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The absence of Bill Belichick and Nick Saban will change the landscape of football

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Now, here’s Mike Sykes.

Goooood morning, folks! Happy Thursday! Hope you’re doing well. Welcome back to the Morning Win. Thanks so much for reading us today. We appreciate it.

I woke up this morning thinking I’d just be jotting down thoughts about Nick Saban. Nope. Absolutely not. Not even a full day after Alabama’s head coach announced his retirement, Bill Belichick announced he’s stepping down from the New England Patriots. It’s unreal. In less than 24 hours, football might be losing the two greatest coaches ever to grace the sidelines. I say might because there’s a possibility Belichick continues to coach after this, but man. This certainly does feel a lot like the end. If it is, what a glorious run it has been for both of them.

Saban is college football royalty. He is the greatest to do it at the college level. Some coaches have won more total games, sure. But nobody has done it better. Seven national championships. Eleven SEC titles. Seven College Football Playoff appearances and 49 NFL players. That’s sick. READ MORE

On Belichick’s side, there’s also no question that he’s the best coach to ever do it. His six Super Bowl wins are the most all-time. Along with that, his 31 playoff wins are the most all-time. He also coached Tom Brady, which is a feat in itself. READ MORE

But, as they say, Father Time falls victim to no one. Eventually, everything catches up to success. Or, rather, maybe success just slows down. One day you wake up and you’re just not what you used to be. It’s the only inevitability life presents to us. We’ll all experience that someday. That’s how good these guys were. The only thing that could truly rid the opposing fanbases they tortured of them year after year was time. That’s why they’re out. It was just time. Saban and Belichick have done everything they can do. They have nothing left to prove to anyone. Their greatness is unmatched and probably will be for the rest of forever.

Kawhi Leonard is still one of the best players in the NBA. That’s why it was a no-brainer for the Clippers to sign him to the $153 million extension the team did on Wednesday. There were lots of people questioning it, though. Not because of Leonard’s ability, but because of his health. Obviously, Leonard has struggled to stay on the court over his last four seasons with L.A. READ MORE

Quick hits: Why Bill Belichick might hang around … Who replaces Saban? … and more

— Our Meghan Hall has one big stat here that might end up keeping Bill Belichick around for more.

— Here’s Blake Schuster with seven candidates to potentially replace Nick Saban

— And here’s Charles Curtis with seven potential landing spots for Belichick if he does choose to stay in the NFL and keep coaching.

— UConn just can’t stop the injury bug. Aurbey Griffin is out with a torn ACL now. Meghan Hall has more here.

— Oddsmakers think Jim Harbaugh’s next stop is in the NFL. We’ll see.

— Here are our January NBA Power Rankings so far. The Celtics are just better than everyone else.

That’s all, folks! Thanks so much for reading TMW today. We appreciate you. Have a fantastic day. Let’s chat again tomorrow. Until then, peace. -Sykes


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