Nick Saban and Urban Meyer were once competing with each other for SEC and national titles. Now, the two head coaches will hit the 2025 ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

On Monday, the National Football Foundation and College Football HOF unveiled the full 2025 ballot with the prestigious former coaches headlining the ranks of newcomers. Other notable first-timers include Mark Ingram (Alabama), Alan Faneca (LSU), Aaron Donald (Pitt), Sean Taylor (Miami FL) and Manti Te’o (Notre Dame).

“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the College Football Hall of Fame inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”

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Breaking down the case for Saban and Meyer

Before we dive into his specific accolades, it is arguably the biggest no-brainer decision in the history of sports that Saban will be inducted on the ballot. While Meyer’s numbers pale in consideration to Saban’s, he should also be a lock to reach the HOF.

Across stops at Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State, Meyer finished with the 3rd-highest winning percentage in FBS history at 85.4%. He captured a pair of BCS titles for Florida and won the first-ever College Football Playoff while with the Buckeyes.

Meyer produced a pair of undefeated seasons and finished his career with a 187-32 overall record. He was 12-3 all-time in the postseason and guided the Buckeyes to 30 straight Big Ten wins at one point.

While Meyer’s lone season with the Jacksonville Jaguars was a train wreck for on- and off-field reasons, he remains one of the best head coaches of his generation and was one of the few coaches capable of getting the best of Saban.

Speaking of Saban, the undisputed GOAT retired from his long-time tenure at Alabama this offseason, but he also has time spent as a head coach at Toledo (1990), Michigan State (1995-99) and LSU (2000-04) to go with this extensive Crimson Tide tenure (2007-23).

He claims the most national championships in FBS history with 4 BCS titles and 3 more during the CFP era for 7 all-time national titles. Saban won titles at 2 programs with LSU winning 1 to go with 6 in Tuscaloosa. Saban ended his career with 292 wins, the 6th-most in FBS history, and produced a top-10 final ranking for the Crimson Tide in 16 straight season with 12 top-5 finishes in that stretch.

Along with Alabama’s on-field dominance and consistency under Saban, the Crimson Tide churned out countless NFL prospects as a development factory for the next level. His coaching tree has since branched out with many former assistants going on to find head coaching jobs at the college level, including current Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.

Saban vs. Meyer

The two legendary head coaches squared off in a pair of SEC Championships during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Meyer’s Gators would win 31-20 in 2008 en route to their BCS national title while Saban’s Tide would get revenge in 2009 before capping off a 14-0 season with a BCS title.

The other high-profile meeting between the two head coaches came in 2014 in the inaugural Playoff. That game featured multiple star players and was won by the Buckeyes with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 230 yards and Alabama QB Blake Sims throwing 3 interceptions. Ohio State would eventually beat Oregon in the CFP title game that season.