Nick Saban's assistants keep getting poached, but his team remains a sure bet

There is one true constant when it comes to modern college football.

It’s not the Playoff being a farce of a supposed “fair” system. Nor is it Notre Dame choking every big game it plays away as if that was the intention.

No, it’s Alabama being an unstoppable goliath, no matter the obstacle, and no matter the players and coaches they lose. Perhaps it’s fitting the Crimson Tide mascot is an elephant because they crush everyone (almost) every time they decide to go on a stampede.

Besides losing droves of players to the NFL year after year, one area where the legendary Nick Saban hasn’t been able to prevent turnover is at offensive coordinator. Alabama has hired five different lead offensive coaches in the past nine seasons — Lane Kiffin, Brian Daboll, Mike Locksley, Steve Sarkisian, and currently Bill O’Brien.

Four of the five now have their own team as the lead dog.

Kiffin (2014-2016) is leading a resurgence with Ole Miss. After agreeing to a deal on Friday, Daboll (2017) gets to try and turn Daniel Jones (really?) into something legitimate in the NFL with the New York Giants. Locksley (2018) makes Maryland somewhat respectable in the Big Ten. And Sarkisian (2019-2020) is trying to resurrect the living, breathing corpse-zombie that is Texas football.

All the while, his coaches leave for greener (mostly browner) pastures, and none of it matters to Saban. Alabama has finished in the top 10 in offense in each of the last four years. More importantly, since they began cycling through offensive coordinators, the Crimson Tide have won three national championships and appeared in six title games.

Now rumors persist that O’Brien is seeking a return to the NFL after an ouster from the Texans only a year ago. Meanwhile, Alabama is coming off the heels of a National Championship loss to SEC rival Georgia. (In a “rebuilding year,” no less.)

It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. At least, according to Tipico Sportsbook.

In very early odds for the 2022 college football season, Saban’s Crimson Tide are tied for first at +200 with those same Georgia Bulldogs. However, the significant distinction between Saban’s squad and those Bulldogs is that next year’s projected No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, quarterback Bryce Young, is set to return. Ruh-oh, Scooby-Doo. (Scooby’s not a bulldog, right?)

The talent outpouring to the big leagues will continue in Tuscaloosa, as will the coordinator churn. But the ominous red Tide of Saban will always persist.

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