There’s no denying that Nick Saban is one of the greatest college football coaches in the history of the sport. He just led the Crimson Tide to their fourth national championship in seven years last Monday, giving the coach his fifth all-time championship.
His first national championship came in 2003, when he led arguably the Crimson Tide’s biggest rival, LSU, to a win over Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game. Just one year later, Saban left Baton Rouge for the NFL and the Miami Dolphins.
Former LSU Tiger, Shaquille O’Neal, believes that had the Tigers been willing to pay Saban, he would still be in Baton Rouge today. If he were still there, it’s likely that the Tigers would be what the Crimson Tide is today.
“We had him at LSU first. If we would have paid him the money, that would be us right now,” O’Neal said on the most recent episode of The Big Podcast. “Everything’s about money.”
There has been more to Saban’s departure from LSU as many have said he just wanted to try his hand in the NFL, which didn’t work too well after a 15-17 record in two seasons. O’Neal brushed that aside and said that it was all about money.
“I am LSU. Love Shaq University. I know everything that goes on on those grounds,” O’Neal went on. “If the Dolphins offered him six [million] and LSU came back and said ‘hey, we’ll offer you 10,’ what do you think he going to do?”
There’s no telling what the Tigers would be today had Saban stayed around, but I’m sure they would have won more than one national championship since 2004.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports