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Is Nick Saban planning to retire after the College Football Playoff?

The rumor mill is abuzz that this could be it.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Coaches Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban, at 72 years of age, has dealt with rumors of his impending retirement for several years now. Leading up to the College Football Playoff, the buzz seems to be increasing.

In particular, Dennis Dodd is speculating that this year could be it.

Meanwhile, the Saban retirement buzz started bubbling up about a month ago. Will perhaps the greatest college football coach of all time actually consider stepping down? One agent told CBS Sports his phone started blowing up within the last 30 days with informed conjecture that this could be it for Saban.

In a way, that’s nothing new. Such talk has surfaced from time to time as Saban, 72, gets older and continues to stack championships.

This might be more of that ... or it might mean eight national titles is enough for the legend should Bama win it all again.

Dodd has a quote from Dallas Turner in there saying that he’s heard rumors, and when Kevin Steele was asked about it last week, he just said that nobody knows but Nick. Justin Eboigbe and Kool Aid McKinstry aren’t buying that Nick is ready to walk away.

“He always says, ‘why would I walk away, and do what?’” Eboigbe said. “First day I came in he still has the same fire and passion that he does now.”

Cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry agreed with Eboigbe.

“I don’t see no thoughts of just seeing him in general that this may be it for him,” McKinstry said. “This is new to me now. It never crossed my mind before.”

You may recall that Lane Kiffin got a bit nostalgic about his time with Saban before Ole Miss played Alabama, and said this:

“So, we’re very excited for this opportunity today — and you never know how many more you’ve got,” the Rebel coach added. “Maybe this is our last time. So, we’ll be very excited for this opportunity today, and so much respect for Coach and the Alabama football program.”

Is it possible that Lane knew something the rest of us didn’t?

Steele is likely correct that nobody knows but Nick. If now is the right time to hang them up, then countless words will be written this offseason on an unprecedented legacy. What he and Miss Terry have meant to Tuscaloosa goes far beyond his enormous accomplishments on the football field.

And if this is the time, may he ride off into the sunset with an eighth national title. For today, you can bet that beating Michigan is all that’s on his mind.

Roll Tide.