Nick Saban recently said he’s ready to coach 10 more years before he retires. That’s a sentiment that deserves skepticism among the media and fear among his opponents.

The Alabama coach has no reason to tell us when he plans to retire. Saban, who turned 70 on Halloween, wouldn’t want recruits to be concerned that he might not be there for their entire Bama career. It’s commonplace for a coach to say he’s not leaving a job anytime soon, then suddenly he’s on a jet flying elsewhere to coach another team or just retires. Telling a recruit that you have just 2 or 3 more seasons left would be recruiting suicide. Saban knows that, so take his latest comments with a grain of salt. However, if that’s what he actually does, Bama will rank among the top dynasties in the history of American sports. Saban is already considered the best coach in the nation and, by many, the best college football coach ever.

Saban, who has 268 career wins, may have some goals that he hasn’t shared with anyone. Saban is just 57 victories from catching Paul “Bear” Bryant, who coached at Kentucky and Texas A&M and was a legend at Alabama. Saban could reach Joe Paterno, who holds the record for FBS head coaches with 409 wins. If Saban coaches 10 more years and wins 10 games per season, he’d have 368 victories. That’s still quite a bit short of Paterno, but Bama usually wins more than 10 games in a season, so it’s certainly possible that Saban could reach Paterno, especially if the Bama coach was around beyond 10 years. Remember, national championship game participants can coach 15 games in a season. That certainly helps Saban if he wants to reach Paterno.

Whether Saban reaches Paterno in total wins is inconsequential. Saban is the better coach. That’s not up for debate. Saban has 7 national championships as a head coach. Paterno can match Saban in longevity but not titles. Despite his long, memorable run at Penn State, Paterno won just 2 national titles.

While 10 years seems like a long time for Saban to continue coaching, it’s not unthinkable. He’ll surely want to be around in 2026 when Alabama plays at West Virginia, which is Saban’s home state. But 10 years? I hope so. I like to see historical feats. I’m not a Tom Brady fan, but I appreciate what he’s been able to do. But 10 years for Saban? That’s a long time.

I don’t doubt the desire that Saban will have to coach in 10 years, but will he still be physically able to wake up and coach a football team in 2031? I hope so. If that’s the case, we get to watch the best dynasty in college football accomplish even more.

Now, if I’m another SEC coach, I’m hoping that Saban retires next year, not in 10 years. I’ll take history over more competitive games. For those that call Alabama’s dominance boring, your probably a fan of a team that he’s regularly beating. Boring? What could be more compelling than seeing something amazingly historic play out?

One could argue that Saban will eventually slip or that some other great coach will catch up to him. I doubt that. Saban has shown so much versatility in his career that if something new comes up like run-pass option plays or high-tempo offenses, he’ll adapt. He adopted those last two principles and kept Alabama at a championship level. No matter how old Saban is, he’ll never become stale as a head coach. He once hated the transfer portal. Now, he uses it to just make his team better.

Of Saban’s 7 championships, 6 have happened at Alabama. So, let’s do some math.

In his 14 years at Alabama, Saban is averaging a national title about every 2 seasons. He is averaging an SEC title about every 3 seasons. So what if he stays for 10 more years?

Not to be too analytical, but Saban could win 5 more national titles and 4 more SEC championships. That would give him 12 national titles and 9 SEC championships as a head coach when you include his championship at LSU. That would be double — yes, double — the amount of national championships that Bryant won.

Where does that rank in history? That depends if you consider complete dominance or sustained, consistent dominance more significant. Saban doesn’t have any competition for the latter if he is still winning in 10 years.  However, Bama has lost in the College Football Playoff and the National Championship Game, so Saban hasn’t been perfect. No dynasty ever has been.

The New York Yankees won 10 World Series from 1947 to 1962, including 5 in a row. The Boston Celtics won 11 NBA championships from 1957 to 1968, including 8 in a row. The New England Patriots won six Super Bowls from 2002 to 2019, but never more than two in a row. As for college athletics, UCLA’s basketball team won 10 championships from 1964 to 1975, including 7 in a row. As for college football, Bryant’s time at Alabama is at least comparable to Saban. Bryant won 6 championships from 1961 to 1979 but never more than 2 in a row. That’s the case for Saban as well. He’s won 6 championships but never more than 2 in a row.

Debate all you want, but I’d take the Celtics’ and Bruins’ run over any other sports dynasty because of their utter domination. However, Alabama’s consistency over time will be what sets Saban and the Crimson Tide apart if he coaches and keeps winning championships over the next 10 years. After all, who is going to catch him?

Clemson looked like a worthy suitor and topped the Tide twice in national title games. However, the Tigers are 5-3 this season and have serious issues, namely their quarterback play. Is Dabo Swinney able to return his team to championship and perhaps dynasty status again? It’s possible, but Swinney has already fallen as far as Saban ever has at Bama. After his first championship season at Alabama, the Crimson Tide lost 3 games in 2010 but have never lost more than 2 games in a season since then. And Swinney has quite a few games left to play.

If Swinney isn’t able to top Alabama on a regular basis, who can? No one right now.

That’s not to say Alabama will win every game it plays. There’s always a surprise Texas A&M-like upset waiting to happen. However, it’s hard to imagine Saban ever losing three or more games in a season. That would be historic but not nearly as historic as what Alabama’s reigning dynasty will be if Saban has another decade under his championship belts.