There are rumors that if Nick Saban beats Clemson and wins his fifth national title, he’ll retire from coaching. There are also rumors that, win or lose, he will leave Alabama for another shot at the NFL.
But the rumors, in all likelihood, are just that: rumors. In fact, Bleacher Report NFL insider Jason Cole has been told that not only is Saban uninterested in leaving Alabama, but he’s also uninterested in even discussing other head-coaching gigs.
Of course, given that Saban has coached five different teams – three college, two pro – since 1994, that’s a little hard to believe.
“I was a little surprised by (that),” Cole said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I thought Nick was always looking around. I covered him when he was with Miami briefly. I covered one season of him there. I always got the feeling he’s the kind of guy who would be ready to go somewhere, but this person assured me that Nick has gotten to a point where he’s not interested in another place. He just does not see Nick moving on, especially now because Nick is really focused on making sure that they win this national championship. Nick is in his 60s at this point, and I always thought he was a restless soul. This persons said, ‘No, not at this point. Ten years ago, yeah. If he had been in this situation 10 years ago, he might have moved on. But he’s not in that position anymore.’ I’m a little surprised by it.”
But if Saban wins his fifth national title, including his fourth at Alabama, what else is there to accomplish in the college ranks? What if the Giants or Colts are willing to give Saban, who answers to no one in Tuscaloosa, full control of the franchise? Might that sway the 64-year-old?
“I learned a long time ago you never say never to anything in this, especially when it comes to Nick Saban,” Cole said. “I’m just telling you what I was told from a very reliable source. So if a week from now after they win or lose against Clemson and all of a sudden John Mara calls Nick Saban and says, ‘Look, I’ll let you run the Giants and you’ve got full control over the Giants’ – if that happened, I don’t know exactly what Nick would do. If Jim Irsay called and said ‘I’m giving you the reins of the Colts and you’ve got Andrew Luck for the rest of your coaching career’ – you never say never. But again, a source very lose to Nick Saban indicated that he’s not going to be moving on and that he’s going to coach out the rest of his career at Alabama. That’s what was said to me over the weekend.”
Mike Shanahan, meanwhile, would love to get back in the NFL. The 63-year-old last coached Washington in 2013.
“I think there’s a good chance he’s going to get another head-coaching position,” Cole said. “If (the 49ers are) looking for a proven coach, I think Shanahan gets in the mix there. So I think has a good chance there. I think he has a really good chance in Miami, depending on how things sort themselves out. I know that they’re interested in (Adam) Gase at this point in time, or a younger coach, but (Ryan) Tannehill works very well in a Mike Shanahan offense. So I think those are a couple of prominent places.”
So is Indianapolis.
“If you want a proven coach to go with Andrew Luck, a guy who knows how to win, Shanahan (is a good option),” Cole said. “I know he only has one playoff win since John Elway retired. Be that as it may, you know that he knows how to work with talented people – and certainly Andrew Luck is a really talented guy.”