Nick Saban's retirement predicted to make Iron Bowl lesser rivalry than Red River Rivalry and Lone Star Showdown

Alabama v Auburn
Alabama v Auburn / Michael Chang/GettyImages

Mike Farrell Sports' Rock Westfall believes that Nick Saban retiring could take some of the luster away from the Iron Bowl; giving way to the Red River Rivalry and the Lone Star Showdown becoming the premier football games on the SEC's schedule every year.

"The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn is considered the best," Westfall prefaced before saying, "However, Auburn has only three wins since 2008 and is currently on a four-game losing streak. With Alabama coach Nick Saban's retirement, perhaps a competitive rebalance will emerge.

"As good as those rivalries are, the two new ones (Red River Rivalry, Lone Star Showdown) will quickly challenge as the best in the SEC. Yes, they are that dang good."

The Iron Bowl will never lose luster in the state of Alabama and will always represent the most significant sporting event in the Deep South every year. But it's hard not to agree that losing Saban can mean a step back for Alabama, and thus, a narrative shift from the classic "David vs Goliath" setup the Iron Bowl has had over the past decade and a half.

Auburn AD John Cohen unconcerned with Nick Saban's retirement

Of course, Saban retiring could open the door for Auburn to take the mantle as the state of Alabama's premier program, and the Tigers could keep the rivalry game relevant by becoming a national power themselves.

Auburn AD John Cohen doesn't believe Saban's retirement will have the worst-case scenario effect Westfall fears.

“I’ll say this, as somebody who’s lived in the region for a long time and more than a casual observer, Coach Saban can be considered one of the greatest of all time,” Cohen said in a January interview with “But, Alabama won national championships before he got there and they have the potential to win them after he leaves. I have nothing but the ultimate respect for not only Coach Saban but (Alabama athletic director) Greg Byrne. I think that my expectation is that Alabama will continue at a positive path in the sport of football. But I will say, this has nothing to do with Auburn University."

In an understated way, Cohen showed supreme leadership with that statement. Life goes on even after the college football coaching G.O.A.T. retires, but better yet, it could get better for the main rival of the school that just lost said college football coaching G.O.A.T.