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There are fewer and fewer things in college football in which Nick Saban's name isn't at the top of the list. Being the best at preparing players for the NFL is just one more in a long list of accolades Saban can add to his resume these days.
Even if we just look at his career at Alabama, Saban is setting quite a mark. Just over the past three drafts, Alabama has sent 20 players to the NFL—tops in the nation. Add in his two dozen or so players from LSU that were drafted plus 17 at Michigan State and one at Toledo, and Saban's legacy at the next level increasingly has less and less to do with his rather embarrassing 15-17 mark as an NFL head coach.
Alabama fans like to puff up their favorite college program by saying the Crimson Tide could beat some of the bottom-feeder NFL teams. Even South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier—a strong candidate for this list—said Alabama might even be favored in a Vegas line (although a Las Vegas odds-maker later put Bama as a 24-point underdog against then-NFL-worst Jacksonville).
The notion that Bama could compete with any pro team is utter nonsense, but that doesn't mean Saban isn't running the closest thing to an NFL franchise outside of Roger Goodell's purview. Is it any wonder NFL teams can't wait to snatch up Saban players?
And before you Saban haters go thinking it has more to do with the program and the name “Alabama” than it does with the guy running the joint, consider this: After Saban's first season at Alabama in 2007, the 7-6 Crimson Tide had zero players drafted in the 2008 NFL Draft. In the four drafts that followed, 24 Alabama players have heard their names called by the commissioner.
That's quite a turnaround, and we didn't even mention the three national titles that followed.