The annual conversation has begun. How does Alabama coach Nick Saban view retirement, especially now that he has passed coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant in number of national championships with seven.

On his regular appearance on “The Roundtable” WJOX 94.5 in Birmingham, Alabama, ESPN analyst and SEC Network host Paul Finebaum was asked if the end of Saban’s career will be marked by a season with multiple losses, similar to other legends like Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno.

“I think he has to have thought about it, and he could have walked away three years ago,” Finebaum said. “It looked like the greatest moment ever after the biggest play maybe in Alabama history. But he hung on and it looked like a questionable call until this year. This is another one of those moments where I’m sure he has thought about it, but I think he’s thinking about it less now than he’s ever thought before. Yes, you’re right. History is unkind to coaches in their 70s. But I don’t think Nick Saban is really caught up in that. He is looking down on the rest of college football and if it happens that way, I’m sure he can deal with it. But I think he’s more concerned, Lance, with leaving a great team on the field than he is walking away to try to time it correctly.”

The question remains, what would Saban do after coaching?

“That’s for him to decide and he has clearly decided this is what he wants to do,” Finebaum said.

Finebaum also noted that during the pandemic when Saban spent two “uncharacteristic” weeks at home, before games against Georgia and Auburn, he realized that’s not where he wants to be.

“He likes being at that office coaching football,” Saban said.