Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coming in 2013: Saban vs. Meyer?

At the height of their rivalry, Nick Saban vs. Urban Meyer was as good as it got in college football.

For two straight seasons, in 2008 and 2009, Saban and Meyer faced off in the SEC Championship game with a berth in the BCS title game on the line.

In 2008, Alabama was No. 1 and Florida No. 2, but Meyer hung a 31-20 loss on Saban, en route to winning the national championship over Oklahoma. The next season, the Gators were No. 1, but Saban and his Crimson Tide hammered Meyer and his Gators, 32-13. Weeks later, Bama won the BCS title over Texas in the Rose Bowl, a victory that started a four-year span - capped last week - in which Saban and his team won three BCS national crowns.

Missing during the last two seasons, and some can argue the last three as Meyer contemplated leaving Florida because of a burnout, only to stay on one more season, was Meyer himself to challenge Saban.

Meyer vs. Saban was shaping up as the Woody vs. Bo coaching rivalry of this era, but now that Meyer no longer coaches in the SEC, it's not the same. There's a still a chance the two could cross paths again soon.

It's early, but when the preseason polls are released next season, don't be shocked if Alabama and Ohio State are neck and neck, and ready to fight for position to get into the final BCS national championship game.

At the rate Meyer is at as Ohio State coach (a 12-0 mark in his first season), that 2009 SEC championship 1 vs. 2 game probably isn't the last time we'll see the two coach against each other with high stakes and plenty of chips on the table.

- Mark Podolski | @MPodo


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