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One statistic reveals just how unprecedented Nick Saban’s run at Alabama was

Nick Saban is widely regarded as the greatest coach in the history of college football. His 17-year run at Alabama is the gold standard for success in a sport that Saban re-defined the very definition of the word.

If there’s one thing Saban’s Alabama teams were over the years — it’s consistent.

After his first year in 2007 when he was beginning to lay the groundwork for the unprecedented run, Saban’s Tide teams were in the championship conversation just about every year.

And this statistic via Alabama Crimson Tide Football Fans puts it best:

For 15 straight years between 2008-2022, Alabama at least at one point reached No. 1 in the AP Poll.

To put that into perspective, nobody else has accomplished the same feat more than six years in a row, and that title belongs to Dabo Swinney of Clemson who was able to do that between the years of 2015-2020.

With Swinney’s run came two national championship victories, ironically both over Saban’s Tide teams in 2016 and 2018.

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While Swinney’s run was impressive, it was less than half of what Saban accomplished at the peak of his powers in Tuscaloosa.

Add in the fact that Swinney is the only one on the list to do this in the 2000s, with Tom Osborne’s Nebraska teams dominating the mid 90s with four straight of the same statistic and Dennis Erickson’s Miami teams doing the same before that.

Kirby Smart is the only one with a streak as such currently active with three straight from 2021-2023, and if he is around for long enough it’s conceivable that he could reach double digits.

But don’t get it twisted: Runs like Saban had at Alabama don’t just grow on trees. Until someone unseats him, which is probably unlikely, Nick Saban is the greatest coach the sport has ever seen.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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