Senior Columnist

Alabama's DC: 'No question' Saban is driven to be best of all time

FT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- We might have gotten a glimpse of Nick Saban's coaching future during a media session here Friday before the BCS title game.

During a morning Q & A with the media, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was asked if his boss was driven to be the best coach of all time.

"There's no question," said Smart, who has been with Saban for eight seasons at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. "He is drven to be the best."

With speculation swirling that Saban might be eyeing the NFL, that might be the best indicator yet that he is staying at Alabama for the long haul. It's one place where he can get in consideration to be the best coach of all time if he stays long enough. If Saban wins Monday, he will have four career national championships -- three at Alabama. That will put him two away from Bear Bryant.

Smart went on to describe why Saban could be headed to best-ever status:

-- "My development to become a coach will be much better having worked for Coach Saban than necessarily going somewhere else. You learn every day."

-- "He believes in what you tell the players: Get the mindset right for each game. To me, that's where he has established himself ahead of the curve ... Every coach will tell you, 'We mentally train our kids, too.' We take it a step further."

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
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