Alabama coach Nick Saban has shown no inclination to deviate from the monotonous cycle of climbing to the top of the college football mountain, going back to the bottom, and then climbing the same mountain again. But there’s a bigger mountain looming next to Mt. NCAA, one that Saban once tried unsuccessfully to climb.
For that reason alone, it’s worth making a phone call to Saban’s longtime agent, Jimmy Sexton, about a possible return to the NFL. And, surely, there’s a number between $10 million and $20 million per year that would get Saban to say “yes.”
The challenge then, as it would be now, is the issue of control. Saban will want it. Others within the Colts and Giants have it, and they may not want to give it up.
Ultimately, however, it comes down to what the owner wants to do. And if guys like Jim Irsay and John Mara want to make a Jon Gruden-type splash, and if they’re willing to pay for it, maybe they do whatever it takes to get Saban.
A potential return, which at this point seems highly unlikely, would hinge on Saban being sufficiently tormented by his NFL failure with the Dolphins — and sufficiently confident it will be different this time — to give it another go. For now, it seems like Saban will keep climbing that same mountain he has scaled repeatedly, reaching the summit so many times that he’ll set the bar so high no one will ever come close to matching it.