plenty of fans out there who have had the pleasure of watching Paul "Bear" Bryant coach the Crimson Tide as well as Nick Saban take over the reigns at Alabama. However, there's one man who actually played under Bryant and coached in the SEC who has some say on that.

Jackie Sherrill was a linebacker and fullback for Bryant from 1962 to 1965. He coached Texas A&M from 1982 to 1988 and Mississippi State from 1991 to 20003. You might say he has quite the experience with SEC play and what it takes to coach in the conference as well as just in Division-I. He doesn't believe that anyone will be better than the Bear though.

"No, no - no one is ever going to surpass Bear Bryant," Sherrill told "Nick Saban is really outstanding in many ways. One, he is a player's coach. But a player's coach isn't someone that puts their arm around you and gets to know you. What is a player's coach? It's a coach that makes you do things you don't want to do, and makes you accomplish things you don't think you can accomplish."

Saban has compiled a 100-18 record since taking over Alabama's football program prior to the 2007 season, claiming four national titles over the last seven years. His teams have averaged 12.3 wins since his debut campaign and will turn 65 this season. In comparison, Bryant finished 232-46-9 with six titles of his own in 25 years at the helm — three of them coming in his first 10 years with the program. He coached the Crimson Tide until he was 68 years old.

At Saban's rate he would still need more than ten season of coaching to surpass Bryant's total wins number, but he could conceivably end up with more titles if he keeps recruiting the way he has been over the last few years. Is that enough to put him over the top though?

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[h/t Saturday Down South]