Bryant was great, Saban is better ... so far - Tucson News Now

Bryant was great, Saban is better ... so far

(Source: Dennis Washington/WBRC) (Source: Dennis Washington/WBRC)
  • AlabamaMore>>

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    Tuesday, September 19 2017 4:49 PM EDT2017-09-19 20:49:44 GMT
    Source: WBRCSource: WBRC

    Officials at the University of Alabama finalized the 2018 football schedule on Tuesday. As usual, there are seven home games scheduled for Bryant-Denny Stadium with one neutral site game and four SEC road games.

    Officials at the University of Alabama finalized the 2018 football schedule on Tuesday. As usual, there are seven home games scheduled for Bryant-Denny Stadium with one neutral site game and four SEC road games.

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    It's a surprising match-up Saturday in Nashville with a battle of unbeaten teams between Alabama and Vanderbilt.

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    No. 1 Alabama overpowers Colorado State

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    Saturday, September 16 2017 10:17 PM EDT2017-09-17 02:17:56 GMT

    The Crimson Tide made the most of their final non-conference game before starting their SEC schedule.

    The Crimson Tide made the most of their final non-conference game before starting their SEC schedule.

MIAMI (RNN) - Paul W. Bryant's name is on the NCAA's national coach of the year trophy. That may need to be revisited if Nick Saban keeps winning.

Saban, 16 years into his career, has won more games faster than Bryant did over the same span and Saban did it in a more competitive landscape. Both coaches dominated the Southeastern Conference, but Saban has done it in the conference's golden era.

Including Alabama's dominating victory over Notre Dame, the SEC has won seven straight national championships - Saban has three of those, in six years. He won another at LSU in 2003, making him one of only three college coaches to win four national titles.

In his 38-year career, Bryant won six, but those came before the Bowl Championship Series, when reporters and coaches voted in polls to determine the winners. Two of Bryant's titles came before bowl losses and one was a split decision.

The BCS is a flawed system, but Saban has won his championships on the field. If he had to win a popularity contest to load the trophy case, he'd be in trouble.

Bryant was folksy and tough, his teams were immaculately prepared and he won with great and not-so-great talent. Saban, the driven perfectionist with a brusque personality, may not be as colorful or quotable, but boy, does he win.

Bryant was a slow starter compared to the 61-year-old Saban (Bryant passed away of a heart attack a few weeks after retiring in ill health at age 69).

Sixteen years into his career, Bryant had a record of 111-46-14 and had yet to win his first national title. In the same amount of time, Saban is 154-55-1.

Notre Dame's Frank Leahy and John McKay of Southern California are the only other college coaches to win four national championships.

Leahy's career at Notre Dame lasted just 13 years, but he won four national titles, had a record of 107-13-9. When he resigned, he was in bad health and said he felt unappreciated.

McKay coached 16 years at Southern California, won four national titles and had a record of 127-40-8. He bolted the college ranks for the pros, taking on the challenge of coaching the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a franchise he took to the playoffs a few years including one appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

Saban spent two bad years in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, leaving to return to college and take over a floundering Alabama program.

Bryant's legacy was his longevity and the high quality of his teams year after year. Saban would be 83 in his 38th season - which is unlikely, because his charming but tough wife, Terry, would probably kill him long before that.

But can anybody seriously believe Saban is anywhere near finished? Rumors of leaving Alabama for NFL jobs surface all the time, but should they really be taken seriously? He's making $5 million a year, is master and commander of his program and is on a run that could be unparalleled in the history of the sport.

When Saban flew into Tuscaloosa in 2006, who would have thought that just six years later you could make a serious case that he's better than Bryant.

If he keeps his health and continues to do what he's capable of doing, he could erase all doubt before he hangs it up.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • News 13 Poll

  • Who do you think is better?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Nick Saban
    67%
    61 votes
    Bear Bryant
    33%
    30 votes
  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

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    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:30 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:30:54 GMT

    WIS is launching a new sports talk show on Facebook Live! Every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Rick Henry, Emery Glover and their special guests will get together at 1801 Grille in downtown Columbia for thirty minutes of spirited college football talk on Facebook Live. 

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  • Mississippi State trio earns SEC weekly honors

    Mississippi State trio earns SEC weekly honors

    Monday, September 18 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-09-18 16:25:48 GMT
    WLBTWLBT

    Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald earned Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore Darryl Williams picked up Offensive Lineman of the Week and sophomore Jeffery Simmons was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading MSU to a 37-30 victory over #11 LSU.

    Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald earned Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore Darryl Williams picked up Offensive Lineman of the Week and sophomore Jeffery Simmons was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading MSU to a 37-30 victory over #11 LSU.

  • Fitzgerald has 4 TDs as MSU routs #11 LSU 37-7

    Fitzgerald has 4 TDs as MSU routs #11 LSU 37-7

    Sunday, September 17 2017 12:10 PM EDT2017-09-17 16:10:29 GMT

    Mississippi State beats LSU 37-7.  Click on the video above for highlights.  Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

    Mississippi State beats LSU 37-7.  Click on the video above for highlights.  Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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