Nick Saban speaks candidly with Greg McElroy on the future of college football

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Former Alabama starting quarterback Greg McElroy recently started a podcast solely focusing on the world of college football. One of his first guests on the show was his former college coach, Nick Saban.

McElroy and Saban discussed a variety of topics in the nearly 30-minute interview, but a majority of the conversations involved the ever-changing landscape of college football.

Like he always does, Saban offered up some incredible responses to questions about NIL, competitive balance, and super conferences.

Saban is known for his calculated messages that sometimes even feel rehearsed, but in this conversation with McElroy, the seven-time national championship-winning head coach was very open and honest on the future of the sport we all love.

Let’s take a look at what coach Saban had to say on some of the issues facing this great sport.

Traditions may become a thing of the past

BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN-USA TODAY NETWORK

“With realignment, there’s a lot of tradition in conferences that will no longer exist. I think we’ve gone through that to some degree in the past.”

“The Oklahoma-Nebraska game used to be a big game and they’ve not been in the same conference for quite some time now. I think mega conferences are probably here to stay.”

On name, image, and likeness

Dec 11, 2021; New York, NY, USA; 2021 Heisman winner Alabama quarterback Bryce Young poses for pictures with the trophy during a press conference at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“Bryce Young has created a tremendous amount of value for himself by the way he’s played, the way he handles himself, and the leadership he has…It wasn’t given to him by somebody else and I think that’s great…but when we create other avenues for them (players) to get it (NIL money) then now you don’t have competitive balance. Somehow we have to reel all that in and make it the same for everybody.”

What keeps coach motivated

Alabama head coach Nick Saban yells to the sideline during the first half of Alabama’s A-Day NCAA college football scrimmage, Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

“My whole goal as a coach is to get everybody to reach their full potential…”

Saban's 'biggest concern' with realignment

Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban leads his team on the field prior to facing the Missouri Tigers in the 2014 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“My biggest concern is competitive balance. In the NFL, every rule that they have is to create competitive balance.”

“Some people are not going to be capable. The bottom line is we’ll lose some competitive balance, which everything we’ve always done is college football is to maintain (that). Same scholarships, everybody had to play by the same rules whether it was recruiting or (whatever). Right now, that’s not how it is.”

Full interview

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