Imagine if Darth Vader was elected to the Rebel Alliance Hall of Fame for his work as Anakin Skywalker.
That’s the rough equivalent of Nick Saban’s status as headliner for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s 2020 class.
“I’m thrilled and honored,” Saban said upon the announcement. “It is a privilege to be joining so many great people in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, especially because of the great relationships we built there.
“I’m very, very flattered by this.”
Look, there’s no question Saban is a deserving inductee. The man resurrected LSU football, going 48-16 from 2000-04 and leading the Tigers to two SEC championships and a national championship in 2003. On that basis, the 35-member panel of Louisiana Sports Writer Association members were absolutely right to enshrine his place in Louisiana sports history.
But at the same time, well, there’s no one person that’s authored more pain in the hearts of Louisiana sports fans over the past 11 years than Nick Saban.
The man is 10-2 against LSU since 2008, including a string of eight straight wins. That streak could very well be nine by the time he actually enters the Hall next summer. Saban has beaten LSU teams ranked: No. 1 (in the 2011 national championship game), No. 2 (in 2015), No. 3 (in 2018), No. 5 (in 2012), No. 9 (in 2009), No. 10 (in 2013), plus four more in the top-20.
It’s like Babe Ruth going into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. (This is the part where I add Babe Ruth is actually in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.)
Again, Saban is still the best coach in LSU’s modern history and absolutely earned a spot in Louisiana’s Hall of Fame. No LSU coach post-Saban has been able to surpass Saban’s accomplishments in purple and gold, and Saban’s relentless, overwhelming success as Alabama‘s head coach is largely the reason why.