DEBATE: Alabama’s Nick Saban or UConn’s Jim Calhoun?

Who is the better coach? Alabama football coach Nick Saban or UConn's basketball coach Jim Calhoun?

You can expect more debates and discussion about where Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban falls in the pantheon of coaching greats. It is understandable. Saban just led Alabama to its 14th national championship (ninth of the poll era) and the third of Saban’s career (LSU 2003 and Alabama 2009 & 2011). By any measure, Saban has accomplished much. Other coaches have too.

So, Total College Sports Analysts Sean Salisbury and Tim Doyle compare the careers of Alabama’s Nick Saban and Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun.

The debate centers on Calhoun’s building of UConn versus Saban’s winning at schools like Alabama and LSU that already had a tradition of producing NFL players and championships.

Is this a fair comparison to make? Can we compare across sports like this? And more interestingly, is one point made in the debate—that Alabama’s Nick Saban is getting close to Bryant’s standing in college football. What do you think? What will it take for Saban to challenge Bryant’s standing at Alabama?


Add Yours
  1. 1
    Denny Chimes

    I think when he equals the number of Bryant’s NCs or overall victories, he will be seen in the same light by Bama fans. I think ultimately because Bear played at Bama and could have stayed at Texas A&M but allowed Mama to call him home instead, he will hold a special place in our hearts that can never be eclipsed.

    You can’t compare to a basketball coach though…Apples and oranges

    • 2

      I think that Saban is no longer in the shadow of Bryant but I would hesitate to elevate him to an equal status with Bryant.
      I will wait untill Sabans career is over to compare the two.
      I do believe that Saban is the best now coaching in America.

  2. 3

    How rediculous. There is no comparison. Basketball is a childs game compared to football. 5 players running up and down the floor like chickens with their heads chopped off versus up to 35 olayers on offense, defense and special teams, all orchestrated with precision moves, to perform at a superior level while getting the shyt knocked out of them by the opponent. It’s beyond phucking absurd to even mention Saban and Calhoun in the same breath. And I’m not talking about just Saban and Calhoun. I’m talking about football and basketball period, regardless of who is coaching. RTR!

  3. 4

    This guy Salisbury is another Garlic …..Golic. He got his steak burned on the prediction of the BCS game. I believe he and Corso sleep togeather. RTR

  4. 5
    David C.

    Coaching has to be much different today. Media, national recruiting, special interests, agents, internet, longer schedules, and not to mention the huge cash cow that college football has become. I am a die hard Bama fan and love Bear Bryant. He died during my six grade English class and I will never forget my huge teacher (6’6”) fell to the floor and cried in front of all of us. With that, I do not think Bryant or any of the former greats had the skills to manage what the coaches today faced. I think it is comparing apples to oranges.

    • 6

      david, no offense, but you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Coach Bryant became a legendary coach because of his adaptability. throughout his career he changed and adapted to stay one step ahead of the competition.

      He won three national titles in the sixties (should have been four) and when the competition caught him he morphed his offense into the wishbone and won three more national titles (and should have been four).

      also think of the knock on today’s spread offense. (the wishbone on steroids)

      defenses on teams running the spread can’t practice against traditional offensive schemes and have problems with it.

      Coach Bryant’s defenses were some of the toughest in his day and rarely had those kinds of problems.

      to think that Coach Bryant couldn’t excel today shows a lack of understanding how the man ticked.

      in the end he retired because he knew the game had caught him again, a change needed to be made again and his health wouldn’t let him live up to it.

      but he knew what had to be done. he had done it so many times before.

      he was a winner then and he would be today.

      he was the greatest then and would also be today.

      • 7
        David C.

        This is all opinionated and of course hypothetical so I am not going to argue. I loved the legacy of the Bear, but I can’t see any of our greatest generation putting out the same results today.
        Coach Bryant was no saint and he did things that would not fly with todays media attention.
        I do not think that Saban is a better coach but I do believe he is a better CEO.
        It is naive and a bit closed-minded to think that Bryant would just plough through everyone today like he did in his days.

  5. 8
    # 1 al. fan

    Think Coach Saban is in a class all by himself. I loved ‘Bear’ as much as the next fan,always will however,LIke the above mentioned times have changed and so has the amount of money etc,. Saban is creating his own dynesty at Bama and if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as “Bear’ all he has to do is win the trophy again this season… you know, as in repeat, if it can be done I believe he is the one to do it! RTR!!

  6. 9

    #1 Ditto. Could not agree more. I saw the “Bear” many times. Never talked to him. The guys that played for him, at least at ‘Bama loved him. Oh,yeah, one more thing- don’t make him have to come of the tower.Coach Nick will show us much more in the years to come. RTR!!!

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