Alabama head coach Nick Saban is on the verge of creating a dynasty. A victory over Notre Dame in about a month would mark the school's third national championship in four years. It would also give Saban his fourth national championship as a college coach.
He has already reached the pinnacle of college football coaching, and that is why reports are surfacing that Saban could be on his way to the NFL once again.
Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that NFL sources could see Saban on the sidelines coaching an NFL team. That team would very likely be the Cleveland Browns if everything goes as planned.
According to the NFL sources, Saban has let it be known that if he returns to the NFL — where he flopped, going 15-17 with the Dolphins from 2005-06 — it would likely be with (Michael) Lombardi playing Pioli to his Belichick.
Sources believe that Saban could leave for the Browns if current NFL analyst Michael Lombardi was hired as general manager. Both have spent time together under current New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, and it could turn into something special if the two were to reunite.
Saban may feel that he has accomplished everything there is at the college level and could be seeking a new challenge in the NFL. He didn't fare so well in his last head coaching gig with the Miami Dolphins and could be out to show that he can be a successful NFL head coach.
If the right job presents itself, the decision could be a tough one.
Sorry, I'm not buying it.
If Saban was to take this job or any job in the NFL, it would be one of the biggest mistakes of his life.
What the 61-year-old head coach is doing with Alabama is something college football hasn't seen in a very long time. He may possibly win his fourth national title in a decade, and with the way he is recruiting, it doesn't appear that this program is going anywhere anytime soon.
With a playoff system set to be in place in 2014, it only increases the odds of the Crimson Tide competing year after year.
Leaving all of this for the unknown of the NFL would be foolish.
Saban is built for the college level. With the amount of respect he has in the sport, recruiting is a lot easier for the veteran head coach than it is for most other coaches. Even having to compete in the tough environments of the SEC, Saban is still able to pick and choose what he would like off the menu.
If he needs a top running back to replace the latest first-round pick, he ends up landing one of the best. If he needs elite linebackers to fill in for the many that were selected in the NFL draft, Saban is able to land several to throw in that Kirby Smart defense.
It is just a conveyor belt of talent coming to Tuscaloosa, and it won’t change as long as Saban is in charge.
Most coaches are able to pick up a couple of top prospects once in a while, but the way Saban dominates the recruiting landscape is unique. Then, Saban gets to show off another one of his elite skills: developing talent. It doesn't matter if it is a freshman starting Week 1; you know he will be ready with an offseason under Saban.
Will Saban leave Alabama for the NFL?
In the NFL, Saban doesn't really have the privilege of putting together his entire team. He can't land elite talent at every position and turn around an NFL team in one season. It would take a lot of work turning around the Browns, a franchise that has only participated in the playoffs twice since 1989.
In college football, Saban is an icon. If he was to go to the NFL, he would be just a regular coach again with a legitimate chance at flopping. After all, he has already witnessed that it is a completely different world when he took over the Miami Dolphins in 2005.
Saban is pretty much guaranteed success at the college level and is also paid what he deserves. The only reason to leave Alabama would be that he feels he has something to prove after failing in the NFL previously.
However, it just wouldn't make much sense to leave the college level that he is poised to dominate over the next decade.