Credit: ESPN

Between them, Nick Saban and Bill Belichick have 13 championships as head coaches. Coincidentally, they did all of that winning around the same time.

Belichick racked up those six Super Bowl victories between 2001 and 2018 while Saban secured all his national titles between 2003 and 2020.

Their head coaching careers also ended* at the same time, with Saban announcing his retirement this past January while Belichick’s time with the Patriots ended and he was unable to find a new gig (for potentially juicy reasons).

And while they’ve both dabbled in broadcasting before, this past weekend’s NFL Draft was truly both of their coming out parties as official broadcasters. Saban worked alongside his new College GameDay colleagues for ABC’s coverage while Belichick joined The Pat McAfee Show‘s Draft Spectacular.

By the time both presentations were done, it was abundantly clear to audiences that both former coaches had a fine future ahead in the TV world.

Often grumpy, curmudgeonly, and unwilling to offer answers when he was a coach, Belichick seemed quite at ease not only commenting on draft selections but harshly judging their potential. His authoritative voice carries a ton of weight, so if he thinks a player can success or fail, people pay attention. This was perhaps never clearer than when he ripped Patriots draftee Drake Maye.

If the Draft Spectacular was a preview of what’s in store when Belichick appears on the ManningCast and Pat McAfee Show next NFL season, he set the bar pretty high.

Saban brought a similar gravitas to his stint on ABC. While he might not have been as intense as Belichick in his player assessments, he provided some quality information and insight. He also seemed to be very adept at knowing when to speak and when to let the other analysts go, a confident awareness that will serve him well during the season (though he’ll probably want to think twice about sharing some of his recruiting stories).

Plus, he’s only going to get looser the more campus visits he makes with GameDay, which should bring out even more playfulness as he gets used to that.

While Fox is holding its breath as it waits to find out if Tom Brady will be able (or is even interested) to announce a football game capably, ESPN has to be breathing a huge sigh of relief over Saban and Belichick’s performances this past week. These two are about to become major faces for their college football and NFL programming this season and they both passed this test with flying colors. While Belichick’s future beyond that remains a little cloudy, it’s clear that both of them have the opportunity to continue following that twin path to success, just in a different field this time.

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to