Saban: Poll voters should simply pick 2 best teams

Nick Saban has a message to the poll voters who will help

determine whether Alabama plays for a national title: Be

”fair.”

The Crimson Tide coach, who of course has a rooting interest,

said Monday that voters should not vote against his team just to

avoid a rematch with No. 1 LSU or because Alabama didn’t win its

conference title.

”If somebody does that, I guess it’s their choice to do it,”

Saban said. ”It’s a free country. But the whole thing should be

based on who’s the best two teams. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to

be? If it’s not on that, then it doesn’t matter whether we’ve

played before or any of that.

”Who’s the best two teams? That’s the question. If the decision

gets made on that, I’ll be fine with that. If it gets made on some

of this other stuff, that’s not fair. It’s not fair to the players,

and it wouldn’t be fair to their players either. It wouldn’t be

fair to anybody.”

Saban is spending the week recruiting and perhaps making a

national TV appearance or two to state his case. Beyond that, he

calls it ”kind of limbo week.”

”We don’t know what the future holds for us, but I think it’s

going to be a huge stage regardless of what happens in terms of the

BCS game,” Saban said.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are gearing up to play No. 12 Georgia in

the Southeastern Conference championship game. The stage seems to

be set for a rematch after LSU’s overtime win in Tuscaloosa.

Saban – sporting a crimson blazer with crimson and white tie to

Monday’s news conference instead of his typically more casual

attire – returned to his office from recruiting for an afternoon

team meeting with no set date to start bowl practice. Then he was

heading back out on the road for a week of trying to sway more

blue-chippers to join the fold.

Saban did say he hasn’t been contacted by any other schools

interested in talking to defensive coordinator Kirby Smart about a

head coaching position. Smart has been reported as a potential

replacement for Houston Nutt at Mississippi.

”If they do, we’ll deal with it when they do,” Saban said.

Besides recruiting, Saban said his agenda also includes more

mundane duties like coaching up his dog to stay off the couch and

in the yard. There was no item marked, Ponder how nice it would be

to trade places with LSU.

”Why would you waste your time thinking about things that

aren’t real, that can’t happen?” he said. ”I’ve got enough

problems. I’ve got a dog at home that since football season started

has not been trained one bit, that has been spoiled rotten by you

know who (wife Terry).

”I’ve got work at home, too. I’ve got to get a dog

trained.”

Tailback Trent Richardson isn’t shy about wishing the Tide could

play in Atlanta Saturday, even if it means one more tough game to

overcome in order to play for the big prize.

”When you have a ball team like we have and a ball team like

LSU has, you can’t take anything from them, but you can’t take

anything from us,” Richardson said. ”I do wish we were on two

different sides. We do want to play in that ball game.

”To have that game we’re not playing in, that takes a lot from

us. Hopefully we’ll play in the national championship game.”

Noseguard Josh Chapman said all the Tide can do is wait. In the

meantime, he’s not eagerly anticipating the SEC championship game

or the one that could more directly affect Alabama’s chances,

Oklahoma-Oklahoma State.

His game of the week: alma mater Hoover versus Prattville for

the Class 6A state championship.

”That’s the only game I’m looking forward to,” Chapman

said.