How Many Championships Has Nick Saban Lost at Alabama?

After defeating Ohio State in the 2021 College Football Championship Game, Nick Saban has now won seven championships as a head coach. He won his first title back in 2003 with LSU and has captured six with Alabama.

Saban is undoubtedly the best head coach in college football history. Alabama has become a football dynasty ever since he joined the program in 2007.

While Nick Saban has experienced tremendous success with Alabama, there have been a few times where he’s come up short.

Nick Saban is the second-winningest coach in Alabama history

Nick Saban has won 170 regular-season games with Alabama, which is good for second in school history. Only the legendary Bear Bryant has more wins than Saban. Bryant won 232 games with the Crimson Tide.

It has been incredible to watch Saban turn Alabama into a powerhouse football team. Year after year, the Crimson Tide are a force in the SEC and have multiple players get drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. It’s a testament to how elite of a coach and leader Saban is.

During Saban’s first year at Alabama, the team went 7-6 and defeated Colorado in the Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide’s record, though, was eventually adjusted to 2-6, as Saban and Co. had to vacate five wins for the school’s involvement in improperly obtaining free textbooks.

During the 2008 season, Alabama went 12-2 in the regular season but lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl by a final score of 31-17. Some pundits were beginning to speculate that Nick Saban wasn’t the right man for the Alabama job, but the iconic tactician quickly proved his naysayers wrong.

Nick Saban’s first title at Alabama came in the 2010 BCS Championship Game

Nick Saban and Alabama took care of business against Texas in the 2010 BCS Championship Game, winning by a final score of 37-21 for Saban’s first title with the Crimson Tide. That was just the start of Alabama’s dominance.

Led by Saban’s coaching, Alabama won the 2012 and 2013 BCS Championship Game. The Crimson Tide also came out victorious in the 2016, 2018, and 2021 College Football Championship Game.

Saban has always had an elite running back, wide receiver, and defensive group at Alabama. Since he’s amazing at recruiting the best players in high school, Saban has coached in eight championship games since he became the head coach of the Crimson Tide.

Despite his historic success at Alabama, though, Nick Saban knows his team squandered two chances to win it all.

Clemson has gotten the best of the SEC powerhouse school twice


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Clemson has defeated Nick Saban and Alabama two times in the College Football Championship Game. Deshaun Watson beat the Crimson Tide in the 2017 title game, while Trevor Lawrence took out Alabama in the 2019 contest.

Overall, Saban is 7-2 in the Championship Game with LSU and Alabama. That’s an astounding record for many, but since Saban is a perfectionist, he’s probably still upset about those two losses to Clemson.

Many have wondered if Nick Saban will return to the NFL and pursue a Super Bowl trophy as his next challenge. While that would be a unique provocation for the Hall of Famer, it appears Saban is content with winning more titles at Alabama and making up for his two losses against Clemson.

Stats courtesy of Football Reference.