Rece Davis Nick Saban Credit: ESPN College GameDay on YouTube

College GameDay will look a little different next season. After  Nick Saban announced his retirement following the 2023 college football season, ESPN announced that the legendary coach would join the crew.

ESPN’s Rece Davis, the host of College GameDay for several years, discussed Saban‘s move to ESPN on this week’s episode of the College GameDay Podcast on YouTube.

After calling Saban’s move to ESPN “the worst kept secret in television and college football,” Davis said, “Nick has already shown a remarkable ability to slide into that seat and provide expert analysis. He handles the tapes well. He understands how to speak in headlines because he is a gifted public speaker. Not just to his team. If you’ve heard him in any other format, it’s quite an impressive thing.”

More from Davis:

“So I don’t have any doubt at all that he will thrive in this role, and I’m looking forward to the new dynamic. We’ve always said, Pete, for as long as I’ve been a part of it, that you have to find ways to improve. You cannot stand still, and certainly, I think if you bring Nick Saban into any mix, whether it be your Ferrari dealership, your Mercedes dealership, or your television program, you best not stand still.”

Davis also joked around that Saban doesn’t have to worry about college basketball like Davis has to each week for the college basketball version of the show. And Davis’ co-host Pete Thamel went into his perspective on Saban joining the team.

“I do think we’re all going to have our spine a little straighter with Nick Saban around the meeting room and on our Monday Zooms. What a cool opportunity for us to be around a football mind like that and to be able to talk about the game. I’ve already heard he’s 100 miles per hour into Draft prep,” Thamel said.

“I’m excited,” Thamel said. He said he’s ready to learn a lot about football around Saban, who is one of the best football minds out there.

Thamel and Davis also discussed how Pat McAfee can add a lot to Saban’s presence there. Thamel credited McAfee in bringing personality out of Saban, and joked with Rece that it “might not be fun” to manage.

Davis claimed he relished that thought and, while they have a great group, Saban’s presence will only enhance it.

[College GameDay Podcast]

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Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022