One of the most decorated head coaches in college football history officially hung up his whistle Wednesday, with Alabama’s Nick Saban calling it a career after 28 years and 297 wins across four universities – most notably six national championships in his glittering tenure as Crimson Tide football coach.
Saban’s Crimson Tide teams won three College Football Playoffs championships, doing so in the 2015, 2017 and 2020 seasons. Before that the Bowl Championship Series decided the national champion, and under Saban, the Tide also won those titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Saban, a 72-year-old West Virginia native, also earned a BCS title as the head coach of the LSU Tigers in 2003, netting him the most national championships of any head coach in the sport’s history.
Speculation immediately swirls about the heir apparent to a man that won 87.7% of his games in Tuscaloosa across 17 seasons with the Crimson Tide. So BetAlabama.com, the place to check on Alabama sports betting legalization efforts, put together these hypothetical odds on which candidate has the best shot at replacing Saban in 2024.
Next Alabama Football Coach Odds
Kalen DeBoer Favored To Replace Nick Saban
These odds were prepared exclusively for BetAlabama.com in the wake of Saban’s resignation. Even if you could find legal, regulated operators offering Alabama sportsbook promo codes, these odds would not be found there.
While the clubhouse leader to replace Saban at first was Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning, that no longer appears to be the case as the second-year leader tweeted Thursday that he would be staying in Eugene. Lanning previously served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia under former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart and previous to that was a graduate assistant at Alabama in 2015.
The new top candidate for AD Greg Byrne and the Alabama search committee is another coach in the Northwest, in Washington Huskies second-year head coach Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer led the Huskies to the CFP title game in 2023, guiding Washington to the program’s first undefeated regular season since going 12-0 and winning a national title in 1991.
The 49-year-old former Fresno State and Sioux Falls head coach has no ties to the SEC, but has won three national titles in the NAIA ranks at the latter stop while capturing a Pac-12 conference title this year.
Next Alabama Football Coach: Other Top Candidates
Other top candidates to replace Saban include two-time CFP champion and Alabama alumni Dabo Swinney of Clemson, who is listed at +500 to be the next Alabama head coach after going 170-43 with the Tigers since his tenure began in 2008.
Other candidates to replace Saban include former Oregon and current Miami (Florida) head coach Mario Cristobal (+700) who was the former Crimson Tide head coach’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach between 2013 and 2016. Cristobal is coaching at his alma mater, where he played from 1989-92, and also is the former head coach at Florida International at Oregon.
Outside of those three, keep an eye on former Alabama offensive coordinator and New England Patriots assistant coach Bill O’Brien, who is also listed at +700 to replace Saban. Longshot candidates include Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin (+1000), Florida State’s Mike Norvell (+1200), and three more listed at +1500: Lincoln Riley of USC, Steve Sarkisian of Texas and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.