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Listen to Nick Saban Explain Why He Changed His Coaching Philosophy and You'll Understand Why He's the GOAT

As much as I hate Nick Saban for what he has done to turn Tennessee's biggest rival into the greatest powerhouse college football has ever seen — at the exact same time the Vols have taken one of the greatest downturns the sport has ever seen — I don't see how anyone could not respect the hell out of him.

Here's a 69-year-old man who had already built a program and résumé worthy of being discussed as the greatest of all-time, yet still flipped his entire coaching philosophy from a ground-and-pound offense that needed to score just enough to let an elite defense do the work to some of the most prolific offenses the sport has ever seen. And all because he saw where the game was going and decided to change with it rather than be stubborn and do what he'd always done.

Meanwhile, schools around the SEC and the country have tried and failed repeatedly to replicate Saban's success by hiring his assistants to be head coaches, but Saban just keeps evolving while those guys are trying to do what he was doing five years ago. Kirby Smart has been a success at Georgia — although he has fallen right in line with the UGA tradition of coming up short when it really counts — but Derek Dooley, Jim McElwain, Will Muschamp and Jeremy Pruitt have have largely been colossal failures. We'll see how Lane Kiffin, who Saban credits in that clip for partially developing his new offensive attacks, ends up faring at Ole Miss.

Regardless, what Saban has done at Alabama in just a few years should be some sort of sports case study for decades to come. If you showed somebody the 2011 Alabama-LSU game that the Tigers won 9-6 in overtime and then the same teams playing a decade later where the Tide beat the defending national champions 55-17, nobody would believe the two Bama teams were coached by the same guy.

In college football, you can adapt or die. So while everybody else is still trying to figure out how Saban scored 48.5 points per game in 2020 and stop the stuff he ran last year, he's already two steps ahead on how to get to 50 this season.