After a BCS-dream crushing loss to Auburn in the 2013 regular season finale, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was offered a contract extension by the school, according to Paul Finebaum of ESPN.
Saban has still not signed the deal, and per the report, the longer the process goes on, the more concerned the program is becoming.
Alabama offered Nick Saban a new contract extension last Friday. Officials growing nervous the longer it goes unsigned. (via @finebaum)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 11, 2013
Instead of leaving the comfort of Tuscaloosa for the new challenges at the University of Texas, Saban must stay at Alabama and secure his legacy.
The rumors have circulated for months about Saban possibly taking the head coaching position at Texas if Longhorns head coach Mack Brown left the program. A report from Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com now claims that Brown’s 16 seasons with the team will be coming to an end in the near future.
That report has fueled the Saban conspiracy theories, but the head coach must realize that this is a risk that’s not worth taking this far into his career. He has built the most consistent program in the nation with the Crimson Tide, and the three national championships the team has won under his guidance since 2009 have made the school one of the top destinations again.
College football is all about the recruiting. The state of Texas produces star players year after year, but Saban has been doing just fine in Alabama. Taking the Texas job would open up more in-state stars, but the top prospects in the nation look to Alabama first and foremost.
Not only is the school a BCS National Championship factory, but the sheer number of Crimson Tide players drafted to the NFL each year has made the program a force on the recruiting trail.
Saban would get the most out of the recruiting advantage coaching at Texas, but re-building the program would be a long-term process.
The current Longhorns team is solid, but nowhere near the level that Alabama has maintained since Saban took over. It would take four years of solid recruiting before the team would be contending for national championships, and as we saw in the 2013 Iron Bowl, there is no guaranteeing that the most talented team wins on any given Saturday.
If the head coach feels complacent with his position at Alabama, the format is shifting next season when a playoff system is introduced. Instead of changing jobs, Saban should focus on dominating the new playoff system and further proving his position as one of the greatest head coaches of all time.
Which job would be better for Saban's long-term legacy?
Saban has the chance to continue following in legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant’s footsteps and could even surpass him if he stays committed to the school.
With University officials making it clear that they would do anything to keep the coach, the choice to build a legacy with the Crimson Tide should be easy.