Deion Sanders thinks college football changed so much it 'chased the GOAT' Nick Saban away

Nick Saban is retiring as the head coach at Alabama after the greatest 17-year run in college football history.

Tributes on social media have been flooding in for the sport’s greatest coach, including from peer and Aflac commercial co-star Deion Sanders – who had an interesting take about why the 72-year-old coach is finally stepping away.

Though Saban has yet to fully explain his reasons for walking away now, Sanders expressed his opinion that it’s due to the rapidly changing college football landscape.

“WOW! College Football just lost the GOAT to retirement. Wow!” Sanders, the Colorado football coach, wrote on X. “I knew it would happen (one) day soon but not this soon. The game has change(d) so much that it chased the GOAT away. College football let's hold up our mirrors and say HONESTLY what (do you) see.”

More: Nick Saban coaching tree: Alabama coach's impact on college football will be felt for decades

Sanders isn't wrong that college football has changed a ton in recent years, with name, image and likeness deals putting money in student-athletes' pockets and the transfer portal allowing freer player movement among the particular standouts. It should be noted, however, that few coaches have made use of these changes quite like Sanders — for the second straight year Sanders has landed the top-ranked transfer class, for starters.

And while Sanders was bemoaning the state of college football on the day Saban announced his retirement, his son Shedeur Sanders — the starting quarterback for the Colorado football team — was openly lobbying Alabama players to transfer to Boulder.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Why is Nick Saban retiring? Deion Sanders has thoughts