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  • in Alabama.

  • They are back in the college football playoff after missing out on the event for the first time ever in 2019, and they're hoping to finish often ultra successful season with the program's first national championship since 2017.

  • There's a heavy favorite to beat Notre Dame and also the championship game, which would be the fifth title under head coach Nick Saban.

  • So, Ryan, I know you know what it's like to play for Nick Saban, but Don, I want to start with you and ask, Is Nick Saban the greatest college coach of all time?

  • I mean, I guess so.

  • You could look at his championships and him being able to build championship programs at two different sec, um, institutions.

  • So, yeah, it's hard to measure up against him with anybody else in the modern era.

  • But, I mean, the person who comes to mind for me is kind of get lost in the history of all this is is Eddie Robinson.

  • Like the coach at Grambling, he was there for 56 years, a head coach for an insane amount of time, and he started took over that program back in the days of Jim Crow.

  • It was, I think, 1941.

  • At 22 years old, he became the head coach of the gram of football team.

  • And you know, you talk about coaches who could do multiple different jobs like Eddie Robinson really was that guy who was out there cutting the grass, taping ankles, coaching offense, defense and special teams and somehow, throughout all of that in in Louisiana, he managed to put more than 200 players in the professional ranks.

  • I think he has four Hall of Famers like Pro Football Hall of Famers that he had coached.

  • The man has been incredible, so I think that his his kind of on field accomplishments they don't measure up to what Nick Saban has done.

  • But if you look at the distance that he traveled, winning nine black National Black College national championships, if you look at the things that he he had overcome and the impact that he had on the sport, I feel like that's the only person that you could argue and it's not necessarily because of his on field accomplishments alone, but it's it's his ability to have accomplishments on field while fighting all the other things he was fighting.

  • I'm not sure that anybody else compares the Knicks saving other than Eddie Robinson.

  • What he did down there.

  • Grambling State.

  • You know, it's so crazy, you know, being from Louisiana, remembering my uncle, taking me to the Bayou Classic.

  • And, you know, at the time I put on my fresh is fit for the Bayou Classic and I was about 12, so I don't really have a lot, but I put it all on that day I had on three different layers of all my fire stuff I had on some Tebow jeans at the Tommy Hill figure.

  • I had a bucket, UNLV had.

  • I was ready to rock.

  • And it was just one of those things.

  • Yeah, I was Kona.

  • It was just one of those things when you went to see Grambling play Southern.

  • It wasn't just about football, you know, it was about so much more than that.

  • And so I'm gonna get to my argument for Coach Saban.

  • But Dom just brings up such a great point of being in the place.

  • The impact you have on that place and the last thing memory that you created in college football.

  • Eddie Robinson is all of those things now on the other side, I played for Nick Saban, right when Nick Saban got to else you were sitting in the meeting, I'm coming off of a season.

  • I had 100 and 10 tackles, three picks, 11 p b.

  • U s.

  • I still remember because I was expecting Nick Saban the walk in point directly to me and say, You are the man I can't wait to coach you.

  • Nick Saban looks up at a room full of L S U Tigers.

  • A lot of boys from the boot.

  • We don't know who this little short dude is in the front of the room.

  • And he goes, Y'all don't look like football players.

  • And then I remember Jack Marucci, who is uber rich.

  • I'm not sure why.

  • He's still the head trainer at L s U.

  • He comes to me, he said.

  • We told Nick all about you.

  • We told him how great you were, how much of a leader you were, how smart you were, how awesome of a player you were.

  • He wants to talk to you personally.

  • So I go up there and I'm ready.

  • I'm like, Oh, I know he about to tell me I'm that dude.

  • I'm gonna go first round all this, he said in front of me in for 30 minutes.

  • He told me all the things I needed to improve on because I wasn't good enough.

  • And that's the Nick Saban I know.

  • That's the Nick Saban, though, that has continued to grow with this Game six championships.

  • You know you made the Prince Hakim reference because I got on my my super cool New Year's Eve party jacket.

  • But you know what Nick Saban is when Nick Saban goes to basketball games, people chase him to the bathroom and say, I can't believe it's you.

  • This is the greatest day of my life and he don't have to wash his hands when he leaves the bathroom and they wanna take pictures with him because he's like Prince.

  • I came.

  • Nick Saban is the dude.

  • Nick Saban has changed with the game for how stringent people say he is, for how tough people say is for how me and they say he could be.

  • Nick Saban has understood you can't do the same thing year after year after year and still win with a change in game.

  • You gotta recruit differently.

  • You gotta run offense differently.

  • You gotta run defense differently.

  • You gotta hire the people that continue to let you move that forward and he's done that.

  • But he's done that, always sticking with the principles of we're going to do what it takes to win games.

  • And here's my my greatest yet simplest story.

  • It's how great I think Nick Saban is.

  • One day we're practice.

  • I've always been the same way.

  • Nick's not a very big man, so I'm sitting.

  • And Flossie?

  • His name's Fred Booker.

  • He was my roommate.

  • We're talking.

  • I start making jokes about how little Coach Saban is.

  • Floss looks at me, he says.

  • Our seat.

  • You can call me Deuce.

  • Deuce, you better chill out.

  • You ain't gonna play.

  • He turns around and he goes next, Save it.

  • Turns around the flaws, he says.

  • Hell, yes, he is, because all I care about is winning now.

  • That's a very simple story.

  • Obviously, I was just joking with him, but that's who Nick Saban is.

  • All he cares about is winning, and that's all he's done when he gets number seven.

  • Ain't gonna be no argument that that dude is the greatest coach of all time.

  • Yeah, I can't disagree with any of that.

  • And I think the one point that you really touched on that I think is important is his ability to adapt.

  • He's adapted to everything in this game.

  • This, uh, Alabama team looks so different from what it looked like before, And he's always bringing in coaches from other places to bring a new ideas.

  • They're not the I formation, bang it out team that they once, but they're now progress to a modern offense.

  • So, like I respect the heck out of Nick Saban and what he's been able to accomplish, and he's being rewarded for it.

  • Talk about.

  • Boy got his own money.

  • That boy got his own money down there in Alabama.

  • He could print bucks anytime he wants.

  • They paying for his house is in signing his check.

  • I don't know.

  • I mean, he's getting rewards that he deserves because he's winning them championships and giving him anything that he wants.

  • And they are chasing him all over the stadium, giving it, getting autographs and pictures, no matter what he does with his hands.

  • Thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content.

in Alabama.

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Is Nick Saban the greatest college football coach of all time? | First Take

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/01
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