One of the greatest “What Ifs” in sports is what if Tim Tebow had decided to attend the University of Alabama? Tebow was highly recruited by then-Bama head coach Mike Shula.
If Shula landed that big fish, he may still be the head coach at Alabama. But Tebow ultimately chose Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.
But Tebow choosing Florida over Alabama changed the fortunes of not only the Gators but the Crimson Tide as well. Shula would be fired and Nick Saban would be hired to replace him, and the rest is history.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 8, 2023
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum even suggested that Tebow was the reason Saban came to Tuscaloosa.
“Not to make you larger than life, although you are, had you decided to come to the University of Alabama, Nick Saban wouldn’t be here because Mike Shula would have done much better than he did,” Finebaum said on his show. “Saban would have eventually gone somewhere else.”
Tebow admitted he was very close to attending Alabama.
Rumor has it that at the time, Saban was not happy in the NFL and wanted out of Miami. So then Alabama athletic director Mal Moore took a chance, flew to Miami, and talked Saban into taking the Alabama job.
You have to wonder also if Alabama hadn’t hired Saban would the Gators have won a third national championship under Meyer and would he still be in Gainesville?
We will never know. Saban won his first natty in 2009 after beating Tebow and the Gators in the SEC Championship game and Meyer left Florida soon after.