Saban: College 'is where I belong'

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 08 2013 04:03:09 PM EST

Tami Chappell/Reuters

Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters Tuesday that he is staying with the Crimson Tide.

Saban, tired of the speculation that he will bolt for the NFL, said college is where he belongs a day after Alabama whipped Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game.

Saban coached the Miami Dolphins from 2005 to '06 before coming to Alabama.

He said coaching in college "is where I belong, and I'm really happy and at peace with all that."

But he has been the subject of NFL rumors since the regular season ended more than a week ago.

"How many times do you think I've been asked to put it to rest?" Saban said. "And I've put it to rest, and you continue to ask it. So I'm going to say it today, that -- you know, I think somewhere along the line you've got to choose. You learn a lot from the experiences of what you've done in the past.

"I came to the Miami Dolphins, what, eight years ago for the best owner, the best person that I've ever had the opportunity to work for? And in the two years that I was there, had a very, very difficult time thinking that I could impact the organization in the way that I wanted to or the way that I was able to in college, and it was very difficult for me."

All-America linebacker C.J. Mosley and quarterback AJ McCarron have said they plan to be back, which should help give Saban another championship-caliber team for next season.

"We certainly have to build the team around (McCarron)," Saban said. "I've talked a lot about it's difficult to play quarterback when you don't have good players around you. I think we should have, God willing and everybody staying healthy, a pretty good receiver corps. We'll have to do some rebuilding in the offensive line. Regardless of what (tailback) Eddie (Lacy) decides to do, we'll probably still have some pretty decent runners. But I think AJ can be a really good player, maybe the best quarterback in the country next year."

The Tide will likely have three or four starting spots on the offensive line to fill.

Saban has won four national titles, including one with LSU, in his college coaching career.