When he retires, Nick Saban might very well be revered as the greatest coach in College Football history. What he’s done at the University of Alabama since taking over the team in 2007 boggles the mind.
Since 2009, Alabama Football has won 5 National Championships and Nick Saban has only lost 3 games in a season ONCE since taking over as Head Coach of the Crimson Tide. Prior to Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa, things were not pretty. In 1997, ‘Bama finished 4-7 (W-L) on the season. The ensuing years were also miserable: 7-5 (1998), 10-3 (’99), 3-8 (2000), 7-5 (2001), 10-3 (2002), 4-9 (2003), and 6-6 (2004).
For young college football fans, it’s hard to imagine a world where Alabama isn’t the most dominant program in the nation. This is similar to how dominant the Florida State Seminoles were in the 80s and 90s. Fans weren’t prepared for the precipitous drop in wins in the early 2000s from the ‘Noles after decades of dominance. Just like Alabama fans weren’t prepared to be god awful for years after being one of the most historically dominant football programs in the NCAA.
Here’s a look back at what life was like for Alabama Football before the arrival of Nick Saban:
Kind of makes you daydream about where the next Nick Saban is hiding. Is he at some mid-major school waiting to get picked up by an ACC or SEC team? Is he a coordinator at one of the top schools in the nation that’s overshadowed by a flashy head coach? Wherever he is, Tennessee and Nebraska would love to speak with him so they can get back to their winning ways from 20 years ago.