Alabama Football: 5 potential head coaching candidates to replace Nick Saban

Coach Saban retires as the Greatest College Football Coach in history.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks on the field with
Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban walks on the field with / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Dan Lanning, Oregon HC

After losing Willie Taggert to Florida State and Mario Cristobal to Miami, Oregon fans would be devastated to lose another head coach to a school in the South. Dan Lanning should be at the top of Greg Byrne's list. He's young, can recruit, and his defenses gave Alabama fits when he was defensive coordinator at Georgia.

Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa at 55 years old. Lanning is 37 years old and has established himself as one of the best young coaches in college football. Coming to Alabama at his age could mean a 20-year run -- or longer -- if it works.

After coordinating one of the best defenses in modern college football history, Lanning replaced Mario Cristobal at Oregon, going 22-5 in two seasons in Eugene. If the Crimson Tide wanted Lanning's services, they'd have to pay a 20 million dollar buyout. That's a big number, even for a place like Alabama.

Lanning has said that he's committed to Oregon. The Ducks have invested in the program and paid him well. Also, the Ducks are a legitimate CFP contender even with the move to the Big Ten.