Paul “Bear” Bryant vs Nick Saban. The Alabama football program has been blessed to have one, if not two of the greatest football minds to walk the colligate sidelines. All Bryant did was win. All Saban has done is win. Not only games, but championships. Coach Saban can do something that Coach Bryant did not do. And that would be to three peat as national champions. Coach Bryant was close with his run in 1977,78 and 79 and again in 1964, 65 and 66. Both times the media decided that it wasn’t to be. For Coach Saban to do so, with the schedule left, it is still a monumental task. LSU and auburn both are lurking in the shadows and neither will be a cakewalk. Both games will require Alabama’s full attention for 60 minutes.
Comparing the two coaches doesn’t seem fair to me though. I know it is only human nature to want to. But really it isn’t fair to either coach. Coach Bryant’s era was less restricted as far as recruiting goes. Coach Bryant also didn’t have to deal with hurry up offenses or sports agents in todays terms. My question is could Coach Bryant do well in todays era. My answer would have to be yes.
But, if you want to compare the two,… besides the winning aspect. They both were leaders on and off the field. They both require/required class from the players, again on and off the field. They both demand/demanded excellence. Discipline, hard work ethics, mental and physical toughness were part of what they teach/taught as coaches and men. They not only are coaches,.. they are teachers. And in some cases, father figures.
Yes, Alabama has been blessed to have had Coach Bryant and Coach Saban. I was lucky in that I grew up in most of Coach Bryant’s era. I got to experience that winning. I saw Coach as he taught his players how to act on and off the field. Did they always listen? No. So some things never change. I never thought of Alabama having another coach or a run at championships like we have today. Alabama has Coach Saban to thank for that. And also Coach Mal Moore who brought Coach Saban to Alabama to begin with.
Three peat or no,… that remains to be seen. But whatever happens this season, it has been a fun ride. And as always, Roll Tide Roll!!