Saban named to Dodd Trophy preseason watchlist
ATLANTA, Ga. (WTVY) - We are just a little over a month-and-a-half away from the 2023-24 college football season, with the landscape of college football set to change drastically at the conclusion of the upcoming gridiron campaign with new look Power 5 conferences and an expanded College Football Playoff. One thing that will always remain the same though in college football is the preseason expectations for teams, players, and even coaches.
One of the best case examples for coach expectations is the release of the preseason watch list for the 2023 Dodd Trophy, the annual award named after former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Dodd that honors the top head coach of the FBS season whose team excels not just on the field, but also in the classroom and the community.
This year’s preseason watch list, based off those three pillars of expectation, features some of the nation’s top college coaches heading some of the most celebrated programs who also show success academically and through service and charity work.
Among the field for this year’s award is Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban. Entering his 17th season with the Tide, Saban will look to build off an 11-2 record from last season that ended with a Sugar Bowl crown following two close conference losses against Tennessee and LSU and with Alabama missing the CFP for only the second time since its creation in 2014.
Saban is already a previous winner of the Dodd Trophy, taking home the honor in 2014, which accounts for one of several honors achieved by the highly-regarded coach during his career. Among those achievements is being a 7-time national champion (six at Alabama, one at LSU), a 10-time SEC Champion (eight at Alabama, two at LSU), and a 2-time Paul “Bear” Bryant and Walter Camp Award winner for being national coach of the year, among other honors.
Only one other SEC coach made the Dodd preseason watch list, that being Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman. The ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten all have five nominees each, while there is one nominee a piece representing the Pac-12, American Athletic Conference and Mountain West. Along with Saban, five other coaches on the preseason watch list are former winners, that being North Carolina’s Mack Brown (2008), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (2011), Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (2015), Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (2019), and Tulane’s Willie Fritz (2022).
The midseason watch list, narrowing or adding onto the 21 coach field, will be released in the fall, with the final list being released at the conclusion of the 2023 regular season and the Dodd Trophy winner being announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which is scheduled for December 30.
To view the complete press release and the full 2023 preseason watch list, you can click here.
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