It seems impossible now but there is a fairly recent postmark of the last time someone challenged Nick Saban for the title of greatest active college football coach.

The date was Jan. 12, 2015, the night Ohio State defeated Oregon to win the first College Football Playoff championship.

The coach of the hour was Urban Meyer, who won his third national championship that night 11 days after beating Nick Saban in the national semifinals at the Sugar Bowl.

Saban still led Meyer, 4-3, in overall championships, but there was a real sense of a pendulum swing toward Columbus.

Meyer coached brilliantly that year after losing quarterback Braxton Miller to a preseason shoulder injury and ended up beating Oregon with his third-string quarterback.

My, my, how things have changed.

We sit here today with Meyer on suspension, his career in peril, and Saban firmly established as, likely, the best college football coach ever. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.