May Madness: Saban propels Alabama

May, 22, 2014
May 22
2:30
PM ET
And then there were two.

The week started with the top 16 contenders for the first ever College Football Playoff, and by Thursday, the group had been whittled down to two. Will it be a rematch of last season’s BCS title game between Auburn and Florida State? Not quite.

The Seminoles are back as one of the top two contenders, but they are joined by Alabama, the winner of three of the past five national championships. It’s a matchup of two coaches who are extremely familiar with each other ... master vs. pupil if you will.

Nick Saban has a reputation of being the most difficult employer in college coaching, but he always has one of the best coaching staffs in college football. He’s coached multiple assistants, including Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, that have gone on to better jobs. In some cases, those assistant coaches come back to Alabama to work under their former boss.

“You learn every day,” defensive coordinator Kirby Smart said. “ ... Every day we do two-minute against each other, we come in, talk about clock management, what could we have done here? What should have done there? He’s questioning not only us, why we did this in this situation, but he questions himself.”

Saban is the best in the business, but does he have the team to take home another national championship this fall? We’ll find out Friday when the top contender is revealed.

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Greg Ostendorf | email

Auburn/SEC reporter

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