Nick Saban or Bear Bryant? Gene Stallings appears to change tune on popular debate
If Alabama can defeat Clemson in next week’s national championship game, Nick Saban will surpass former Crimson Tide coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most titles in college football history.
But even if that doesn’t happen, another former Alabama head man is already beginning to believe Saban has the edge.
In a radio interview detailed by AL.com, Gene Stallings suggested Saban has put together a more impressive resume in Tuscaloosa than Bryant did from 1958-82. Stallings, who played for Bryant and won a national championship of his own at Alabama in 1992, has said in the past that he believes Bryant is the better coach, so his comments this week represent a change of heart.
“When you look at the win-loss record, how can you argue?” Stallings said. “The players are different. When coach Bryant was at Alabama, I’d say 95 percent of his players were from the state of Alabama. He wanted someone growing up hating Auburn and knew what the University of Alabama was. … When you look at Alabama now, they have good players from all over the country.”
Saban has won 79 percent of games in his career, a figure that jumps to 88 percent over his 12 years with the Crimson Tide. Bryant, meanwhile, won 78 percent of his career games and 82 percent at Alabama.
The two coaches are tied with six national championship apiece, but Saban can move ahead in that department with a victory next Monday.