For the third year in a row, Nick Saban will be a part of the BCS national championship. He just won't be on the sideline coaching this time around.
According to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, the Alabama football head coach has reportedly agreed to work for ESPN during the title game on Jan. 6:
I can report that @AlabamaFTBL coach Nick Saban has agreed to work for ESPN for the BCS title game (Jan. 6) in Pasadena.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 10, 2013
On the surface, Saban doesn't exactly come across as an inviting television personality. He's one of the best coaches in America, yes, but he tends to have a quiet, almost robot-like demeanor when it comes to the media.
As such, this doesn't exactly jump out as the most exciting choice for a guest member of the GameDay panel.
Good move by ESPN?
Still, that's just what we see on the sidelines, and Saban showed the ability to open up last week when he appeared on College GameDay before the Big Ten Championship between Michigan State and Ohio State.
Moreover, as someone who just game-planned for and played against Auburn, he will be able to provide insight into the Tigers' matchup against Florida State better than almost anyone out there. Jeremy Pruitt, FSU's defensive coordinator, also worked under Saban up until last year, so there's a connection there as well.
Saban may be a bit of an underwhelming choice for some, but he's certainly an intriguing option in whom ESPN clearly has faith. He has proven his success time and again coaching, so having his insight will be a unique addition to the panel. If the 62-year-old were to ever become available, the company would throw everything at him, according to Deitsch:
Of course, the dream hire for @CollegeGameDay is Nick Saban. If he becomes free, ESPN president John Skipper will hand him a blank check.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 10, 2013
This isn't a bad move by Saban, either.
Being on air will let the nation see a more easy-going, personable side to him, which should only help his popularity and recruiting—as if he really needs any help in the latter.