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Nick Saban lands First Blow ahead of new NCAAF Season
Updated August 26, 2022
The new NCAAF season kicks off this week, and if the action on the pitch is anything like it, it will be one hell of a season. Yes, he may have lost out to Kirby Smart on the playing field last year, but the latest NCAAF news shows Nick Saban has just trumped his rival off the pitch.
Saban smacks down Smart before a ball is kicked
And what has happened over the past few days shows that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is certainly not under any pressure to deliver this season, that’s for sure. Saban has just managed to negotiate himself a nice pay rise. Making himself the highest-paid head coach at a public university again.
Saban had been replaced as the highest earner by Georgia’s Kirby Smart. Smart briefly overtook Saban as the highest earner, signing a new deal just a few weeks back. His reward for leading the Bulldogs to their first national championship in over 40 years.
Georgia clearly understood the significance of Smart’s achievements last year. They didn’t want to risk losing the popular leader at the university’s helm since 2015. At just 46 years of age, Smart will be a man in demand.
Smart was Highest Earner for just 33 Days
But after just 33 days of being the highest earner on the college football circuit, Smart has already lost that title to Nick Saban.
Let’s not underestimate what has happened here. Saban only signed a new deal last summer, which would have kept him at Alabama until 2028. So this latest contract shows how keen the university is to keep Saban’s ego massaged and portray itself as the big attraction in college football.
Saban’s new deal is rumored to be for $11.7 Milliona year and sees his contract extended to 2030. He is regarded asthe best football coach in the NCAAF, so maybe he’s entitled to be paid the most.
Has Saban Followed Sir Alex Ferguson’s Lead?
This smacks a little of the deal that legendary soccer manager Sir Alex Ferguson managed to negotiate for himself at Manchester United when he was in his pomp.
Knowing his importance to the club and recognizing the spirling rises in players’ wages. Ferguson negotiated a deal that said whatever the highest earner at the club was getting, he would get £1 more. So if any soccer player was brought in on big money, or any current player got a huge raise in a new contract, Ferguson was also rewarded.
Fergie, as he was also known, was also widely regarded as the best manager/head coach in the business. Maybe Saban has spent his offseason reading Fergie’s autobiography?
As for the NCAA, Kirby Smart’s reward for winning last season’s championship was a raise to $11.2 Million. Which was more than Saban’s reported previous $9.9 Million deal. So this looks like either a good play on the part of Saban or a massive publicity stunt. Either way, Saban has landed the early blow over his rival ahead of the coming season.
New NCAAF Season Starts This Weekend
On the pitch, the new College Football season gets underway with Week 0 fixtures this Saturday. None of the leading players is taking part. So it’s a good time to look at who is the team most likely to win this season’s championship.
Who is the Favorite to be NCAAF National Champion in 2023?
The Crimson Tide were the team to beat last season, and as we’ve alluded to, the Bulldogs beat them, winning the final 33-18 in Indianapolis. This season the Crimson Tide are again the favorites and already appear to be the team to beat. They have already been the favorite with the best Vegas online betting sites.
In the latest Vegas NCAAF odds, the leading five contenders are Alabama (+175), Ohio State (+300), Georgia (+350), Clemson (+1000), and USC (+1800). After those five, the odds lengthen significantly. The rest have already seemingly been written off by the best sportsbooks.
The Crimson Tide get their new season underway against Utah State Saturday, September 3rd; the Tide are not expected to be upset in any shape or form. Early indications suggest the spread could be as much as 40 points in favor of Saban’s team.
Alabama Crimson TideTo Win 2023 NCAAF National Championship
As for the second favorites, Ohio State, they also start the season at home. The Buckeyes will meet the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium. Third favorites in the betting, Georgia Bulldogs, face Oregon at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on the same day.
For the rest of the other betting favorites, the Clemson Tigers visit Georgia Tech on Monday, September 5th. At the same time, USC faces the Rice Owls in the LA Memorial Coliseum on Saturday 3rd, September.
NCAA Football Heads to Ireland
There are some notable fixtures this weekend in Week 0. The headline match-up is in Ireland, where Nebraska takes on Northwestern at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
So, will Alabama reclaim the title they were supposed to be a shoo-in to walk away with last season? Or will one of their chief rivals, or maybe someone from the pack, upset the odds and the Crimson Tide again this season? One thing is for sure; Nick Saban’s already one up on his rivals.
Dean has a strong affinity for the English Premier League and cricket, but his extensive understanding of sports allows him to discuss a wide range of athletic topics. Previously, Dean has explored the world to attend events such as the FIFA World Cup and Ashes cricket matches, but currently, he prefers to enjoy sports from the coziness of his home.