Among the top storylines of another fantastic year in college football, perhaps none stands out more than the Alabama Crimson Tide and their pursuit of three straight national championships. To put this feat into perspective, Army was the last successful three-peat in NCAA FBS, way back in 1944-1946. At the center of Alabama's incredible run is Coach Nick Saban, keeping his team focused despite intense expectations year after year, while also positively impacting the Tuscaloosa community.
Once again, Saban is a leading candidate for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, which he previously won in 2008. If he garners support for another win this season, he would become the first two-time winner at the FBS level in the eight-year history of the award. Saban's resume speaks for itself in seven seasons with the Crimson Tide: a 76-13 record, three national championships (2009, 2011, 2012) and three SEC Coach of the Year awards (2003, 2008, 2009). So far this year, Alabama avenged last season's loss to Texas A&M with a gutsy road victory in the second game of the season, while dominating SEC opponents LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee.
With all that success, what shouldn't go under the radar are Saban's exceptional leadership skills. Time and again, he's proven himself as a true teacher of the game, as so many members of Coach Saban's staff have gone on to become head coaches at exceptional football programs. Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Will Muschamp (Florida), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) and Jim McElwain (Colorado State) all represent branches the "Saban Coaching Tree". These coaches are not only seen as great leaders on the field, but also consistently educate players to give back outside of football as well.
On that front, Saban and his wife Terry are co-founders of the organization Nick's Kids, the recipient of Saban's 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award donation. Since 1998, the Nick's Kids has donated over $2.5 million to support children, family, teacher and student causes. One large initiative of Nick's Kids is a partnership with Habitat for Humanity called "15 for 15"; a commitment to help build 15 houses representing each of the 15 National Championships that Alabama has won.
Alabama's perfect season is still intact, but in the home stretch, the team still faces a very tough assignment when they travel to Auburn for the SEC regular season finale on November 30th. The nation will be watching as Saban's Crimson Tide continues their quest, one that hasn't been accomplished in almost 70 years.