College football: 5 head coaches who could be the next Nick Saban

Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; rGeorgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart reacts after the 2023
Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; rGeorgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart reacts after the 2023 / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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It's been quite the offseason in college football. We've seen a true legend of the sport retire after a surprise trip to the College Football Playoff and subsequent blown fourth-quarter lead to send his team home in the semifinal and then we saw the national title-winning head coach leave for the NFL.

Actually, three of the programs that went to the playoff this past offseason are experiencing coaching changes as Nick Saban retired, Jim Harbaugh bolted for the NFL, and Kalen DeBoer took over at Alabama. That has to be a first as all three of their former teams will be looking to pick up the pieces and get back to the top of the mountain.

With Saban retiring, though, the greatest coach the sport has ever seen will no longer be roaming the sidelines in Tuscaloosa.

Which current head coach could take over as the next Nick Saban and dominate the sport for decades, eventually entering the GOAT (greatest of all time) conversation?

5. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss

I know what you're probably thinking: Lane Kiffin is not serious enough to be on a list like this. And while his personality is nowhere near the same as Nick Saban's, this list isn't about that. It's about winning and that's all Kiffin has done at Ole Miss in a short period of time.

Throughout Kiffin's career, he has been hoping to be taken seriously and now that he's leading Ole Miss to new heights, that's beginning to happen.

Yes, we'll get the occasional (regular) Kiffin troll tweet and he'll offer up some interesting quotes, but not all legendary coaches need to be subborn with the media and Kiffin would be a nice breath of fresh air as the top coach in the sport. He still has a long way to go for that to happen, but he has led Ole Miss to two 10-plus-win seasons in three years which is unprecedented success in Oxford and he's constantly mentioned in head coaching searches.

Kiffin is 95-49 all time as a head coach and 34-15 at Ole Miss but he's just 48 years old so he has a good 20 years of coaching left in him to become a multi-time national champion.