TAMPA, Fla.—Nick Saban is one victory on Monday night from stating his case as the greatest college football coach of all time.
Saban’s sixth title, fifth at Alabama since 2008, would tie him with Crimson Tide legend Bear Bryant.
What Saban is doing is unprecedented racing toward unfathomable.
The man Saban is trying to run over on his way to history knows. That man is Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney, who is more “Alabama” than Saban will ever be.
Swinney, not Saban, grew up blanketed in Crimson colors. “I was one of those kids who watched the Bear Bryant show every Sunday,” Dabo said Sunday in the final coaches’ press conference in advance of Monday night’s title game.
Swinney walked on at Alabama, um, check that, “I was one notch below walk-on. I was a crawl-on.”
Swinney was a worker-bee receiver on Gene Stallings’ national title team of 1993.
Contextually and historically, Swinney is a better teacher on Crimson Pride than Saban, who was born in West Virginia and played at Kent State.
“I mean,” Swinney said of Saban’s run, “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
You could make the case what Saban has done exceeds the feats of Bryant, who worked with no scholarship limits and could sign the best players just to keep them away from Alabama’s opponents.
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