Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is 67 years old, and plenty of rumors over the years about when he might retire have been used in negative recruiting tactics against him and the Alabama football program. With the ongoing success in Tuscaloosa, though, it sure doesn’t seem like Saban is planning on leaving any time soon.
However, iconic SEC supporter and sports columnist Paul Finebaum believes that Saban’s day of retirement is coming sooner than you think.
He told SEC Country that it’s coming in the next few years.
“I happen to believe he won’t be there significantly longer. Now, if you force me to say, ‘What does that mean?’ I don’t know what that means. We talked to somebody the other day, and he said, ‘He’s going to be there until he’s 70.’ I just don’t [believe that].
“I mean, I think he has two or three more years. I think he’d like to win another title, and I think he will. But I think there becomes a point where he looks at the situation and goes, ‘Really, what else do I have to prove?’ And I know it’s still fun for him, and I know he’s still energized.
“But it’s usually the little things that push coaches over the edge. With Saban, I couldn’t predict what it will be. It won’t take much for him to say, ‘You know what? What do I need this for? I’m the greatest coach of all time. I’ve got six, maybe seven, national championships. Why am I doing this?’ This idea that some Alabama fans [have] that he’ll just coach forever, I just don’t subscribe to.”
— Paul Finebaum, h/t SEC Country
The rumors of Saban making a return to the NFL have surfaced as well, but obviously have not come to fruition. He’s very unlikely to go back after his stint with the Miami Dolphins as most sane people believe he is going to finish out his career with the Crimson Tide.
I mean, why would he leave Tuscaloosa with five national championships and a historically great team that’s reached the College Football Playoff every year its been in existence?
Saban is the unofficial Governor of College Football, so leaving at this point in his career makes absolutely no sense. Then again, his age is becoming a factor, so maybe it’ll be time for Saban to walk off into the sunset sooner than everybody thinks?