Paul “Bear” Bryant-Nick Saban Comparison

Alabama Football

**Note: This was a print-only story**

All-time wins:

Bear Bryant – 323 (38 seasons as a college football head coach) with 85 losses and 17 ties (.760 winning percentage)

Nick Saban – 160 (currently in 18th season as a college football head coach) with 55 losses and 1 tie (.741 winning percentage)

Wins at Alabama:

Bear Bryant – 232 (25 seasons as head coach) with 46 losses and 9 ties (.808 winning percentage)

Nick Saban – 69 (now in seventh season as head coach) with 13 losses (.841 winning percentage)

National Coach of the Year:

Bear Bryant – 3

Nick Saban – 3

SEC Coach of the Year:

Bear Bryant – 12

Nick Saban – 3

Humble first seasons:

Bear Bryant was just 5-4-1 in his first season at Alabama

Nick Saban was 7-6 in his first season at Alabama

Who won a national championship first at Alabama:

Bear Bryant won his first national championship in his fourth season (1961) as head coach at Alabama.

Nick Saban won his first national championship in his third season (2009) as head coach at Alabama.

Who won a national championship first as a head coach:

Bear Bryant won his first national championship in his 17th season (1961) as a head coach

Nick Saban won his first national championship in his 10th season (2003) as a head coach

National Championships:

Bear Bryant – 6 (all with Alabama)

Nick Saban – 4 (3 at Alabama, 1 at LSU)

Conference Championships:

Bear Bryant – 15 (13 at Alabama, 1 at Kentucky, 1 at Texas A&M)

Nick Saban – 5 (1 at Toledo, 2 at LSU, 2 at Alabama)

Conference wins:

Bear Bryant – 138-27-5 at Alabama (SEC); 3-2 at Maryland (Southern Conference); 22-19-4 at Kentucky (SEC); 14-9-1 at Texas A&M (Southwest Athletic Conference)

TOTAL: 177-57-10 (.725 winning percentage)

Nick Saban – 39-9 at Alabama (SEC); 7-1 at Toledo (MAC); 23-16-1 at Michigan State (Big Ten); 28-12 at LSU (SEC)

TOTAL: 97-38-1 (.713 winning percentage)

Heisman Trophy Winners:

Bear Bryant – 0

Nick Saban – 1 (running back Mark Ingram in 2009)

All-Americans:

Bear Bryant coached 39 All-Americans at Alabama

Nick Saban has coached 20 All-Americans at Alabama

First round draft picks with Alabama:

Bear Bryant – 13

Nick Saban – 14

Bowl game appearances:

Bear Bryant – 24 in 25 seasons at Alabama (24 straight following first season); 0 in 1 seasons at Maryland; 4 in 8 seasons at Kentucky; 1 in 4 seasons at Texas A&M. TOTAL: 29

Nick Saban – 6 in his first 6 seasons at Alabama; 4 in 5 seasons at Michigan State (*Saban resigned before coaching in his fourth and final bowl game appearance); 5 in 5 seasons at LSU. TOTAL: 15 (or 14, depending on the bowl game he didn’t actually coach in with Michigan State because he resigned)

Bowl game wins:

Bear Bryant – 12-10-2 at Alabama; 3-1 at Kentucky; 0-1 at Texas A&M. TOTAL: 15-12-2 (.517 winning percentage)

Nick Saban – 5-1 at Alabama; 0-3 (*didn’t coach in a fourth game) at Michigan State; 3-2 at LSU. TOTAL: 8-6 (.571 winning percentage)

Coached in the NFL:

Bear Bryant never coached in the NFL

Nick Saban coached in the NFL as the defensive backs coach with the Houston Oilers from 1988-1989, the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1994 and as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2005-2006

10-win seasons:

Bear Bryant – 13 at Alabama; 1 at Kentucky

Nick Saban – 5 at Alabama; 2 at LSU

Iron Bowl record:

Bear Bryant – 19-6 (longest winning streak: 9; 1973-1981)

Nick Saban – 4-2 (longest winning streak: 2; 2008-2009, 2011-2012)

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