We’ve been over this a few times – except for the money, there’s nothing that Texas have to offer that Nick Saban should feel too much of a pull towards and will make him leave Alabama. Right now, according to some of his players at the program, he’s even told them he isn’t going anywhere, although that doesn’t really mean anything.
According to AJ McCarron, who has played for Saban for the last four seasons, winning two national titles, the coach has actually told him he’s not going anywhere. That, and using the logic that Saban’s wife, Terry, isn’t going to allow him to go anywhere.
If that’s all Alabama have to go on in hoping that Saban doesn’t leave, they might need to start worrying. Saban has a tendency to leave after promising, publicly and privately, that he isn’t going anywhere. According to the Alabama AD Bill Battle, Saban is off recruiting and preparing for the Sugar Bowl, where prospects will be coming in to see Alabama play against Oklahoma. Right now, at least on the surface, no one is talking about someone else running that bowl game or someone else preparing the team for the Sooners.
In terms of salary, Alabama have said they’ll match anything Texas offer Saban. He’s already making $5.6 million a season, tied for first along with Mack Brown, who might announce to day that he’s leaving the Longhorns according to most of the rumors going around. Texas do have the Longhorns network piece of the pie to offer (1%), which is something the Crimson Tide can’t throw at him, but is it enough to sway him in order to not just leave a team he has gone 74-14 since taking the job, but take on a role of rebuilding in a program that’s not quite set to win the national title out of the blue?
Some suggest that the changing scenery – the end of the BCS and the beginning of the playoff committee is going to play a key part in his decision. It’s going to be harder to get two teams out of the same conference, and the rise of Auburn this season might suggest things are going to get more difficult in the SEC for Saban and Alabama. People only remember the last six seasons, but the Tide were in big trouble, desperate for a coaching change and direction as well before Saban took the job.
Texas are probably in something of the same place. The question is – does Saban, 62, has the power to start another project? The Big 12 is easier to win in than the SEC, but Texas still need some work done, and do have to compete with the likes of Oklahoma and the improving Texas A&M for the best recruits in the state. It becomes a question of priority, and what’s more important for Saban at this stage of his career.