The Coach of the Year will be recognized months from now, but Nick Saban has already proven he will deserve it just as much as anyone else and is nearly a lock to win it.
Here is the official description:
The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school’s alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy.
It goes to the coach that does the most amazing things with his team in classy fashion, but it doesn't always go to the coach of a national championship team. Saban didn't win the honors after his two championship runs with the Tide.
Based on his track record, what he has done this season and what he is expected to do all provide a straight path to the award.
This season the Tide may be the first team in the BCS era to straight up repeat as BCS national champions.
The defense may not be as incredible as it was a year ago, but the Tide's penchant for turnovers and a prolific offense (especially by SEC standards) create a combination that completely outmatches everyone on their schedule (other than LSU).
Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the nation, and it is far more deserving of the rank now than it was at this point in 2010.
Julio Jones, 2011 NFL Draft.
Saban's goal each and every year is the national championship, but en route to that goal he prepares his boys in crimson for the professional game better than any other coach in the nation.
He even strongly encourages standout players who are still eligible for collegiate play to head early to the NFL if they are projected to be taken in the first round.
Preparing his players for the NFL only fuels the team's chances on the field, but ahe puts a greater emphasis on it than pretty much any one else out there.
He is far from the uncaring wretch that some Miami Dolphins fans claim him to be.
Middle linebacker Trey DePriest and safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix
Find me another coach in the nation that takes guys straight out of high school and turns them into bona fide FBS-level collegiate athletes.
Maturity, skill and discipline take root in the young players faster at Alabama than anywhere else.
Anyone that claims otherwise clearly has not seen what this "young" Alabama team has done, despite having a depth chart littered with underclassmen.
Most of Alabama's first-year starters are already playing at All-SEC levels or better.
I heard that T.J. Yeldon guy is pretty good, too.
Nick Saban's mantra that he preaches relentlessly is that his players need to perform to a very high standard at all times.
They are all expected to play to the best of their ability regardless of the situation. Whether it's a 40-point lead in the fourth quarter or a 20-point deficit at halftime, no one is allowed to quit.
You can apply it to any other situation outside of football. Do your very best no matter what; never give up and never sell yourself short.
It's a strong life lesson that most of his players will carry with them forever.
This 2012 Alabama football team could proven to be the best in recent history and just might be the best in Alabama history.
Too soon? Too bold? I don't think so.
This team is already on pace to outshine both the 2009 and 2011 football teams, not to mention an underrated 2008 team that was one Tebow shy of playing for the national championship.
The outlook for this team is so ridiculously promising it's not even funny. It's sad, really...for the other teams, that is.
The team's future success always starts with recruiting, and no one recruits like Saban.
He takes the best of the best and brings them all together under one banner. It's the same formula used in the Olympics, the NFL, the Army Rangers, and so forth.
When it comes to college football, Saban is unstoppable. He can be slowed and even mildly deterred at times. But he always comes out on top eventually.
And boy is he intimidating.
Ghosts sit around the camp fire and tell Nick Saban stories.
Nick Saban won American Idol using only sign language.
Nick Saban and Superman once fought each other on a bet, the loser having to wear his underpants on the outside.
When Les Miles goes to sleep, he checks under his bed for Nick Saban.
Yea, he's that good.