Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are going for their fourth National Championship in the last seven seasons. If they can beat the Clemson Tigers, that will give Saban five National Championships. Bear Bryant won six National Championship at Alabama. Bryant is a god in Tuscaloosa. He’s been dead for 33 years, yet people still dress in houndstooth clothing at Alabama because of his signature hat he wore on the sidelines. We are talking about people who were not even born yet when Bear was coach, not wearing the school colors at the game, but instead wearing houndstooth.
Somebody from Auburn put a Cam Newton jersey on a statue of Bryant, and it inspired one Bama fan to poison their famed Toomer’s Corner Oak Trees. To the rest of us, this was a despicable act. To an Alabama fan, so is defiling a statue of Bear Bryant with an Auburn jersey. So to put it out there that Nick Saban could be even better than the Bear tells us how good Saban has been.
Bryant won six titles at Alabama, but he was there from 1958 to 1982. Some of those championships were questionable as well, such as 1973 when the Tide lost to Notre Dame in their bowl game, yet still claim it as a national championship because one of the major polls didn’t count the bowl games before announcing their champion. There is also 1978 which they split with USC despite the fact that USC beat them head to head. So we could make the argument that Alabama won four legitimate national championships under Bryant in 35 seasons.
If Alabama wins this game, Saban will have won four that no fan or pundit can argue in nine seasons. WOW!
Bear Bryant was a great coach. There is no doubt about that. But what Saban has done at Alabama would have even the Bear himself jealous. In the five seasons that Bama did not win the championship under Saban, take away the first season when he inherited the mess left by the previous coach, the Tide went into the SEC Championship Game ranked #1 before losing to eventual National Champion Florida in 2008, gave the eventual national champion Auburn all they could handle before losing a close one, a season they lost only twice in 2010, in 2013 they were victimized by the famous “kick six” or they would have played Florida State for the national championship and in 2014, made it to the first College Football Playoffs before losing to eventual National Champion Ohio State.
So in every season since his first season at Alabama, the Tide has been as good or better than every team in the country. This is the eighth year in a row in which the Tide has been ranked #1 at some point. And, Alabama now has two Heisman Trophy winners under Saban. The Bear never had one. So yes, Saban is better than the Bear.