The key to Nick Saban's greatness? Alabama coach 'still haunted' by title game losses
Nick Saban’s illustrious coaching career now includes seven national championships, including six at Alabama, after he guided the Crimson Tide to a 52-24 win in Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game. And with that title, Saban passed former Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most all time.
However, while six of Saban’s seasons with the Tide have ended by celebrating a national championship (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2020), he still thinks about the conclusions to the 2016 and 2018 seasons. Why? Because those were the times Alabama reached the national title game and lost.
“You heard me say before, I hate to lose. And I don’t care how much you win, you still hate to lose,” Saban said during an appearance on “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” on Monday night. “And you can talk about the seven that we’ve won, but the two that haunt me are the two that we lost. Don’t ask me why it’s that way.”
Both of those losses in the CFP National Championship Game came against Clemson. At the end of the 2016 season, the Crimson Tide lost to the Tigers, 35-31. Things weren’t as close at the end of the 2018 season, as Alabama fell to Clemson, 44-16, in that national title game.
It goes to show why Saban is so successful, considering he’s a seven-time national champion who still thinks about the seasons in which his teams came up just a bit short. If either (or both) of those games had swung the other way, he’d potentially have even more on his resume.
Of course, Saban hasn’t indicated that he’s retiring anytime soon, so he has time to add more national titles to his list of accolades, even if he can’t go back and get the ones from the 2016 and 2018 seasons.
“The two that haunt me are the two that we lost” – Nick Saban, moments after winning his seventh national title. pic.twitter.com/bd2bWV44H4
— BroBible (@BroBible) January 12, 2021