The ESPN coaching jobs showdown series kicked off with two rivals from bordering states in the same league. Up next: two national powers from different regions and conferences that command more attention than any other pair in the sport.
Alabama and Ohio State completed the 2020 season by playing for a national title on Jan. 11. The Tide prevailed, earning their sixth national championship under coach Nick Saban. The teams had never met on the sport's biggest stage before. Few programs can match the history, coaching lineage, program support and fan bases of the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes.
So which program has the better coaching job?
Of all the coaching job showdowns this summer (there will be more), Alabama vs. Ohio State might be the toughest to decide. Saban's reign in Tuscaloosa will most likely never be matched, and his impact on the program and university will remain long after he steps aside. Alabama was really bad before he arrived. Ohio State, meanwhile, hasn't won nearly as many national titles but has been one of the most consistently successful teams in American sports (more on this later).
Coaching jobs are evaluated in four areas: history (both recent and long-term); resources and administrative support; recruiting location and access to talent; and expectations and climate around the program. In addition to my own research, I spoke to coaches and other sources familiar with each program to gain a better understanding from the inside.
So, #RollTide or #GoBucks? Let's find out.