Notre Dame football fans should be plenty happy to see Nick Saban go

The Notre Dame football team hasn't faced off against Nick Saban that often, but when it did, it was absolutely dominated.
Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame Fighting
Jan 1, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Notre Dame Fighting / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A program like Notre Dame football doesn't have all that many coaches who can claim they truly dominated it. As it turns out Nick Saban is one such coach. And that's why Fighting Irish fans are likely not shedding a tear over his retirement.

Over the course of his long career, Notre Dame football faced off against Nick Saban five times. Each and every time the progam did so, no matter where Saban was and who was the Fighting Irish coach was, the game ended in defeat for the Golden Domers.

Bob Davie's Notre Dame football team fell short, often

1997 was the first time that the Irish faced off against a Nick Saban coached team. He wasn't yet the GOAT he retired as this week, but he was still a very good college coach.

That was demonstrated when Bob Davie's Fighting Irish squared off against Michigan State and lost 23-7. The defeat dropped Notre Dame to 1-2 at the time and Davie's squad finished just 7-6 on the season.

The following year, the Spartans whipped the Irish even harder, rolling out to a 42-3 halftime lead before eventually winning 45-23. It's safe to say that by this time, Bob Davie was plenty sick of seeing Nick Saban's face on the other side of this once-staunch rivalry game.

In 1999, Saban upended Davie's squad for a third straight season, though this was the hardest fought of the trio of games. Notre Dame football and Michigan State sat tied at 13 with just over 5 minutes to play. However, an 80-yard touchdown gave the Spartans the win and they added a late field goal as insurance to win, 23-13.

It's worth pointing out that none of those three Spartan teams were world beaters. Only the 1999 version could claim to be among the best in the country. Saban went just 23-13 in that span.

Notre Dame football dominated for the title

The Irish didn't face off against a Saban team for 14 years, and after the 2013 BCS National Championship game, Irish fans likely wished it had been longer.

Notre Dame was hoping for a title, but ran into a buzzsaw Alabama squad that emerged victorious 42-13. But that wasn't the final heartbreak Nick Saban handed South Bend faithful.

In 2021, Notre Dame football was dominated again in the CFP Semifinals by a Crimson Tide squad that went on to win the whole thing. That's hardly solace for Nick Saban finishing his career 5-0 against the Fighting Irish with a 31-14 victory.