Nick saban is a constant in the wild world of change for alabama

In the seventeen years since Nick Saban took the job as Head Coach of the Alabama football program, one thing has never happened, a three-year title drought. Following back-to-back title wins for the Georgia Bulldogs, there is a hint of pressure on the Tide to prove they are still the premier program in the sport. Another season without a title, and a first three-year title drought would heap the pressure on Nick Saban.

Five games against teams ranked in the pre-season top 25 and a new, young starting QB combine to create a rocky road towards a potential championship. Unlike in previous title droughts, Alabama has not been breaking in a new quarterback the last two seasons.

The previous starter under center Bryce Young was drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s gone, alongside those that played 60% of the snaps last season. Have no doubt about it, this is a new Alabama team in 2023 and it’ll require a huge amount of work from Saban and his staff for this team to reach the heights expected of Alabama football.

Reasons for Cautious Optimism

There are however reasons for Alabama fans to be hopeful ahead of the coming campaign. They have not had a recruiting class ranked lower than number 2 in the nation since the 2018 class according to 247 sports. These classes make up the majority of the team for the upcoming season, and only two projected starters are true freshmen. Both safety Caleb Downs and left tackle Kadyn Proctor were top ten recruits in the 2023 class, they are as ready to play as any true freshman in the country.

There has also been a coaching refresh in Tuscaloosa, Pete Golding is out as DC, in comes long time defensive coach Kevin Steele. It is Steele’s third go round at Alabama, where he has served as Inside Linebackers Coach, Linebackers Coach and Director of Player Personnel in the past.

Also joining the Tide is new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Rees joins from Notre Dame, a job he has held for the last three years. Both hires are typically Saban and typically Alabama in their nature. Never one to chase the star names that make waves in the media, instead Saban has a track record of making smart hires that overproduce their reputations during their time with the Tide.

You also must remember that Nick Saban is still Saban. He’s still the best college football coach of this era, potentially of all time. The unwavering focus on premier performance of his program is matched by few. There are few coaches in the world of college football you would even put on the same level of trust to get it right as you would Saban. That’s a fact that should warm the hearts of Alabama fans.

The Road to Success Will Be Mapped...

In his book entitled ‘How good do you want to be?’ Saban talks about creating a game plan for success over the course of the season. A huge part of this game plan is knowing about your opponents, their strengths, their weaknesses and working out how you can beat them. With four of Alabama’s ranked matchups this season coming at Bryant-Denny Stadium, there will be pressure on Alabama to perform. But with Saban at the helm, you can trust that they will be the best prepared for these games that they can possibly be.

Alabama is a program mired in change, from the athletes to the staff and potentially their standing in the world of college football. When they take to the field against Middle Tennessee on Saturday, few things will be constant in this new era of Alabama football, but one man will have a presence much larger than his diminutive figure.

For 16 years, Saban has dominated the Alabama sideline. That he is back to do it again in 2023 should be all Alabama fans need to be confident they will be in contention to ensure the three-year wait for a championship is put off for a while longer.

Alex Chinery


A Member of the College CHaps TRIO and Volleyball COach at the University of Essex. Alex covers all things College Football for the touchdown.