As the two spoke, before their teams meet in the much-anticipated rematch, there was a profound sense of admiration for one another.
Being a former Alabama walk-on and assistant coach, Swinney is in awe Saban and the program that he has led to four national championships and a chance at a fifth in 10 seasons.
“The amount of championships in the span of time is just incredible.” Swinney said of Saban, “Just incredible the run that they’ve had.”
Saban is also impressed by what his opponent has built at Clemson since 2008.
“What Dabo has done with his program. They do an outstanding job recruiting. They do an outstanding job of coaching. They do an outstanding job of developing players.” He would continue to offer praise. “I can’t tell you how much respect we have for the job that they do.”
With Swinney’s football heritage tracing back to Alabama, Saban recognizes and reveres how Swinney has been able to manage his loyalties.
“He has been very supportive of his teammates that he played with at the University of Alabama, and to Coach (Gene) Stallings.”
With the two respected coaches and their talented teams meeting for the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, January 9th at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa, Florida. Saban feels there isn’t a better matchup.
“If I was going to pick who the two best teams are. I would say the two best teams are here.”