🐐 Saban Says Goodbye

Saban By The Numbers, more upsets in college hoops, NBA, NHL, and more...

It’s Thursday! You may have heard the news by now, but after 20-plus years on the sidelines and multiple national championships, a legendary coach hung up the whistle yesterday at age 72. That’s right, Pete Carroll is stepping down as the Seahawks head coach. Also, Nick Saban is retiring. It’s hard to put into words the legacy Saban leaves behind in Tuscaloosa — so we didn’t. Instead, we’ll take a look at his career By The Numbers, featuring a resume that’s so impressive even OJ could land a job if he put his name on it. Then, we’ll recap another belligerent night of college hoops, as two more top-five teams went down just 24 hours after the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked squads were stunned. Finally, the Best in the West and the Beasts of the East needed overtime to decide who runs the NBA, and the last two Stanley Cup winners clashed in Colorado. “When you get up every day, you’re entitled to nothing [except another epic Blitz].” - Nick Saban

WTF Stat: The last time the Timberwolves beat the Celtics in Boston, Kevin Garnett was the starting center… for Minnesota - (March 2005).

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 Alabama HC Nick Saban is retiring from coaching, ending his 17-year tenure with the program in which he led the Crimson Tide to six national championships and nine SEC titles - Saban, 72, also led LSU to a national championship in 2003

🏈 Pete Carroll will not return as head coach of the Seahawks next season but will remain with the franchise as an advisor - Carroll just finished his 14th season with Seattle and “competed hard” to remain the team’s coach but ultimately agreed to step down

🏈 Bears decided to keep HC Matt Eberflus for the 2024 season and fire OC Luke Getsy plus four other offensive assistants - Chicago went 7-10 this season in Eberflus’ second year with the team

🏈 Nick Saban: By The Numbers

Photo: Nick Saban | Source: USA Today

It had to happen at some point, and speculation had been swirling for years. But when the inevitable finally took place yesterday, it was no less jarring — Nick Saban is retiring from coaching. After 17 years with Alabama, many would argue the 72-year-old is walking away as the greatest coach in college football history. Saban's meticulous attention to detail, legendary leadership, and strategic brilliance resulted in an unprecedented seven national championships. Yes, seven. A near-impossible feat in the modern era that consists of postseason play, title games, scholarship limits, relentless recruiting, and a level of parity that many of his predecessors never faced. But we’re not here to debate; we’re here to celebrate the career of one of the most revered figures in the sport, the likes of whom we may never see again. So let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy his utterly ridiculous resume...

Big Picture

  • 28 years as a college head coach - Toledo (1990), Michigan State (1995-99), LSU (2000-04), and Alabama (2007-23)

  • Seven national championships, the most of any coach in college football history - LSU (2003), Alabama (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020)

  • 11 SEC championships, with an 11-1 record in SEC title games - nine wins at Alabama (9-1) and two at LSU (2-0)

  • 297-71-1 (.806) career record, including a 206-29 (.877) mark with Alabama - fifth all-time in coaching wins and 15th all-time in coaching win percentage

  • Eight College Football Playoff appearances, the most of any school, let alone coach - Dabo Swinney and Clemson are the closest with six

  • Zero losing seasons

  • 18 10-win seasons, including 16 consecutive 10-win seasons to end his career, the longest streak ever

  • 31 bowl game appearances, the third-most all-time, with a 19-12 career record and a 16-7 record with Alabama

Big Games

  • 9-4 against AP No. 1 teams at the time of the game; his nine wins are the most wins by any coach in college football history - no other coach has more than four wins against No. 1-ranked teams

  • After losing his first game against a No. 1-ranked team by 41 points to Nebraska in 1996, Saban’s final three losses to AP No. 1s came by a total of 15 points - including the overtime loss to Michigan in his final game

  • 47-24 against AP top-10 teams, including a 37-13 record with Alabama - the only other coaches with 30 top-10 wins are Bobby Bowden (39), Joe Paterno (35) and Bear Bryant (34)

  • Sixteen top-10 wins by at least 20 points - the only other coaches with 10 wins by 20-plus points against top-10 teams are Tom Osborne (12) and Bobby Bowden (11)

  • 104 wins against AP-ranked opponents - only Joe Paterno (86) and Bobby Bowden (82) also have more than Bear Bryant’s 65

  • The 2023 season snapped a streak of 15 consecutive years in which Saban’s Alabama teams appeared at No. 1 in the AP poll for at least one week - no other team has a streak longer than seven years (Miami, 1986-92)

  • Saban’s Alabama teams spent 96% of his tenure ranked in the AP poll, 89.5% in the top 10, 77.3% in the top five and 39.4% at No. 1

  • Alabama’s 109 appearances at No. 1 since Saban took over in 2007 are more than any other program’s total in the history of the poll dating back to 1936 - Ohio State has 105

  • 30 wins against teams that finished the season ranked in the top 10 of the final AP poll - only Bobby Bowden (23), Bear Bryant (21), and Steve Spurrier (20) also have at least 20

  • Saban also rarely lost to bad teams: Since 2007, his teams won 120 of his last 121 games against unranked teams - the only loss was in 2021 to Texas A&M, who finished 8-4

Big-Time Production

  • Produced 123 NFL Draft picks since 2009 (was hired by Alabama in 2007), the most of any other school, let alone coach - only LSU (105) and Ohio State (101) have more than 100

  • Produced 49 first-round NFL Draft picks, including 44 at Alabama, with an active 15-year streak

  • Produced four Heisman Trophy winners, joining Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy for the most in college history

  • The only coach to ever produce Heisman winners at three different positions - RBs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015), WR DeVonta Smith (2020), and QB Bryce Young (2021)

  • Produced 66 All-Americans at Alabama, including 58 different individuals and 46 players who earned consensus honors

  • Produced 60 individual national award winners at Alabama - the program had just six individual national award winners when Saban arrived on campus

  • Alabama players have been paid over $2 billion over the last 16 NFL seasons

The best to ever do it. Thank you, Coach Saban.

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Photo: Golden Night | Source: USA Today

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | UCF 65, #3 Kansas 60: UCF was projected to finish last in the Big 12, but that’s why they play the games! After trailing by 16 in the first half, Jaylin Sellers (18 PTS, 7-11 FG) and the Knights stormed back, and Ibrahima Diallo (13 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST) broke a 57-57 tie with less than three minutes remaining with a sky hook over Hunter Dickinson (12 PTS, 4 REB) before swatting KJ Adams (10 PTS, 7 REB) with 50 seconds left to seal the upset in UCF’s first Big 12 home game - Kansas is the third top-three team to lose to an unranked opponent in the past two days (and yes, court storming warranted!)

  • NCAAM | Mississippi State 77, #5 Tennessee 72: They’re dropping like flies! Dalton Knecht (28 PTS, 6 REB) and Tennessee trailed nearly the entire way but managed to tie the game at 63 with four minutes remaining; however, Josh Hubbard (25 PTS, 5-10 3PT) and the Bulldogs wouldn’t be denied, and Tolu Smith (23 PTS, 4 REB) converted a clutch and-1 with 14.7 seconds remaining before Cameron Mattews (8 PTS) threw down a monster yam to knock off the Vols, marking the fourth top-five team to lose to an unranked team in 48 hours - it’s Mississippi State’s first win against a top-five team since 2002

  • NCAAM | TCU 80, #9 Oklahoma 71: As we mentioned yesterday, the Big 12 is loaded, and the 12-3 Toads won’t be unranked for much longer as Emmanuel Miller (27 PTS, 9 REB) dropped a season-high to lead the Horned Frogs past Javian McCollum (17 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST) and the Sooners in Fort Worth, handing Oklahoma their second loss of the season - OU trailed the entire second half

  • NCAAM | Butler 69, #11 Marquette 62: Yup, another one. Pierre Brooks (14 PTS, 4-6 3PT) and Landon Moore (14 PTS, 2-3 3PT) combined for six threes, and the Bulldogs used an 11-0 run in the second half to race by Kam Jones (20 PTS) and the Golden Eagles for a massive road W - 2022-23 Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek (2 PTS, 1-13 FG, 8 AST) had a rough shooting night, and it’s Marquette’s second straight loss after falling to Seton Hall last Friday

  • NCAAW | Kansas 87, #4 Baylor 66: Despite their men’s team going down, the night wasn’t a total loss for Kansas basketball, as Taiyanna Jackson (27 PTS) and the Lady Jayhawks ended Baylor’s perfect season with a blowout victory at Allen Fieldhouse - No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 UCLA are now the only remaining unbeaten teams in the top 25

See the full men’s scoreboard here and the full women’s scoreboard here.

NBA - Top Games

  • Boston Celtics 127, Minnesota Timberwolves 120 (OT): The NBA’s two top teams got together last night and needed extra basketball to determine a winner. Anthony Edwards (29 PTS, 11-25 FG, 6 REB) and Karl-Anthony Towns (25 PTS, 13 REB) combined for 54, but Jayson Tatum (45 PTS, 6-11 3PT, 4 REB) dropped a season-high, and the C’s outscored the T-Wolves 16-9 in OT to improve their home record to a perfect 18-0 - Tatum was sensational down the stretch and delivered the dagger three with 51 seconds left in OT

  • Utah Jazz 124, Denver Nuggets 111: It’s not often you see the Nuggets get blown out with Nikola Jokic (27 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST) on the floor, but that’s what happened last night as Jordan Clarkson (27 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST) and the Jazz boat-raced Denver in Utah to pick up their ninth win in 11 games - the Nuggets (26-13) now sit in the No. 3 spot in the West, behind Oklahoma City and Minnesota

  • New Orleans Pelicans 141, Golden State Warriors 105: If the Nuggets got boat-raced, the Warriors got yacht-whistled. I don’t even know what that means, but Zion Williamson (19 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST) and seven other Pelicans scored 12 or more points in a shellacking of Stephen Curry (15 PTS, 4-13 FG, 6 AST) and the Warriors, who are now 11-11 at home and 2-6 in their last eight game - it was Golden State’s largest home loss under HC Steve Kerr, who said his team has “lost their spirit”

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NHL - All Games

  • Colorado Avalanche 3, Vegas Golden Knights 0: Alexander Georgiev (25 SV) did his job better than you did yesterday, and Valeri Nichushkin (2 G) tucked in a pair as the Avs shutout the Knights in a matchup between the last two Cup winners - Vegas (23-13-5) has lost three straight games and Colorado (27-12-3) is 8-1-1 in their past 10 games

  • Dallas Stars 7, Minnesota Wild 2: Friend of the program Joe Pavelski (1 G) got the party with an early goal, and the Stars danced the night away as Esa Lindell (3 A) and Mason Marchment (2 A) served up a multitude of drinks and Dallas lit the lamp four times in the 3rd period to stomp Matt Boldy and the Wild - Dallas (24-11-5) holds third place in the Central Division and fourth place in the West

  • Philadelphia Flyers 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (SO): David Savard (1 G) put the Habs up 2-0 in the 1st period, but Owen Tippett (1 G) and Morgan Frost (1 G) tied the game for the Philly, and after a scoreless 3rd period and overtime, Sean Couturier beat Cayden Primeau (37 SV) for the only shootout goal, giving the Flyers a much-needed dub - Philly (21-14-6) sits in third place in the Metropolitan, while the Canadiens (17-17-6) are third-to-last in the Atlantic

See the full NHL box scores here and the current standings here.

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How many games did Nick Saban win as the Dolphins head coach?

A. 7

B. 10

C. 15

D. 19

Photo: Najee Harris 2021 | Source: USA Today

On January 11, 2016, and on January 11, 2021, Alabama won the college football national championship. In 2016, the No. 2 ranked Tide beat No. 1 Clemson Tigers, 45-40, in an instant classic. The game featured a matchup between Heisman winner Derrick Henry and first-team All-American Deshaun Watson, and the win gave Nick Saban his first title in the College Football Playoff era. Then, in 2021, No. 1 ranked Alabama doused Justin Fields and No. 3 Ohio State, 52-24, thanks to tremendous performances from Najee Harris, Mac Jones and another Heisman winner, DeVonta Smith - did we mention Nick Saban retired yesterday?


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Trivia Time Answer

C. 15. In his two seasons with the Dolphins, Nick Saban finished with a 15-17 record, leading the team to a 9-7 record in 2005 and a 6-10 record in 2006, his first losing season as a head coach. Miami missed the playoffs both years, and Saban left the team after the 2006 season to become the head coach at Alabama on Jan. 3, 2007 - the rest is history…

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Auburn rolled the trees at Toomer’s Corner yesterday to celebrate Nick Saban’s retirement.