Saban Admits To Big Mistake

Alabama and Florida are preparing to play the biggest football game of the young 2010 season on Saturday. One of the reasons it is such a big game is because the two best coaches in the Southeastern Conference, two of the best in the nation, have built their teams into powerhouses. What would the two coaches have been like coaching on the same team? It could have happened.

When No. 1 Alabama hosts No. 7 Florida at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday, Nick Saban will be on the Crimson Tide sideline and Urban Meyer on the Gators sideline. They are two of the most successful coaches in college football today, and with two national championships each and multiple coach of the year awards, two of the best of any era.

They have led their teams against each other in the past two Southeastern Conference Championship games and won the past two national championships, Florida in 2008, Alabama last season.

Kickoff Saturday will be at 7 p.m. CDT. CBS will televise the game.

In Wednesday morning's SEC teleconference, Saban was reminded of the opportunity he might have had to hire Meyer.

In 1990, Saban got his first head coaching job, at Toledo. At the time he was coaching the secondary for Houston of the NFL. Meyer was coaching quarterbacks and wide receivers at Illinois State.

"He called my house and talked to (Saban's wife) Terry," Saban said. "Terry really interviewed him. She told me when I came home that night. She said this really interesting guy called and really sounded like a top-notch, bright, articulate..."

And, Saban said, Terry told him, "You really need to talk to this guy."

That guy was Urban Meyer.

"I was coaching with the Houston Oilers and trying to finish the season and hire a staff and get ready to be the head coach there and do all the things you need to do.

"In all the haste of trying to get things done, I never called him.

"That was obviously one of the biggest mistakes I ever made."

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