KNOXVILLE – Alabama defeated Tennessee for the 12th consecutive season, a streak that Nick Saban started in 2007, his first year in Tuscaloosa.
The 58-21 win over Tennessee was the most points an opponent has scored at Neyland Stadium and the most consecutive wins over UT.
Saban, who will turn 67 on Oct. 31, is aiming for his sixth national championship since 2009 at Alabama, and it appears his tenure is not close to ending.
Saban discussed his future at SEC Media Days before the season, saying that his health and his wife’s (Terry) happiness would be key to continue coaching.
“Mrs. Terry does not want me at home,” Saban said at SEC Media Days. “I can tell you that. She doesn’t care if I’m 60, 70, or 80. So she’s looking for something for me to do. I really enjoy what I’m doing right now, and as long as I’m healthy and I can do it, I’m going to continue to do it and not worry about any numbers or what my age is or anything like that.
“But I would not want to be in the position where I ever rode the program down because I wasn’t capable of making a contribution that would be positive to the success of the program. So I’m going to continue to do this for as long as I feel like I can make a positive contribution and as long as I feel healthy enough to do it.”
Before Alabama’s 58-21 win over Tennessee, I discussed a mutual friend, Nick Taylor, with Saban’s wife, Terry. Taylor has helped with the Nick’s Kids Foundation.
Following game day in Knoxville between Alabama and Tennessee, my perspective is that Mrs. Terry is happy and Saban will be coaching at Alabama for a long time if his health continues to be well as he agreed to an extension through 2025 in July.
Taylor discussed Saban’s future at Alabama with Vols Wire after Alabama’s win over Tennessee.
“I expect for Coach Saban to work through his contract until it will expire, if not longer,” he said. “Mrs. Terry enjoys him coaching and thinks he will be coaching for a long time.”
Mike Locksley has moved into the offensive coordinator position for Saban in 2018 after being Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach last season and offensive analyst in 2016. Before arriving at Alabama, Locksley served as Maryland’s interim head coach in 2015 and as New Mexico’s head coach from 2009-11.
Taylor views current Alabama offensive analyst Butch Jones, in a similar position as Locksley two years ago, of moving up as an assistant under Saban.
“If and when Locksley gets a head coaching job, I would not be surprised if Butch Jones becomes the future offensive coordinator (at Alabama),” Taylor said.
Alabama will be on their BYE week before traveling to LSU in Week 10. Tennessee will take on South Carolina in a Week 9 road contest at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.