OT: Ironic quote from Nick Saban

Submitted by Volverine on November 28th, 2011 at 3:20 PM

"Anyone who doesn't win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game." Nick Saban, Alabama (12/8/03)

Not that it will have any effect on Alabama's chances of playing in the championship game, but this just goes to show you that, in the age of the internet, everything a public figure says is encapsulated in ink on the web. 

I would love it if the voters used this against him though.



South Bend Wolverine

November 28th, 2011 at 3:25 PM ^

Trouble is that my roommate (an LSU fan who really doesn't want to face Bama again) spent a good bit of time researching this quote, and was unable to find an actual source for it.  Until someone finds a newspaper, etc. reporting this, I am treating it as spurious.


November 28th, 2011 at 4:17 PM ^

Looking through the records on LexisNexis, doesn't seem to exist. There are only three articles that mention Saban by Burwell, and only one that has a quote, and he has a couple of quotes about the BCS system, but nothing for that exact quite.

"Use some kind of system that you call the BCS, or whatever, that takes four teams or eight teams," Saban said. "But I think it's important to keep the bowl system that we have right now. . . . You know I have a tremendous respect for the system that we have . . . (but) the system is not equipped to handle three teams at the top, and that was the case this year." - from Burwell's 1/4/2004 column

Other quotes from around the same time from the St.L P-D.

"But until you have a playoff, which I've never been in favor of, you'll never really know for sure which are the best teams that should be playing for the championship." from Stu Durando's article on 12/28/03

LSU coach Nick Saban said, "I don't think anyone will know who the legitimate national champion is unless all three teams in consideration get the opportunity to play one another." from Josh Dubow's AP article on 12/8/03


So internet skepticism comes out on top.



November 28th, 2011 at 6:01 PM ^

Well now we have to analyze whether we are dealing with the more Socratic dialogues from Plato or more of his Platonic dialogues where he was using Socrates more as the figure or symbol to express his ideas. This could lead us into a very lengthy and stimulating analysis on the merits of scholarly interpretation of the works of Plato. Methinks saved for a better time.


November 29th, 2011 at 12:53 AM ^

what???  the winner of the championship game is the champion...  I don't understand what you are asking.


edit:  okay, I understand now and you bring up a good point.  If LSU loses to Georgia, LSU or Alabama shouldn't play for the MNC, but they probably will anyway...  Go Georgia!!!


November 28th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

I absolutely do think a bunch of SEC fans and media people have reversed themselves on the whole "you have to win your conference to play in the National Championship" idea, but I really doubt the veracity of this supposed Saban quote. The only place anyone has found it mentioned by even a secondary source is Wikipedia, and the edit history (hoorayyyy, edit history!) makes it clear that someone - logged in from Oklahoma State's campus - fabricated an unfortunately-unlinkable citation for that quote (no way some Okie Stater was carrying around a newspaper clipping from 8 years ago), this morning.


November 28th, 2011 at 4:16 PM ^

Beyond it being pointed out no one could source it, why would he have said it?  On Dec 7, 2003 (i.e., the day before this supposed quote), Saban's team (LSU) moved up to #2 in the BCS rankings - the final rankings before the bowl games.  His team was already in the championship!  He didn't need to lobby in the press, a la Urban Meyer in 2006.

Knowing how much Saban hates talking to the media, why would he provide HUGE locker room material for his opponent in the upcoming BCS game, Oklahoma (who was #1 even though it lost the BIg 12 title game the week prior), by badmouthing them?

I really don't like Saban, but that's a complete BS quote.

Link for BCS rankings in 2003 (go to page 8, to see the last rankings, on Dec 7, 2003):



November 28th, 2011 at 4:46 PM ^

Why would the date "be off by just a bit"?  He either said it or he didn't.  In any case, the reason a coach would say stuff in the media (again, using 2006 as an example) is you need the media's help in getting the human voters to switch your position - as worked when Florida went from #4 to #2, leapfrogging Michigan.  Meyer was working the media all week leading up to the SEC championship game and voters bought his argument about there not needing to be a rematch with OSU against a non-conference champion.

Why would Saban on Dec 8th (or 7th, for that matter) come out with a quote disparaging Oklahoma when the human polls were not LSU's problem?  The human polls (which came out on Dec 7th) had LSU at #2.  Is Saban trying to use mind control over the computers?

It's much more likely Pete Carrol (who was at #1 in the AP and Coaches poll) would have said this quote - his team is the one that got screwed.

It's always possible anybody said anything, but until someone links to a reputable source, it's BS.

Link to Dec 7th poll:


November 28th, 2011 at 5:16 PM ^

If quotes can be attributed to the wrong speaker, then the date can be wrong as well. And he could have been trying to put down Oklahoma so the human voters were dropping them farther than the #3 that they fell too, which would've helped his cause. Another reason he might say this is so people would be on his side if his team got screwed, and maybe something would change in the future. There is a lot that could've happened that you're refusing to see. 


November 28th, 2011 at 6:10 PM ^

It will be easier to find Gary Danielson quotes from his calling the 2006 SEC Championship game complaining about a rematch and non-conference championship winners in the BCS title game.  His campaigning was almost as bad as Meyer's.


November 28th, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

We shouldn't be surprised anymore that many coaches will say (and sadly do) nearly anything if they believe it would help their personal careers, their immediate team, and lastly their conference. The days of Bo sincerely stating that his primary goal each year was winning the Big Ten are long gone. One might as well be talking about the days when the earth was still cooling and there was only one continent and one conference, the Pangean Football League.

Sadly what will finally push this over will be politics. This year already saw two US senators interject themselves into whether one school or another (West Virginia and Louisville - two schools which are not even regularly mentioned in any dicussion of the MNC) would included in some conference re-alignment. The scenario will be some school with huge money PAC donors will have a good team and they'll get screwed by the current BCS scenario. Those money interests will squawk to their political interests in Washington which will threaten the NCAA with some interstate commerce restraint of trade and monopoly investigation - then we'll finally see some action for a true D1 playoff like what is done for D2 and D3.