Recruiting is Nick Saban's focus now


The Nick Saban-to-Texas circus makes for some high-flying entertainment while we wait for actual games to resume in college football.

Saban is one of the biggest names in coaching, and the Texas job -- assuming Mack Brown does indeed retire as multiple reports say he will -- is one of the biggest jobs in coaching.

As the saying goes, they do everything a little bigger in Texas.

So what is Saban doing while reports, speculation and rumors run rampant that he's headed to Texas?

He's doing one of the things he does best -- recruit. And that's all he's doing.

His focus right now is seeing as many recruits in a day as he can possibly see. He's not thinking about the Texas job, and he's not thinking about an extension at Alabama.

Saban practices what he preaches, and that's living in a 3-foot prism right in front of him.

Having talked to multiple people close to Saban and close to this situation, nobody I trust expects him to leave for Texas.

Those same people absolutely expect Texas to throw some crazy money at Saban, but there's a reason there are ongoing discussions right now between Saban's representatives and Alabama officials.

Alabama's not going to sit idly by and let Saban walk, not with everything he's meant to that university.

Besides, the only possible way that Saban would leave is if Alabama royally screwed up this process, or if by some chance, there were major administrative changes at the top of the university that adversely affected the way Saban wants to run his program.

Don't look for either to happen.

Alabama knows what a commodity it has in Saban, and the guy who hired him, Robert Witt, is now the chancellor of the University of Alabama three-campus system. They've maintained a close relationship and have a mutual respect for each other.

It's true that Saban has created a monster at Alabama with an insatiable appetite. Anything less than a championship season is a bummer, and perish the thought of the Tide ever winning fewer than nine or 10 games again.

But anybody who truly knows Saban knows that he puts far more pressure on himself than anybody on the periphery ever could. That's why the whole notion of the pressure at Alabama building to the point where it overwhelms Saban doesn't really fly.

Let's be honest here. There wouldn't be maddening pressure at Texas if the Longhorns were to fork over the ranch?

You never say never about anything, which is why you won't get anybody in Saban's camp to say there's zero chance he will leave.

These things have a way of working themselves out, and despite the reputation Saban brought with him to Alabama of being a coaching nomad, he's now been in his current job longer than anybody else in the SEC not named Les Miles, Gary Pinkel, Mark Richt or Steve Spurrier.

In this league, seven years is an eternity.

If anything, Saban has probably had too much success. He's the surest thing going right now in college football, and any school or NFL owner out there with deep pockets would love to have him.

Nobody in college athletics has deeper pockets than Texas.

And now that it looks like the Longhorns will have a coaching vacancy, it's only natural that Alabama administrators and fans would get a little nervous.

Saban, who's won 60 of his past 66 games, would be the ultimate hire for just about anybody.

The Crimson Tide hit it just right in terms of timing when they landed Saban. He wasn't happy in the NFL and was looking to get back into college coaching.

Some might suggest the timing is right for him now to take on one last challenge at Texas. In Saban's mind, like everything else in his world, his challenge is right in front of him.