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What Nick Saban said about Bear Bryant after winning a seventh national title

CFP National Championship Game

Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and Alabama head coach Nick Saban hold the national championship trophy after the Crimson Tide's win over Ohio State on Monday.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — With Alabama beating Ohio State 52-24 for a national championship, Tide coach Nick Saban beat the Bear.

Saban now has seven national titles, which is a major college football record. He was tied with former Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who had six in 1961-79.

So, who's better: Saban or Bryant?

Saban has a firm opinion on that.

"Well, I don't think anybody really compares to Coach Bryant," Saban said. "In the era that he coached, the era that he won, he won a lot of different ways. He won throwing it. He won running a wishbone. He won it running conventional offensive formations.

"His legacy lasted over a long, long period of time. We all have to adjust with the times. Obviously, things are a little different now. The challenges are a little bit different with the spread offense, the things that make it more difficult I think to play good defense in this day and age.

"I think Coach Bryant is sort of in a class of his own in terms of what he was able to accomplish, what his record is, the longevity that he had and the tradition he established."

Saban added that his current teams still feel the effect of what Bryant accomplished.

"If it wasn't for Coach Bryant, we would never be able to do what we did," Saban said. "I mean, he's the one that made Alabama and the tradition at Alabama a place where lots of players wanted to come. We've been able to build on that with great support. His family has always supported us in a tremendous way that has helped us have the success that we have.

But that tradition that he established, that's a big part of that."

When Tide quarterback Mac Jones was asked if Saban was the greatest college football coach of all-time, he laughed and said, "C'mon, man. Of course he is."

"How could he not be?" Jones added. "He does it the right way. He recruits well, but more importantly develops great players and young men. I'm just so blessed that he gave me a chance to come here along with all my teammates. I wouldn't trade it for anything. He's the greatest to ever do it. He'll be the greatest for a long time."

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.