Alabama's Nick Saban already working on chasing title No. 8

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban leaves the field after their win against Ohio State in an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Alabama won 52-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Nick Saban wasn't ready to contemplate his legacy moments after capturing a record seventh national championship “because you're always looking forward.”

It was time to start chasing No. 8, after all. The Crimson Tide capped off a 13-0 season with a 52-24 win over Ohio State Monday night in the national championship game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

“The to-do list started after the game last night,” the 69-year-old coach, who is showing no signs of slowing down, said at a Tuesday morning news conference.

A block party began right after the game as well, with Tide fans flooding the streets of Tuscaloosa near the campus despite officials warning against large gatherings during the pandemic that could lead to outbreaks.

In South Florida, the championship celebration for Saban didn’t last very long. They never do.

The work started by meeting “right after the game” with players considering leaving early to enter the NFL draft, along with seniors who are eligible to return because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Next up on his to-do list is polishing off another loaded recruiting class and replacing offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who is taking over at Texas. Saban declined to give any timetable for making that hire.

None of this is new for Saban, known for his singular focus and ability to annually replace elite talent on both the roster and his coaching staff. Saban broke a tie with Alabama predecessor Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most national titles by a major college coach, including one he captured at LSU and six over the past dozen years in Tuscaloosa.