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Paul Finebaum gives candidates to potentially replace Nick Saban at Alabama

On3.com
On3.com
 2022-07-02
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Nick Saban, 70, could be approaching the end of his career in the coming seasons. His retirement would end one of the most successful runs in college football history at Alabama, whose national choke hold has seen the Crimson Tide win six titles since he took over the program in 2007.

Paul Finebaum, the voice of the SEC, gave his picks for who would be the most likely candidates to replace the man who many consider the best college football coach of all time.

“That’s probably the most difficult question I could possibly be asked. If it happens in the next 2 to 3 years, I would keep my eyes on Mario Cristobal, Billy Napier, and Dave Aranda,” Finebaum said. “Those are three candidates that would be worth paying close attention to. … If something happened right now, Bill O’Brien would be the most serious candidate, the offensive coordinator. He’s got head-coaching experience.”

O’Brien’s head coaching experience lies most notably when he at the helm of the Houston Texans – a stint that left a bad taste in a lot of Texans fans mouths after seeing some success after drafting the controversial Deshaun Watson.

College is entirely different from the pros, but would Crimson Tide fans accept a coach with a recently poor track record? O’Brien spent two seasons as headman at Penn State for the 2012 and 2013 seasons where he compiled a respectable 15-9 record – something that simply wouldn’t cut it at Alabama.

Elsewhere, Finebaum mentioned Mario Cristobal and Billy Napier – both of which are entering their first seasons as head coaches at Miami and Florida. With strong showings over the next two or three years, either man could fit the bill as Saban’s successor.

Finebaum also noted that Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, who took over the program in 2020, could be someone the Crimson Tide reaches out to when the time comes. In two seasons, Aranda has taken the Bears from Big-12 bottom feeder to College Football Playoff contender – much like how Saban did when he took over as Alabama head coach.

Saban turned a 7-6 (record adjusted to 2-6 by NCAA) Alabama team in his first year into a 12-win Sugar Bowl team in his second before winning his firs national title the following season. If Alabama’s athletic department feels that their next candidate can’t do the same – they simply won’t be given the job.

Comments / 78

Joe Brown
07-03

When Miss Terry says it's time for him to retire he'll do it. Not before. Everyone speculates no one asks the " real head coach " about retirement.

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Deborah Tucker
07-03

What does he mean. You can’t “replace “ The Coach! They may hire someone new but, THERE IS NO REPLACING COACH SABAN...

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Dianne Welborn Ozbirn
07-02

let's just not get in a hurry for Nick Saban to retire!! he's a keeper!! love our head coach.

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