Want to save college football? Nick Saban for commissioner

The idea of a college football commissioner is not new, but it's needed now more than ever, and Nick Saban could be the perfect person to fill that role.
Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; University of Alabama former head coach Nick Saban attends a
Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; University of Alabama former head coach Nick Saban attends a / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

I can hear you already. Everyone glad to see Nick Saban finally done with ruining your fall Saturdays is just cringing and wailing at the words in that headline. But hear me out. It may, in fact, be a benefit to keep him around.

College football is in a state of chaos like has never been seen before. The seismic shift in the sport happened so quickly and to such extremes that suddenly we are faced with a crisis, and that's not an exaggeration.

The College Football Playoff expansion was supposed to fix some of the problems, but now with the Pac-12 being mothballed and other conferences gaining even more power, the number of teams proposed for college football's postseason seems to be changing by the hour.

NIL and the transfer portal have become unruly beasts threatening to rip apart the fabric of the sport. These were two initiatives that were well-intended, but thanks to the NCAA's refusal to provide any leadership or oversight (for a shocking change), NIL and the portal have become a lawless territory where even schools who are quick on the draw are being gunned down.

College football coaches -- both head and assistant -- are throwing up their hands in disgust en masse and bolting for the NFL or outright retirement. This coaching exodus has only exacerbated the transfer portal problem. And this isn't just a problem for the have-nots. Even national championship favorite Georgia has lost four assistant coaches this season.

In short, the sport of college football seems to have become an even bigger version of survival of the fittest, and nobody knows where to turn for leadership or answers.

Is it too late to fix the huge issues facing college football?

With the entire wold of college football looking so topsy-turvy, and the NCAA looking more and more like the puppet regime they probably always were, the question begs - how can this all be fixed?

The most obvious, and possibly only solution is to make college football it's own league and to hire a commissioner to run it. Create the set of universal rules the sport has always needed, especially when it comes to NIL and transfers, and put everyone on as equal a playing field as possible.

What those rules are and how they'd be applied is a discussion for another time, but for now the ideal person to take that job and turn the sport around is the man so many loved to hate, Nick Saban.

Before you all start screaming about how Nick Saban would only make decisions to benefit Alabama, take off your school-colored blinders and think about the facts.

Saban has the perfect personality to be a commissioner. He speaks bluntly, has no tolerance for stupidity (or stupid questions), expects his orders to be followed, and isn't afraid to make changes when something isn't working - even in the middle of the game (ask Georgia fans about that one).

He also has the clout with players, the media, and schools all over the nation. Nobody liked losing to Saban on a regular basis, but everyone certainly respected what he was able to consistently do.

Nick Saban also has the ability to be affable, even likable. His personae away from the field is practically the polar opposite of the gruff, terse, and easily annoyed man whom so many reporters have pestered at precisely the wrong time. His press conferences are legendary for not just tirades, but a bit of goofiness as well.

Most importantly, Nick Saban has the needed institutional knowledge of the sport. Not only was he was of the most successful college football coaches of all time, but his career as a coach spanned 50 years including a couple in the NFL.

Help us, Nick Saban. You're our only hope.

There may be no person on the planet who has gleaned as much from the sport as Nick Saban, and that tome of college football erudition would be of the utmost importance because a person leading this sport must understand both the successes and mistakes of the past before being able to map the future.

His success in teaching and training assistant coaches to become great head coaches would also ensure that his post as commissioner would be followed by people who shared his vision and understood the assignment. The goals would always remain in sight.

But why would the all-powerful Nick Saban -- who benefitted for so many years under the system that saw the rich consistently get richer -- care about the welfare of other programs around the country, particularly those "have-nots"?

This is in Saban's blood. He loves being in charge and he loves rebuilding what's broken. Instead of just a single program, he'd have an entire sport to build in his own image and likeness. The statue that stands tall in Tuscaloosa would pale in comparison to the permanent tribute Commissioner Saban would likely get if he were able to guide college football back from the abyss.

And while Saban and his Crimson Tide teams were many times the beneficiary of broken systems, it's easy to forget that he was often the one person calling NCAA decisions and changes in direction into question. He was the one who predicted we'd end up exactly where we are today.

The choice is so obvious and the qualifications are unmatched. The greatest college football coach of all time, who rescued two major programs from the brink of collapse, could potentially save college football from self-destruction and even bring it back to a better place than it was pre-meltdown.

During his coaching career, Nick Saban did all he could to dash the hopes and dreams of so many college football coaches, players, and fans. This would be his opportunity to atone for those wrongdoings -- and for Alabama fans to continue their chirping and chest-pounding about Saban still ruling the world of college football.