Nick Saban, 72, retires as Alabama Crimson Tide head coach

In a week full of coaching news across the NFL, the biggest bombshell came from the coaching ranks. Mere hours after an announcement and a press conference from the Seattle Seahawks that Pete Carroll was stepping down to take an advisor role, that news was upstaged in a big way with the announcement that Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has decided to retire.

Nick Saban accomplishments

Saban won six National Championships at Alabama and another at LSU. He was 206-29 straight up, with 10 SEC West titles between his stops at the two schools. The 72-year-old Saban made the College Football Playoff in his final season, as the Tide lost to the eventual champion Michigan Wolverines 27-20 in overtime.


Saban was only an underdog 11 times in his 17 seasons with Alabama. The Tide went 127-103-4 ATS per the Killer Sports Database during Saban’s tenure in Tuscaloosa.

Who will replace Nick Saban?

Names began circulating immediately on social media, including Oregon head coach Dan Lanning, Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. 

It seemed to be long thought that Swinney would replace Saban when the time came, but Swinney’s vocal opposition to the NIL and player payments, plus a drop-off in production as assistant coaches took jobs elsewhere, really quieted that push over the last few seasons. There are Saban assistants with high-profile jobs in many places, so we’ll see if Alabama goes that route. This is also an enormous domino for the coaching carousel in general, as a top head coach will likely get hired, leaving that program to scramble for a replacement.

Other coaches will leverage this opening and their reported or actual interest into more money at their current jobs, so that will be interesting to follow as well.

Legal U.S. sportsbooks are not able to post lines on something like this due to compliance concerns, but you can find odds in faraway places, if you are so inclined.