This summer there were rumors that Nick Saban would look to retire from Alabama in the next 1-2 years. That was before Saban signed an extension through 2030 with an average yearly salary of $11.7 million. Now, we don’t believe Saban will coach forever. But, if there is one person in college football that would make you wonder if he’ll be coaching for eternity, it would be Saban. Even at the age of 70, he doesn’t show signs of slowing down.
This article was better timed prior to the contractor extension, but let’s play out the hypothetical anyway — Who will replace Saban at Alabama once he decides to retire?
Kirby Smart – Georgia head coach
Smart will be the first name on any Saban replacement list. He’s a former Alabama assistant that has things rolling at Georgia. We just don’t see the benefit for Smart to leave what he’s built at Georgia and deal with the pressure that comes from taking over for a legend in Saban. Georgia would likely match whatever Alabama would throw at Smart.
Urban Meyer – Free Agent
We all believe Meyer will be back in college football soon. If the timing worked out, Meyer and Alabama may be the perfect fit.A
Mark Stoops – Kentucky head coach
It’s admirable what Stoops has accomplished at Kentucky. He could accomplish at Alabama what he likely can’t at Kentucky — win a National Championship. Stoops would go from under the radar at Kentucky to a pressure cooker at Alabama.
James Franklin – Penn State head coach
Franklin has flirted with other job openings before. Franklin and Alabama would be an interesting pair.
Dave Aranda – Baylor head coach
Aranda was previously the defensive coordinator for LSU and familiar with the SEC. Aranda has quickly made a name as a top 15-20 coach in college football. Would that be enough to appease Alabama leadership and boosters?
Alabama Assistant Coach
Saban will have a big say in his replacement. Would he recommend someone from his staff? Would Alabama leadership be willing to consider an assistant?