While Nick Saban not signing the most recent extension offered to him might be slightly worrying, the bottom line is that in Alabama most people don’t seem to think that their head coach is going to make the decisions of giving up on the program and sign at Texas just because they’re offering more money.
Why should he? Alabama might not win the national title, but Saban has gotten through that in the past, and leaving just because there’s a one-loss season doesn’t make sense, especially after already signing an extension that runs through 2020.
There’s also the place of the program – Alabama might not end up as champions, but there is no other school in better shape, bringing in the best recruiting classes more or less year after year. Yes, he might have to adopt to a new quarterback and get ready for a two or three loss season before things get back to normal, but Texas isn’t offering anything more except for money.
At 62, is Saban ready for another rebuilding job? No school offers more money than Texas, but it’s hard to thing of another program with boosters and other influence types trying to stick their hands where it doesn’t belong. Saban isn’t a yes man and isn’t planning on becoming one anytime soon. Texas need to do some rebuilding before things return to the way they were 5 and maybe more years ago. Even with Brown at the height of his power, they were usually the second best team in the Big 12.
Right now, Saban is recruiting, which might mean he’s planning on staying with Alabama, even without saying anything. He has a deal for seven more years, but that doesn’t stop his name from being thrown around in the rumor mill time and time again. Even a new extension won’t end it, with other College Football programs (what’s bigger than Alabama, frankly?) or the NFL, which might have passed and gone for Saban, who gave up on that the moment the Tide came calling.
Underneath the surface, some people in Tuscaloosa are slightly worried. He bolted Michigan State for LSU, LSU for the NFL and the Dolphins for a chance to coach Alabama. The question is – does he have enough desire and power inside him for another long haul in a school that isn’t a quick fix? Most indicators suggest that no, and staying in Alabama, where Saban has said before he’ll end his career, is what will happen in the end.