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Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach Odds: Who Will Replace Nick Saban?

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 4 mins

Alabama Crimson Tide Head Coach Odds: Who Will Replace Nick Saban?

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Like Duke after Mike Krzyzewski and Ohio State after Woody Hayes, the time has come when Alabama must do the unthinkable and replace Nick Saban. That much is now certain, with Saban reportedly telling his team he plans to retire after a legendary 17-year run in Tuscaloosa. 

It turns out that Alabama’s 27-20 Rose Bowl loss to Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinals was his swan song. 

It’s only been a little more than a year since Saban became the highest-paid coach in the sport, inking a nine-year deal that expires in 2030. But circumstance matters and things obviously changed quickly.

He obviously would have liked to go out on top. The chance to do so was squashed on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, and it’s now been three years since the Tide won a national championship – Saban’s sixth with Alabama and seventh overall. 

The landscape is rapidly changing in the NIL/portal era and once again Father Time has proved to be undefeated. 

Now it's someone else's turn to fill the biggest job in college sports. We are sure these changes will reflect in college football betting.

Next Alabama Head Coach Odds

CoachOddsImplied Probability
Mike Norvell+30025%
Steve Sarkisian+35022.2%
Lane Kiffin+45018.2%
Dabo Swinney+65013.3%
Kalen DeBoer+70012.5%
Marcus Freeman+15006.5%
James Franklin+20004.8%
Deion Sanders+50002%

These odds are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.

Who Will Be The Tide's Next Coach?

There are only a few candidates out there that make sense for a job of this magnitude. Oregon’s Dan Lanning was thought to be the front-runner in the hours after Saban's departure. But the 37-year-old dropped a video on Twitter announcing he will be staying at Oregon and inviting transfer players from across the country to join the Ducks. 

Talk about a power move. 

We don't know for sure that Lanning was Alabama's top target, but it seems highly likely given all the smoke Wednesday night and his accomplishments in Eugene. 

Lanning spent a year with Alabama as a graduate assistant, and he served as defensive coordinator for a Georgia team that beat Saban’s Tide in the 2022 National Championship. More importantly, he’s only further proven himself in just two years as the head man at Oregon. 

While Lanning is now off the board, the Tide will likely still have their pick of several top targets - including Florida State coach Mike Norvell. He's only 42 years old and would be in it for the long haul. 

Norvell has thrived with the Seminoles in recent years, posting a 23-4 record over the past two seasons. He likely would have led them to the College Football Playoff if star quarterback Jordan Travis hadn't suffered a season-ending injury late in the year. 

The next tier of potential replacements - Texas coach Steve Sarkisian, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney - are likely contenders as well for various reasons. 

Sarkisian and Kiffin are both former Saban pupils and Alabama offensive coordinators with proven track records on their own. Sarkisian took the Longhorns to the College Football Playoff this year and Kiffin puts forth one of the top offenses in the country on an annual basis. 

Others who would have been considered no-brainers a few years ago, like Clemson's Dabo Swinney, are still in the mix but further down the list. The Tigers have regressed and Swinney doesn't exactly endear himself to the general public. 

Alabama students were even filmed chanting "Anyone But Dabo" shortly after Saban announced his retirement. That would make for an awkward introductory press conference. 

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Coaches that wouldn’t have been in consideration five years ago but may now include Washington coach Kalen DeBoer, who led the Huskies to a 14-1 record and national championship appearance. Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman has also established himself as an excellent defensive-minded coach with the Irish, and he's only 38 years old. 

Our hunch is that Saban already has strong feelings about his replacement. 

He’ll want to leave the program in great hands after building one of the biggest juggernauts college football has ever seen. 

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About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.