With Hugh Freeze out, only 2 active coaches have beat Nick Saban twice
In 22 seasons as a college head coach, Nick Saban has only lost 61 games (205-61-1 all time). Since Saban arrived at Alabama in 2007, he has won all but 19 games over a 10-year run with the Crimson Tide. Very few coaches know what it’s like to beat Saban twice, and only two are active coaches.
That special club lost one third of its membership Thursday when Hugh Freeze resigned from Ole Miss. Freeze’s back-to-back wins over UA in 2014 and 2015 qualified him for the club now only occupied by Urban Meyer and Mark Richt.
Meyer and Freeze were the only two active coaches to claim multiple wins over Saban at Alabama. In 2008, Meyer’s Florida squad defeated Alabama in the SEC Championship Game 31-20 en route to a BCS Championship. Saban got the best of Meyer in the next two meetings (2009 SEC Championship Game, 2010 regular season), but Meyer won his last clash with Saban, Ohio State’s 42-35 win in the 2015 Sugar Bowl.
Richt’s first win over Saban came when Georgia topped LSU 45-16 in 2004. In Saban’s first season at Alabama, 2007, the Crimson Tide fell to the Bulldogs 26-23. Saban would claim his next three games against Richt in 2008 (41-30), 2012 (32-28) and 2015 (38-10).
In recent years, the number has dropped with the resignation of Steve Spurrier (2000, 2001, 2010) and firing of Les Miles (2007, 2010, 2011). Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin are the SEC’s only active coaches with a chance to join Meyer and Richt this season. Outside the conference, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham would be the most likely to join this postseason with a bowl win.
— Ivan Maisel (@Ivan_Maisel) July 21, 2017
Correction: The article originally incorrectly included Bob Stoops on the list of coaches with multiple wins over Saban.