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Should we stop asking how long Saban will coach?

Every offseason the questions about how long Nick Saban will continue to coach come up, but diving into the numbers it seems like it could be time to table that discussion, for now at least.

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 9:42 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 10:39 PM

How much longer can Nick Saban continue to coach?  The question seems to be asked every year.  But if you dive into the numbers, it's clear we should stop asking that question, at least for awhile.  

At 66 years old, Saban is coming off his 5th national title and has posted an .899 win percentage over the past decade and he's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

"That's what everybody keeps saying, that I'm not going to be doing this for much longer, and all the people who say it have no idea what I'm going to do," Saban told ESPN. "I've been involved in some fashion with football and being a part of a football team ever since I can remember. I don't know what it would be like not doing it and don't want to know."

Chances are Tide fans won't have to worry about him finding that out in the near future either.  Looking at the foundation for the future Saban's built in Tuscaloosa he seems to be set up for more of the same success we've seen from the Tide over the years. 

Offensively, he returns Tua Tagovailoa, who many believe will beat out Jalen Hurts for the starting spot, so they're set under center for at least the next two years.  That fact alone is huge for Saban and company who have rattled through starting quarterbacks year after year and still managed to remain atop college football's mountain top.  Furthermore, the rest of the offense is littered with freshman that played a huge role in the team's 2017 title.

On the other side of the ball, Nick Saban is once again tasked with replacing a laundry list of NFL Draft picks, however that hasn't been an issue for him over the years.  Since taking over as the head coach at Alabama, Saban's defenses have only ranked outside the top 10 in total defense twice, with one of those years being his first season in Tuscaloosa, so history says they'll be one of the nation's top groups once again in 2018.

On the recruiting trail, the consensus around the Southeast seems to be that he'll start losing top recruits as coaches around the country point to his age.  Consider this though, in what was called a "down year," Saban churned out the nation's 7th ranked recruiting class in 2018, with 14 of the 19 signees being four- or five-star prospects.  So if Saban continues to develop that group like he has previous recruiting classes, that buys the Tide at least another three years in the thick of the national championship conversation.

While numbers may not be everything, many of those are hard to argue against and it's clear Saban doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon, so it may be wise to table the "How long can Saban keep doing this?" quetions for at least another three to four years as players continue to take their talents to "T-Town" to play for Saban and company.

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